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[RFI] A description of my RFI problem - help solicited

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Subject: [RFI] A description of my RFI problem - help solicited
From: Jon Ogden <jono@enteract.com> (Jon Ogden)
Date: Tue, 01 May 2001 06:49:30 -0500
on 5/1/01 6:26 AM, John Pelham at john@radiophile.com wrote:

> I've always thought that my symptoms are clearly power line noise,
> but what throws me off track is that the descriptions of power line noise
> state that the intensity should increase as the frequency goes down.  Mine
> sure doesn't, and I hope that K3RFI and N4ZR are right that it means the
> source is very close.  That'd be convenient!

This is typical and for a number of reasons, IMHO.  When I had all my noise,
my FT-847 would show S7 or even S9 noise levels on 6m, 2m, etc.  However, on
HF, my FT-1000D wouldn't - unless I turned my noise blanker off.  Many HF
radios have very good noise blankers and so you might not notice it as much
there if you have inadvertently left it on.

Second, I have seen the power line noise myself but no on every band.

One of the first things you can do to be sure it's the power company and not
your fault is to throw your main breaker and turn of all power in your
house.  Using a battery supply or your Yaesu HT, listen for the noise.  If
you still get it, then it's not your house.  Ask your neighbors if they've
bought any new computers, lamps, etc.

> I've already had an unpleasant experience with my local power company about
> this.  A few months ago I called in a complaint, and the power company sent
> out a "troubleshooter."  I was fortunate to be home when he showed up.  To
> give an idea of how our conversation went, he didn't know what ham radio
> was, really (he said he had a ham friend, but his description was that of a
> CBer).  He said that if he couldn't pick the noise up on the AM radio in his
> truck, he could do nothing.  When I mentioned, in a mild and roundabout way,
> that it was the power company's responsibility to silence their noise
> sources, he laughed.  He suggested that I put "noise filters" on my ham
> radios.  He left saying that someone else from the power company would call
> me, but no one did, and I didn't pursue the matter.  He did say that if I
> found the offending pole(s) that they would check them.

Well, this is just a bunch of BS.  These guys have sophisticated noise
detection equipment.  The power company WANTS to find the problem.  Next
time you get a guy like this tell him two things:

1.) It IS the power company's responsibility to find and fix the problems
under federal law.

2.) Is IS in the power company's best interest to find and fix it because
they are losing power (and possibly a lot of it) due to the arcing.  It is
costing them money.

My power company did a similar thing.  I called them back and they told me
they checked my transformer and FM/TV frequencies but found nothing.  I
restated my problem, told them what frequencies, etc. and requested they
keep looking.  Sure enough, they found it and repaired it.

You have to be persistent.  Make sure you get a trouble ticket number so you
can always refer to it and not have to explain your story over and over.
Keep the pressure on them and they will eventually get it fixed.



Jon Ogden
NA9D (ex: KE9NA)



"A life lived in fear is a life half lived."

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