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[TowerTalk] FCC strategy for line noise problem?

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Subject: [TowerTalk] FCC strategy for line noise problem?
From: (Tom Hammond - N0SS)
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 12:12:23 -0500

>Does anyone have any experience contacting the FCC
>about non-responsiveness by an electric utility for dealing
>with line noise?
>I've been after mine for almost a full year, and its obvious
>to me that they are never going to fix it. 
>Tips and/or contacts at the FCC would be appreciated.
>(Yes, I am contacting the state public service commission
>as well).

Had the very same problem about 18-20 years ago.

Wound up writing two letters:

  FCC Field Office in KC MO
  Missouri Public Service Commission

I wrote the the level of line noise from the nearby powerlines 
was making shortwave communications IMPOSSIBLE and the power
lines are NOT supposed to emit RF signals which will interfere
with FCC-licensed communications.

MAN!!!  Did THAT turn the trick!!!  

As soon as the letter(s) hit their intende addressees, they 
(apparently BOTH of them) contacted the Missouri Power &
Light office and apparently told them to get their 'stuff' 
together.  I promptly received a call from the local MP&L
service office offering to come out 'immediately' to try
and fix the problem.  Actually, what the guy said was, "Man,
we wish you wouldn't have written that letter!".  To which
I responded that I wouldn't have had I been able to get their
attention any other way.

NOTE: If what you experience is anything like what experienced
once they finally did come out, it's gonna be YOUR RESPONSIBILITY
to locate and identify the noise source.  These bozos appeared
at my doorstep with a solid state Zenith Transoceanic receiver
with a short whip antenna, tuned to the local AM station, and
professing, "Listen... there's NO NOISE here."  Didn't take me
long to tune the RX off-freq., to a slightly less strong signal
to show them that, in fact, there WAS line noise present.

Their efforts at locating the noise were for naught though.  They
had NO clue what to look for OR HOW to go about it.  I finally
sent them home and built my own noise locator out of a Radio
Shack AIRBAND (AM-VHF) receiver and a single dipole antenna, cut
to the airband.  

With this receiver and antenna, I can pinpoint 90% of the line
noise leaks I've had to find.  It's really easy 'cause the hand-
held dipole (on a 3' fibreglas mast) has a REALLY DEEP null right
off its ends (just like the books say it should), and if I point
one end of the antenna AT the suspected noise source, and it goes
away, there's a reallg strong chance that that's the spot they need
to look.

The P&L company likes the device so well that they had me make two
for them  I guess they're still in use today.  More info if you're
interested.  I tried to get an article on building this noise locator
published in QST but they weren't interested.  Not sure if it was
the content or the writing style... or both.

Good luck.

73 - Tom Hammond   N0SS

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