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Re: [TowerTalk] High voltage transmission lines

To: "Steve" <>, <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] High voltage transmission lines
From: "Paul Christensen" <>
Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2007 15:43:08 -0400
List-post: <>
> Anyone live within 800 to 1300 feet of these lines with experience to
> share regarding their effects on 160 through 6 meter operations?

I live 800 feet from a parallel feed of three 345KV lines.  I'm a low-band 
operator and for the past seven years at this QTH, the noise level from the 
lines has varied from slight to deafening, depending on climatic conditions. 
Others will tell you that corona does not produce RFI.  I can tell you from 
my experience that it does affect low-band operating and the sound can be 
identified clearly over that of arcing hardware.

The most significant problem with these lines is not in localizing the noise 
source.  Rather, it's trying to convince the utility company that they need 
to transfer power or shut down a primary feeder as a result of a RFI 
complaint.  Despite FCC intervention, nobody is going to jeopardize the 
distribution of a major feeder due to a complaint from an amateur radio 
operator.  The risk of liability is much too great even if service is 
briefly interrupted  (e.g., hospitals (with or w/o generators) and people 
with special medical needs).   Generators and battery-backed devices are 
becoming more commonplace, but they cannot be depended on -- and the utility 
companies recognize this.   And quite fankly, I don't blame them for taking 
a stand.  As an amateur radio operator, you assume the risk when you 
knowingly agree to purchase a home in the proximity of these feeder systems.

In my own case, the utility company was willing to satisfy my concerns 
during scheduled preventive-maintenance or system upgrade periods.  It can 
take as long as a year for them to try and accommodate you and you better 
hope that the resolution is right the first time.  Moreover, do not expect 
them to comply with an order from Hollingsworth.  The utilities will act on 
a court order and not an impotent demand from the FCC.

If you're serious about low-band operating, I would urge you to stay clear 
of any EHV transmission line by a distance of at least five miles when 
possible.  I would also suggest obtaining a copy of "The ARRL RFI Book,"  or 
"AC Power Interference Handbook" by Marv Loftness, KB7KK.   Marv's book 
offers a sobering discussion on EHV lines.

Paul, W9AC



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