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Re: [RFI] Towers/Antennas Near 138kV Transmission Lines

To: "Rodger Devillier" <rcdevillier@gmail.com>, <rfi@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [RFI] Towers/Antennas Near 138kV Transmission Lines
From: "Paul Christensen" <w9ac@arrl.net>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2006 19:50:37 -0400
List-post: <mailto:rfi@contesting.com>
>> The real problem, IMO, is if you have a problem it takes an
>> act of Congress to get something done. It is terribly
>> expensive to work on those lines and they never want to take
>> them out of service.

Yes, they really detest taking down the main distribution system for 
maintenance.  I live 700' from a series of three separate and parallel 230KV 
feeders from the Jacksonville Electric Authority.  The feeders cross the St. 
Johns River and the area around my subdivision is one of the first 
sub-station drops.

For the first two years I lived here, there was hardly a trace of noise. 
Now, the noise is so bad most of the time, that its no longer enjoyable to 
operate.  The noise is most pronounced at 7.010 MHz.  My favorite band? 
40M.  My favorite mode?  CW.  I couldn't have made the circumstances this 
bad if I tried.  The worst of the arcing must be coupling to one of the 
horizontal lines with a resonance near 40M.  The time right after a good 
rain is best for operating (salt is washed away) and I have to enjoy the 
time while I have it.

The person responsible for the maintenance of the system is an extra-class 
ham, and he's a registered P.E.  He and his support crew are nice guys, but 
their follow-through has been abysmal.  I once demonstrated the effect of 
the +20 dB/S9 noise with an without the noise blanker and his initial advice 
was "why not just keep the noise blanker on?"  Ever have that feeling like 
someone just punched you in the stomach?

Last spring, two of the three 230KV feeders went through an fairly 
comprehensive insulator replacement.  The glazed porcelain insulators were 
replaced with a newer material, the name of which escapes me.  With any 
luck, they will have the funding next year for the last set of replacements.

I was considering the purchase of the new DX Engineering noise canceling 
unit, but if the noise is cumulative from several insulators which emanates 
from different directions, I suspect it won't be too useful.

Paul, W9AC 

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