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[TowerTalk] Rain Static?

To: <>
Subject: [TowerTalk] Rain Static?
From: "Brad Pioveson W9FX" <>
Reply-to: Brad Pioveson W9FX <>
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2006 09:38:05 -0600
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On Christmas eve, I sneaked into the shack for a few minutes to seek shelter 
from the grandkids, and, I turned on the 2 meter rig - an FT-847 - the VFO 
of which was sitting on a beacon frequency I often monitor.  Whoa!  Talk 
about noise!  What I heard and observed on the rig's S-meter was really 
something.  The noise was semi-random, but, even the digital S-meter never 
managed to drop below S-9.  There were pronounced peaks of a few tenths of a 
millisecond in duration, and, these, at three-to-five per second intervals. 
The noise was audible from 138 thru 155 Mhz - which is the limit of what 
knob-spinning I engaged in.

My first thought was, of course, some new type of line noise had invaded the 
neighborhood, so, I twirled the antenna - a modified Cushcraft 3219 yagi - 
to determine the noise source's direction.  It was the same around the 
compass with no peaks.  Next, I hosed up the HF rig and listened on 40, 30, 
20, 17, 15, 12 and 10 meters.  No noise to be heard, save for the usual 
low-level line noise I'm plagued with.  Finally, I hooked up the 50 MHz 
antenna to the FT-847 - the antenna being a 2 ele quad.  No noise there, 

For a moment or two, I was truly bewildered, and, wondered if the rig, 
itself, might be the culprit...  I need to add, here, that the weather was 
abominable at this time - moderate to heavy rain, the drops seemingly 
abnormally large, and, it was cold - near freezing, but, enough above that 
temp so that no ice was forming.  The wind was pretty gusty.  In short, it 
was a miserably cold, wet winter day.

So, as I sat pondering the new RFI situation, it occurred to me that what I 
might have been experiencing is what, from time to time, I have seen 
discussed on this reflector:  Rain Static (?)
This theory was later supported by the immediate cessation of the RFI 
coincident with the cessation of the rain.

So, all of the above is presented to ask the question:  Does what I describe 
accurately depict what one might find in a rain static situation?  And, if I 
may ask a follow-up question:  I've had this old CC yagi up for many years - 
it's probably well into it's 25th year.  I've never heard anything like this 
RFI before...from any antenna, much less, this particular array.  What might 
have changed, d'ya think?  Oh - and, the antenna 'plays' as well as it ever 
has - no changes in the measured parameters, at least from the rig end of 
the coax cable.

73, Brad, W9FX


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