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Intermittent, Cyclic Interference

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Subject: Intermittent, Cyclic Interference
From: (Dale Martin)
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 1997 20:52:06 -0600
I live in what is getting to be an older subdivision in our area.  
A few years ago, 80m was virutally non-existent in an SS CW 
contest because the noise was so strong.  I called the local 
power company (Houston Lighting & Power) and a few days 
later found a note on my door saying they had checked through 
the subdivision and found no interference.  Sure enough, it was 
gone.  However, over the next couple of weeks, I found that it 
depended on the weather - The humidity had something to do 
with its presence.  Not only that, but the noise would be on for 
a second or so, off for part of a second, a second, a couple of 
seconds, or even for minutes.  But when it was on, it was s9 to 
10-over; on 40m it was s7-s9; 20m s3-s6.  

I threw my TS-130S in the car and drove around the subdivision 
listening to 80m and the intermittent noise.  When the s-meter 
went to full scale, I knew I had found the place.  Even the s-meter 
on my TS-7950 was full-scale.  I noted the address and later, at 
home, called the Radio/TV Interference technician who had left 
the note (amazingly, he had left his desk phone number on the 
note instead of the generic HL&P voice bulletin board).  I told 
him I thought I had found the house where the noise source was 
located.  He went by the next day, checked it out, and advised 
the owner that the doorbell transformer was internally arcing and 
posed a fire hazard.  The owner had also noticed a lot of 
interference on their AM/FM radio and on the television but 
didn't know what to do about it.  That was the end of that noise....
until about 3 months ago.  Just before SS, there was the noise 
again.  I went driving through the same part of the subdivision, 
but found the s-meter leading me to another part of the subdivision.  
Again, as I drove past the offending noise source location, both 
s-meters were full scale.  This time, a neighbor happened to be 
out in the yard and saw me walk up to the house with a portable 
radio in hand and rotating it around.  Of course, his curiosity was 
piqued.  I told him what I thought was happening and asked him 
if he noticed any noise on his TV or radio.  He said yes, but, like 
the other residence owner, he didn't know where it was coming 
from.  I came back later in the evening and spoke with owner 
and told her and showed her with the radio, what I had found.  
She said she would have an electrician take care of it.  Two 
days later, the noise was gone and has remained gone.  

Don't give up on finding noise sources or the services you 
can get to help you find/fix them. 


Dale Martin

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