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Why Does My Battery Charger.....

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  • Why Does My Battery Charger.....

    I get major FM radio disturbance when I put a battery in my charger. Doesnt matter if its a Ridgid or Milwaukee brand. They all do it. Once the battery is charged the reception clears up.
    Lame mans terms please

  • #2
    Re: Why Does My Battery Charger.....

    This is not unusual as all the battery chargers utilize what's called a switching power supply.

    This converts the 120VAC to the proper DC voltages to run the electronics and supply the proper charging voltage
    and current to the battery. almost all switching power supplies generate radio interference..the better
    quality ones have filtering to reduce the noise to an acceptable [FCC delineated via rules part-15] level.

    I tested all 4 generations of the Ridgid single bay chargers.
    This means from their very first design to the current X4 design battery charger.

    The X4 or their newest battery charger is their best design yet, and it's quiet.
    I do find it odd though that you get FM radio interference typically you'd
    experience this more on the AM radio band

    Another way to fight the radio interference is to increase the distance between the radio and
    the battery charger. Often you can get near field inductive pick English that means the
    closer they are to each other the nosier the interference.

    If possible you should also try plugging the charger into a different outlet that is on a different
    circuit breaker than the radio

    When the battery is charged the charger goes into a sleep mode [newer chargers] the older
    ones just shut off the charging circuit and only illuminates the LEDs to tell you the battery is fully charged.

    Take a portable [battery powered] AM radio and place it next to your Plasma TV the noise is amazing..
    move the radio 12" away and the noise should diminish. When you're 18-24" or further away the noise
    should almost be all gone...

    Sorry but there are no easy fixes or after market AC line filters that can eliminate the battery charger interference
    It's the nature of the beast and Ridgid does not have much line filtering to reduce radio noise

    Cactus Man


    • #3
      Re: Why Does My Battery Charger.....

      Thanks Cactus Man! Great post.

      I have been able to reduce some of the noise interference by changing circuits but not by much. The only thing that helps is creating distance from radio to charger. I still get noise even if they're more than 20 feet apart though. It seems to come in waves, like 3 or 4 seconds of noise then it's clear for a few seconds then noise is back again. It's quite annoying really. I like to listen to the radio while working and I'm always charging batteries thoughout the day. I have to think that there's some way to overcome this. Lately I've just been plugging my Ipod into the radio but not everyone on the jobsite likes my music styling.


      • #4
        Re: Why Does My Battery Charger.....

        Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
        Lately I've just been plugging my Ipod into the radio but not everyone on the jobsite likes my music styling.
        It's not that they're too terribly bothered by "Lawrence Welk's Christmas in Hawaii" over and over Bill,
        I'm sure it's your bubble machine making everything in the room soapy.Makes the fries taste like cr@p too.


        • #5
          Re: Why Does My Battery Charger.....

          Plumberscrack...what radio do you have?

          I recently upgraded the radio in my work shop and purchased a Sangean CL-100 from
          It was around $79.00...AM/FM/ Weather This is NOT STEREO but looks good and plays amazingly well
          It has a soft volume start up..meaning when you turn the radio on [push the button]
          the radio volume slowly adjusts to your set level.

          You can also use the ACC input for your mp-3 player etc.

          I built a 60 degree angle stand as it does sit funny and at 60 degrees you can easily see
          the LCD display etc.

          It runs on battery or AC adapter.

          I did try a Sony boom box style of radio and the AC buzzing was just awful!
          I replaced the old 25+ year old JC-Penny boom box although it worked well
          it was time to retire it.

          The CL-100 does not seem to present AC noise from any battery chargers...or even my Drill Doctor
          drill but sharpener...A long while ago I wrote a posting regarding the Drill Doctor Motor Noise
          both radio interference and just plain loud motor

          Cactus Man


          • #6
            Re: Why Does My Battery Charger.....

            Well actually.....

            I have one of the first battery chargers that came with my 14.4 drill and impact driver.... it does NOT have RF interferance. At least not detectable by my equipment. I think I discussed this with another forum member, who like me, is an Amateur Radio Operator. That kind of equipment is designed to pick up a variety of radion signals on the other side of the planet (conditions being right of course) in a number of radion bands and types of emissions. So, RF emissions in the house or neighborhood proves to be problem.

            So, I have three or four Ridgid chargers and all but one is very noisey, RF wise. I have other batter chargers too, and some are noisey and some are not. So, that tells me that they don't have to be! Many devices, especially entertainment electronics, phones, etc. are supposed to be "FCC Type Accepted" and depending on the device, they must meet certain regulation standards for "harmful interference". Check your computer, or whatever, and you should find a label that states this, and may have the phrase that goes something like this: "this device must not emit harmful interferance and must accept interferance by other devices"... I should look that up, but I have nothing here except this laptop, and that's probably not wise to flip it over at this time.

            So, the Ridgid Chargers apparently do not fall under this regulation, although being "electronic" and a "consumer" item, I would think they should.

            RF can be stopped or severly limited, but for use in a work environment and/or on a job site, I don't know how much anyone would want to bother.