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Re: [RFI] Electric company problem

To: "WX5L" <wx5l@charter.net>, <RFI@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [RFI] Electric company problem
From: "Mike Brown" <k9mi@sbcglobal.net>
Date: Sun, 11 Dec 2005 16:29:20 -0000
List-post: <mailto:rfi@contesting.com>
In years past I have always greatly increased my success rate to resolve
line noise by doing most of the dectective legwork. It seems if you make a
complaint for the power company to come out and first find it then fix it it
seems to automatically get low priority.

In my 4 cases of power line RFI Randy, I have always done enough leg work, 
to point them in the right direction, and relatively close to the problem. 
However, as far as telling them I think it is a certain pole, etc, this 
tends to create a bit of hostility, in that they think I'm telling them how 
to do their job. Best just to tell them what direction you believe it to be 
from and leave it alone after that. I did tell him what intersection it is 
the loudest on my car's AM radio. And he did a "drive by", and agreed with 
me. However, he did say my problem was low on the list, and he also wants 
the cable tv company to turn off their equipment in that area to see if it's 
a problem they are causing. Has anyone ever heard of cable tv causing 
interference to HF frequencies? If they have a bad leak, I've seen cases 
where it messes up VHF (most on 145.25), but I've never heard of them 
bothering anything on HF.

Having some understand of the problem and its causes goes a long way to
resolution. I think most of us realize loose hardware, slack bells and loose
ground staples all contribute to noise. Most is inductively pickup'd in
small created gaps.

I think the last problem, which took 7 months to get fixed was a a bad 
lightning arrestor. This is an old neighborhood with all the utilities 
overhead. I've had intermitent problems like this before also. But, I would 
never bother them with that. When it's 24/7, rain or shine, then I call and 
let them know I have a problem.

By identifying the sources and passing this info on to the supervisor
instills in him that you know what your talking about and have always felt
gets a much more positive response.

In my case, to a point. If he thinks you're trying to come off as the expert 
and you know his job better then he does, that doesn't go over very well. I 
just try to point them in the right direction, give them an intersection. 
They are the ones with the expensive equipment. I rely on my yagi, a 
portable AM multi band radio, and my car's AM broadcast radio.

For most of us we don't have sophisticated DF'ing equipment but a nifty
device is the MFJ-852 Noise Locator. It receives in the AM aircraft band
with attached dipoles but I went s step further. I installed a BNC female on
the top then purchases a 4 element 2 meter beam installing a male bnc on the
coax. It gives the 852 remarkable directivity. I have found though close in
to a strong source you must remove the beam and return to the dipole as the
front end will overload with the beam. I have even located poles with the
dipoles unscrewed off the unit. It's that sensitive.

That is probably something I should buy when I can Randy. Being this old of 
a neighborhood, things are bound to just get worse. And, moving really isn't 
an option.

After getting a commitment from the power company being there with your
noise locator is essential so as again to help them resolve the problem. By
locating the offending pole and also participating from the ground will
greatly increase your chances to eliminate your problems.

Even though that sounds like a good idea Randy, I don't believe it would be 
welcome, due to the personalities of the people I'm working with.

I knwo this just scratches the surface of this problem but this has been
successful for me over the last 30 years.

I've had my ticket 26 years now Randy, and I've been fairly lucky and not 
had these problems, until we moved here in IN. I lived in OK for 16 years, 
and from '86 to '98, my call was WG5C. Not too far from your call.

Thanks for the input....

73, Mike K9MI

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