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[TenTec] BPL (relaying information from another list)

To: <tentec@contesting.com>
Subject: [TenTec] BPL (relaying information from another list)
From: wa4tukml@comcast.net (Patrick A. Thompson Sr.)
Date: Mon Aug 18 18:41:38 2003
I've not seen this sort of information posted here.  If this is old news to
you then please forgive me; anyhow, we (amateur radio) have a fight on our
hands. More information is at www.arrl.org


"Relaying this from another reflector...

> Relayed to W3RV by N2EY:
> - - - - - - -
> I had the opportunity to observe BPL first hand this
> week. It's scary. I
> was using my mobile ICOM706 - I didn't have my K2
> with me, but I believe if
> I lived in this test area under actual loads I'd be
> off the air on HF with
> my K2 and antennas. (it apparently only has few
> Utility Co. employees in
> the test area using it)
> Here are my observations:
> 73
> Steve N1NB
> Observations in the Briarcliff Manor N.Y. BPL Test
> Area 13 August 2003. One
> of the test areas for BPL is in Briarcliff Manor
> N.Y.. As best we
> understand it the test area is quite small
> consisting of about a 1 mile
> stretch of Pleasantville Road and 3 side street
> segments extending 0.5-0.7
> miles off of Pleasantville Road
> I made a series of tests between 9:30 and 11:30 AM
> EDT today - 13 August
> 2003. I was using my mobile HF rig - a Icom 706MkIIG
> transceiver and a High
> Sierra HS-1800DX antenna.
> First I drove along the main section and 2 of the
> three side segments (I
> was unaware of the third side segment at the time)
> listening on 20M (14.040
> MHz). Throughout the test area and extending a least
> a short distance
> beyond very noticeable bursts of noise we heard. I
> then drove over the main
> segment again listening on 15M (21.350 MHz) and
> heard a very loud continuos
> noise signal.
> I then stopped a three locations and made more
> detailed observations. At
> the first location near the center of the main
> segment:
> I listened to 12 frequencies on 20M (14.003-14.350
> MHz) and heard bursts of
> noise the measured S7 to S9 on my S meter. Similarly
> I listened on another
> 12 frequencies on 10M (28.056 - 28.983 MHz) and
> heard similar signals that
> were even stronger, S8 to S9+20dB! It should be
> noted that you could hear
> these bursts across the entire band not just at the
> frequencies where I
> stopped to capture the S Meter readings!
> I understand that these bursts represent burst of
> activity on the BPL
> network and I presume the frequency of their
> occurrence would increase
> significantly if in a larger more heavily used
> environment.
> I listened to 9 frequencies on 15M (21.085 - 21.438
> MHz) and it was much
> worse a steady S9 to S9+20dB signal. This noise was
> clearly heard across
> the entire Band. 15M is unusable in this
> environment. At this point I was
> beginning to think is this my radio?? So I drove
> about 5 miles away and
> listened across all three bands. Silence - no
> noise/interference heard
> across all 3 bands!
> I then returned and stopped at three other locations
> in the test area. The
> observations at each of these were essentially
> identical to the first
> measurements on 20M and 15M. On 10M two locations
> were also the same but at
> third is also had a steady S8-S9 signal. These
> steady signals on 15M and
> 10m (at one locations) sounded like solid noise with
> some slight
> clicking/wavering but not anything that would cause
> the S Meter to deviate
> from the intolerably loud constant interference
> level.
> At one location on 20M I tuned into two phone and
> one CW QSOs. I could copy
> them 100% between bursts, but the interference
> bursts totally wiped out
> each of them - even the CW one.
> As soon as I departed the area all bands were
> observed to be quiet and free
> of interference.
> As this setup in neither my most sensitive receiver
> nor the most efficient
> antenna, I can only imagine what this would sound
> like at my home if BPL
> was active in my immediate neighborhood using my
> standard, more sensitive
> equipment. It would appear that HF would be
> unusable.
> _______________________________________________
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