We had a customer that experienced an interference issue with the new camera system that he had just purchased.  Bob documented all of his testing proceedures.  We hope this article helps other customers correct interference issues that they may experience.  Fist is the letter that I sent to Bob thanking him for his efforts.  Following that is Bob's trouble shooting proceedures.
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Bob,

Thank you for the great explanation of your trouble shooting efforts.  Also, thank you for your very kind words about our company. We started our business about 15 years ago and when we did we wanted all of our customers to have smiles on their faces after they purchased our products.  Our motto then an now is "We sell fun and customer satisfaction is our number one goal".  We are a very small company with only a few employees.  Our Tech Support answers the phone even on Christmas day.  We figure if someone is calling on Christmas day they must have received one of our systems as a present and would like to get it working as soon as possible.  It is not an inconvenience for us to take a few minutes to help that customer enjoy their gift.  It make us smile too knowing that we can help make that happen.  Service is what our country was built on and we are extremely happy to be able to carry on that tradition.  Our standard warranty is 12 months but we usually cover items not under warranty at no or minimal charge.  I think satisfied customers are much more important than the bean counters bottom line.  If your customers are happy your business will continue to do well.  Because we deal primarily with the hobbyist we have met some great people and have even visited their layouts.  I guess you could say it is one of our most cherished perks as a business owner.  We hope we can continue this for many more years, God willing.  Thank you for your business and your trouble shooting efforts.  I am sure our customers will benefit from your explanation of how you solved your interference issues.  If we can be of further help in any way please feel fee to call us, even on Christmas day.

Have A Blessed Day,
Jerry

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Jerry,
Please feel free to edit any portion of this document, and you can post this, with or without mentioning me, in any publication or web page you desire. Thank you for all your help............................................................
We purchased the micro wireless camera from SJT Enterprises in Pennsylvania through Micro-Mark, a model railroad tool and equipment supplier. The camera was to be installed in a locomotive to give an engineer's view of the layout during operating sessions. 
Upon connecting the camera, we immediately found it to be almost totally blocked by horrible interference lines and noise. (See before phot below) Yes, we could move the camera to a very few specific locations that would at least bring in a viewable picture, but even then the  picture was only black and white instead of color. 
Fortunately, all of these problems can be fixed very easily with just a few simple steps.....
I called the tech support number for SJT Enterprises expecting to be put on hold, talk to someone from a foreign country, and I expected them to just tell me to unplug and plug it back in followed by the problem must be on my end with no fix. Very much to my surprise I found myself talking and texting with Jerry, a very involved and knowledgeable tech willing to continually follow up to my testing and responses. 
The first thing we did was to identify all nearby sources of wireless devices in the 2.4ghz range. With Jerry's help and advice we identified the following sources:
The wifi router
Cell phones
Cordless phones
Wireless HP air-printer
Home security alarm with wireless transmitter motion sensors
Apple TV device box..(yes, they are hard wired via ethernet, but they also communicate wirelessly with iPads and iPhones...it took a while to realize this)
We turned off all the above wireless devices we could. (We could not turn off the home alarm system sensors, but luckily they didn't seem to be a problem in the end). All we did with the cell phones was to set them in airplane mode.. We later found the cell phones weren't much of a problem, but you should initially turn everything off just to find out.
We then turned on the wireless camera and left it on. 

After that we turned on each of the other devices one at a time. Jerry had told us that many of these wireless devices would automatically notice the camera frequency, and they would then attempt to find another clear frequency. We watched as each device began to interfere as it was turned on, but then you could see it change frequency and the camera immediately clear up. 

That may be all you need to do, but if not then read below.
All was well, until we turned off the camera and then later came back to turn it on. When turning the camera back on a day or so later, we found a couple of devices had reset their frequencies back to interfere with the camera. It was easy to determine which ones had changed by simply turning them off one at a time.......the camera cleared up just as we turned off the offenders. 
We then obtained the app "Wifi Analyzer" for an android phone. The app is free, but a similar app was not found for an iPhone. The Wifi Analyzer clearly showed and identified each device and its broadcasting frequency, along with the camera frequency. This allowed us to immediately see that my Comcast wifi router was the main culprit.  
So, we went into the admin page of the router (this can be found in almost all router manuals), and we simply changed the frequency from "AUTO" to "MANUAL". Then we chose the frequency or channel that was as far from the camera frequency or channel. For instance, the camera was on channel #1, so we made the wifi channel #11 as that was the highest channel we could choose. The Wifi Analyzer clearly showed the frequency moving away from the camera frequency, and we immediately watch the video clear up. Leaving the router on "MANUAL" forces the router to stay on that chosen channel even if it is powered off and back on.....problem fixed. 
The last pesky item that simply would not stay on a different frequency from the camera was my Apple TV box. Turning it off and back on, with the wireless camera on and broadcasting, did immediately have the Apple TV box change its frequency away from the camera frequency. However, the Apple TV box would always seem to reset it frequency when the camera was turned off. We haven't yet found a way to force its frequency to manually stay where we wanted it, but we found a very easy fix for train operating night. We simply plugged the Apple TV box into an outlet connected to a nearby wall switch. On operating night we simply flip the switch to turn off the Apple TV box. This might be eliminated when we find how to manually control the Apple TV frequency.
The before and after photos of this camera tell part of the story, but the real story is how the camera is now one of the most enjoyable trains to run during operating sessions. The PMC Model Railroad is one of Vermont's largest model railroads with a dozen towns and a mainline of 350 feet long. Up to a dozen trains can be run at any one moment with a Dispatcher, signal system, fast time clock, and JMRI Switch List, but the camera train brings the railroad to life......
Bob
PMC RR
  • Item #: Interference

Interference Solving

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