How to Remove Radio Interference Using Ferrite Coils for HID and LED Headlights

Many people nowadays are installing aftermarket HID and/or LED conversion kits in their headlights and fog lights. These new conversion kits use an external power booster, called a Ballast for HID setups and a Driver for LED setups. Both of these external power supplies do similar functions, but technically they are quite different. Also, both of these products create RFI (Radio Frequency Interference); in fact every electronic device ever made creates RFI, but there are different types of this electrical interference. Sometimes when installing an LED conversion kit or an HID conversion kit in your vehicle the result can be better, brighter light, but also a side effect of AM or FM radio interference. This is characterized by where you once were able to pick up a radio station, with the new lights installed and turned on, now that same radio station is just white noise.

Here is an example of a DIY ferrite coil that can be used in lighting installs.

Here is an example of a DIY ferrite coil that can be used in lighting installs.

The solution for your problem might be what is called a ferrite coil, also known as a ferrite bead, a ferrite choke, or an RFI choke. All of these names mean the same thing. Ferrite beads prevent interference in two directions: from a device or to a device. A conductive cable such as the input power for the HID or LED headlight bulbs acts as an antenna – if the device produces radio frequency energy, this can be transmitted through the cable, which acts as an unintentional radiator. In this case the bead may be required to reduce RFI. Conversely, if there are other sources of RFI, such as an ignition module or battery charging alternator, the bead prevents the cable from acting as an antenna and receiving interference from these other devices.

Ferrite coils are already used in everyday household uses. You can find them on USB cables, power cords for your television or home stereo, and even on input power cables on your automotive satellite radio:

Ferrite coils are commonly used in household electronics to reduce interference signals.

Ferrite coils are commonly used in household electronics to reduce interference signals.

LED Conversion Kits Small Ferrite Coil:

For an LED Headlight conversion kit you can use a large ferrite coil and wind the input power wires around it, or you can use a small ferrite coil, and just clamp it over the power cable:

LED Conversion Kits Large Ferrite Coil:

 

HID Conversion Kits Small Ferrite Coil:

For the HID conversion kits you can put a smaller ferrite choke around the power input cable of the ballast like this:

HID Conversion Kits Large Ferrite Coil:

For the HID conversion kits you can put a larger ferrite choke around the power input cable where the small wires are exposed. This allows you to wrap the wiring around the choke for a better result. This is how to install the larger ferrite coil:

Sources for Ferrite coils:
Large style designed for looping wires around coil: RND-6 ( Wurtz number 7427151 ) snap on chokes
The inside hole size is 0.57″ (over 1/2″, 14.5 mm)

Small style designed snap onto power input cable: RCT2 RFI Radio Frequency Interference Ferrite Chokes – Black
measures approximately 1.25 x .75 x 75 inches

How to install HIDs in 2013 Dodge Ram with Projector Headlights

2013 1500 HID Kit Install

Factory Projector Headlights

The 2013 Dodge Ram is available from your local Dodge dealer with optional factory-installed projector headlights with infra-red/halogen light bulbs. Many people wonder why they didn’t come with factory HID lighting, and even more people are curious if it’s even possible to install an HID conversion kit on this truck! There’s no guess work involved anymore. The GTR Lighting GEN 3 or GEN 4 HID ballasts are plug and play on Dodge Ram trucks.

You can follow the process step by step to see exactly what parts to use and how the install is actually done! We found that using the 3rd Genereation CANBUS Pro ballast from GTR Lighting makes the install smooth! We did not need to use any extra parts like a relay harness, resistors, warning canceller module or capacitors – everything is plug and play!

2013 Dodge Ram HID Conversion Kit Install using GTR Lighting CANBUS Ballasts.

2013 Dodge Ram HID Conversion Kit Install using GTR Lighting CANBUS Ballasts.

 

Xentec HID Ballast Review – What does waterproof mean?

Xentec on ebay review

Xentec – providing “HID-Like” electronics since 2008.

I recently had the pleasure of getting my hands on a new Xentec HID kit for testing and review purposes and my expectations were met… however my expectations were that the Xentec product would be complete and total garbage.

Today you can find a complete single beam, 35w HID Kit for sale on eBay for a mere $29.50 shipped from California to anywhere in the United States. Let’s do the math… the cheapest ground shipping for a 2 pound package from CA to NY would cost roughly $5 by shipping through the United States Postal Service using the Parcel Post shipping method. So really, Xentec is selling the entire HID kit for $24.50, which means each ballast will cost about $8 and the bulbs will be roughly $8.50.

Halo Yellow Headlight Bulbs

Replacement halogen bulbs cost more than an entire Xentec HID kit.

Now, on the other hand, to purchase a set of decent blue halogen light bulbs will cost you around $40 at any reputable parts store, specialty shop or even Wal-Mart, and these are just off the shelf blue tinted halogen bulb replacements. How can Xentec sell an entire HID kit for less than a set of blue light bulbs? Is it magic? No – it’s just dang cheap. If you look at the cost of other HID products you will see a massive difference in pricing versus the Xentec HID kit. For example, you can buy a GTR Lighting single beam 35w HID conversion kit for around $200, and you can buy OEM Philips ballasts and bulbs together, pulled out of a newer Mercedes, for about $900 to make your own retrofit kit.

So, if good HID kits cost around $200 and OEM HID kits cost around $900, how can Xentec sell an HID kit for less than $30? The answer is simple: They build their components with the absolute worst parts, cut corners on quality and design. Waterproofing the ballast? “What does waterproof mean?” Check out this comparison of a GTR Lighting 35w ballast compared to the Xentec 35w ballast:

Xentec HID Ballast

Comparison between GTR Lighting 35w HID ballast and Xentec 35w ballast showing the difference in weight and waterproofing.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? I can’t believe how shoddy the Xentec product really is… and people actually buy this stuff! The circuit board is directly mounted to the aluminum backing plate, and there is no potting, or o-ring or anything to keep dust, water and/or insects out.

Not only does the Xentec ballast lack any type of shock resistance but it is also made of a very cheap feeling plastic for the housing, a little tiny screws that look like they could fall out at any moment. You can see by the comparison of the scale that the GTR Lighting ballast is built much more tough and weighs more than 3 times as much as its Xentec imposter.

After this review I am confident in making the statement that Xentec HID products should not be taken seriously, and they should be considered “imposters” in the HID lighting market. They are more prone to failure than any electronic product I’ve ever seen and I don’t think it is safe to use on any automobile where you will be mounting it to metal, have dust or water near the ballast.

If you want something that is going to work go with the GTR Lighting ballast. It is shock proof, water proof, dust proof and very heavy duty, you won’t be disappointed!