Close is anything that is close enough to create noise in your antenna and
radio. My antennas are about 500' from high voltage towers on a "right of
way" near my property
I can hear the powerline "buzz" on 80 and 160 at regularly repeating freq.
intervals. It can be a problem, especially in contests.
You need to check the "sounds" and the affected frequencies yourself. A
simple dipole in the trees on the property will give you some idea how much
of a problem it might be. Bring a sensitive radio and FOCUS on the low
bands - if you have anything but quiet on 10-20, immediately start looking
for another property.
With better antennas up higher, the noise, if any, will only get worse, so
if you can hear it now, move on.
BTW, if possible, go in the winter when it has been dry and cold for a
while. If any insulators are acting up, you will hear that too. My line
noise is terrible in the winter when it is cold and dry and largely absent
in the spring and summer unless we are having a drought. The power line
"Buzz" though, is ALWAYS there.
With respect to the health issue, ask the power company to send out a tech
to take readings - they will have a hand-held meter and can show you the
results as you walk around underneath the powerlines. I planned to have a
child so I was concerned and wanted to see the results. A power guy came
out to the property and walked around with me as he took measurements. I
learned a few VERY useful things:
1) Within about 50' of the lines, the magnetic readings were VERY elevated,
but dropped off rapidly. I assume they dropped off by the inverse square of
the distance - twice as far and 1/4 the reading. Since the lines were 500'
from my house, they were of no consequence, but if I was living within 50'
then it might have been a real concern.
2) The readings from my microwave oven were MUCH HIGHER than those measured
from the high tension lines! In fact, keep ALL young children AT LEAST 3-4'
AWAY from the microwave when it is use!!!!!
3) Chronic elevated magnetic readings are potentially very dangerous to a
young and rapidly developing brain. This is something that you DO NOT want
to expose your child to.
4) This is all very subjective but there are potential health risks to
chronic exposure depending on how close to the lines you live and how your
antennas are. It is a greater concern if you have or plan to have children.
If not, a greater concern will be the potential difficulty selling the
property to someone else when you want live somewhere else. NO ONE like
power lines and NO ONE thinks that they look nice next to a house.
> We are looking for a new house and many that are available in the area
> are pretty close to some power lines. My questions is from a radio
> perspective, "how close is too close ?" and what can I expect ?. I
> mostly HF 80-15. I have been looking at the health data but I have not
> found much about the effects on operating.
> > Thanks in advance
> > - Jim
> > - Jim Apple (WB1DOG)