I try to pinpoint the location myself, and have the power
company repair it. Our power company does have a person
whose job it is to locate noise, but he operates out of
Phoenix, three hours away. It takes him several weeks or
more to get out our way.
The secret to pinpointing the source is to drive around,
or walk around, listening to VHF-AM. Radio Shack sells
an aircraft band receiver for $19.95, and many two meter
rigs also cover the aircraft band. On vhf, the noise gets
really loud only when you get really close to the source.
Listen to the noise first on your hf rig at home in the AM mode.
Remember the sound of the noise you are looking for, and
when you're driving around don't get sidetracked by noises
that sound different. You may want to record the noise at home,
and pop the cassette into your car's cassette player to keep
it clear in your mind when you're out hunting. When you get really
close, you may need to stick an attenuator in the line. With the
Radio Shack receiver, just collapsing the antenna makes a pretty
good rf gain control.
I have worked side by side with the noise locating pereson
from our local utility, and his equipment is not really much more
sophisticated than what I described above. He does have a
four element yagi (looks like about 300Mhz) with a belt-
mounted receiver that is quite effective in the endgame.
There was a good article in QST several years ago, describing
the Radio Shack receiver, attenuator, and a homemade yagi.
If you use a two meter AM rig, like the Icom 706, you can use
a small two meter yagi.
The "Interference Handbook," by William R. Nelson, WA6FQG,
is also an invaluable aid in becoming proficient in
locating line noise.
Dave Hachadorian, K6LL
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