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Re: [RFI] RFI every 15 KHz on 160 meters, suspect source is a manufactur

To: Don Kirk <wd8dsb@gmail.com>, RFI <rfi@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [RFI] RFI every 15 KHz on 160 meters, suspect source is a manufacturing facility.
From: Joe <nss@mwt.net>
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 2018 12:30:50 -0600
List-post: <mailto:rfi@contesting.com>
Hi Don,

Funny similar call de WB9SBD.

Can you hear the noise in the AM broadcast band?

I have tracked many 160 meter noise sources on that band and by using a very simple portable AM radio tuned to a no station frequency.

You would be amazed at how deep the nulls are off the ends of that ferrite rod antenna!

Extremely deep! It will take a full scale broadcast station, and knock it down to not even being heard,

AND extremely sharp! the min Null I bet is less than 10 degrees wide!

Yes bi directional, so you have to take multiple readings, but where all the lines cross is the source!

The Original Rolling Ball Clock
Idle Tyme
On 2/2/2018 12:20 PM, Don Kirk wrote:
  Quick follow up on my locating the source of the repeating 15 KHz signal
(actually 15.6 KHz).

Today I met with the suspect facilities machine controls engineer that just
happens to be an inactive but still licensed ham (turns out we also have
mutual friends in the machine controls world).

I first walked around the entire perimeter of the building (outside in very
cold temperatures) using my portable SDR system, and was able to determine
that the source of the interference is located near the west central part
of the building where there are several water cooling towers as well as
material storage silos.  The signal is indeed cyclic but still need to see
how repeatable the cycle is (typically on for about 20 minutes and then off
for about 20 minutes).  Inside the west wall there are a bunch of
facilities related equipment (pumps, variable speed drives, etc.).
Unfortunately my 160 meter tuned loop is useless when in so close to the
source, and we were not able to determine the actual source in the allotted
time we had today.  With the SDR receiver gain set at 0, the signal was
still near full scale when in close to the source (it appears we have the
source nailed down to about a 50 foot by 25 foot area, but there is a ton
of motor controls equipment in this small area as well as metal building
structure that likely is confounding our DFing).

We are now going provide my vehicle description, name, etc. to the security
department that patrols the grounds of this facility so they know I have
permission to be on the property 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  I'm going
to obtain more data on the cyclic nature of the interference (to see if it
provides any clues), and also evaluate capturing the signal at much higher
frequencies (determine what the highest frequency is that I can still
capture the signal), and then build a DF antenna for the higher frequency
to help pinpoint the source when in close.  After I obtain more data from
outside the building and develop a better antenna for in close DFing, I
will then go back into the building to continue our in close DFing (as time

My portable SDR system consists of a Dell laptop, NooElec SDR dongle, and
ham it up converter (stuck to the back of the laptop screen using double
stick tape).  The SDR dongle and ham it up converter are powered via the
laptop USB ports which makes it very convenient.  I just plug my DF antenna
into the ham it up converter and adjust the SDR dongle gain as needed (via
the SDRSharp software I'm using).

Just FYI,
Don (wd8dsb)

On Mon, Jan 22, 2018 at 9:15 AM, Don Kirk <wd8dsb@gmail.com> wrote:

Yesterday I tracked down RFI that has been bothering me on 160 meters for
the past year.  The source was a little hard to find because it's not
always on.  I finally had to use my SDR dongle with Ham it up converter in
the car with my small tuned loop to track down the source of the
interference (in order to make sure what I was seeing at home was what I
was actually tracking).  The suspect source is 0.75 miles from my house.
Here is a link to a video showing my efforts to date.


Today I will contact the manufacturing facility that I tracked the RFI
down to in order to take the next step with them.

I will report the actual source of the RFI as soon as it's determined
which might take some time (usually takes time to establish a good working
relationship with the suspect property owner).  Based on past experience it
sure looks like a variable speed drive, but in order to keep an open mind I
try not to guess ahead of time.

Just FYI,
Don (wd8dsb)

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