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[RFI] Your BPL note

To: <rfi@contesting.com>
Subject: [RFI] Your BPL note
From: tomcox at iquest.net (Tom Cox)
Date: Sat Aug 9 17:26:59 2003

Well thought out, and well said. Your math is a very plausible explanation
for the lack of complaints from hams about BPL. I don't attribute evil
motives to Mike Martin, but even experts can be wrong, and it may be his

I haven't seen him so curmudgeonly, before. He has been very helpful to me
on power line noise issues. However, the stakes are very high on BPL, and
if he is wrong, we would all pay dearly for taking his word for it. 

I'm no engineer, but it seems to me a power line makes a much better
antenna than a feedline at HF and VHF. Mike's statement about PLC is true,
but PLC doesn't occupy nearly the spectrum BPL may (PLC is mostly LF and
VLF, as I recall) , and is not nearly as common as BPL will become, if the
power companies can make it pay --which is not a certainty. DSL and cable
broadband won't roll over and die just because power companies get into the
game, and both have a big head start. 

I wonder what American Electric Power would do in my neighborhood, to
deliver BPL past all their line noise and aging hardware. Would they just
crank up the power and hope to drown it out? They've made some pretty bad
decisions about maintenance in the last decades, and the poor quality of
our power shows it. I don't expect they would be any smarter about BPL. 

DSL isn't out here, yet, due to poor phone line quality and distance from
the CO, but I suspect it will be, soon. Cable is already here. Can AEP use
BPL to carve out enough customers to pay stockholders, without cutting
corners on maintenance and delivering even poorer service?  I doubt it, but
I don't want to wade in BPL noise while they figure out it was a bad idea. 

Sorry, Mike (Martin), but I think you're wrong on this one. 

Tom Cox, KT9OM

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