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Re: [RFI] Looking for ideas about yet another noise source

To: kb4t@arrl.net
Subject: Re: [RFI] Looking for ideas about yet another noise source
From: "Roger (K8RI)" <k8ri@rogerhalstead.com>
Date: Sun, 12 Jul 2009 20:47:09 -0400
List-post: <rfi@contesting.com">mailto:rfi@contesting.com>

Frank Haas KB4T wrote:
> Chris:
> The random nature of your pulsing interference means you will have to
> invest more time to find the source. It's not going to be easy and
> will likely be very time consuming because of its intermittent nature.
> You have the right tools so now you have to use them to the best
> advantage. 
How about building up one of those "doppler shift" antennas?  I've seen 
them used on 2-meters and for close in work I'd think it could be 
adapted to 20.

For years I've chased what at times can be an obnoxious and loud hash.  
It should be easy to catch as it's often on for some time, but  
unfortunately when I get the chance to chase it, every time I get about 
a city block to the SE it disappears and does not come back.  It's like 
they are watching for me...Nothing like a little paranoia.
When it's on it's loud at well over S-9 including the entire 6-meter 
band, down to some where a bit above 40 meters.  It's normally a day 
time signal that is strong from the NE to S where it fades rapidly.  The 
only electric fence in that direction is probably a bit over a mile. 
While there is one to the S that I've never heard.  There is one of the 
big high tensions lines that at its closest is about a quarter mile to 
the NE but I've never heard anything in that direction.

OTOH I haven't heard it in over a year. 


Roger (K8RI)
> Keep a log and note the day(s) and time(s) that the interference
> occurs. Is there a time/day when it seems to occur more frequent. If
> you keep a log for several days, do you note an increase or decrease
> in activity. 
> Is the activity level affected by environment? Day or night, warm or
> cool? Prime time vs. Daytime? Trend analysis may show you better times
> to hunt the source. 
> If you are convinced that the source is not in your home, you will
> have to start walking around the neighborhood particularly at times
> your trend analysis says you are likely to hear the source. 
> If the signal level varies from moment to moment you will have to note
> the highest and lowest levels and try to find an attenuator setting
> that gives you something in the middle. Another approach might be to
> set the attenuator so the level is more or less consistently low and
> start moving around to see if there are any locations where the signal
> strength seems higher? 
> I could go on and on but hopefully by now you see my point. Thorny
> problems like yours require collecting more data and thinking more
> about how you can use your tools to your advantage. Invest the time
> and use your tools wisely and you will locate your source. 
> I can't encourage you enough NOT to SPECULATE as to what the source
> might be. In my experience, guessing what the source might be has been
> a waste of time. Even with all the experience I have now, I rely on my
> tools to lead me directly to the source. The only meandering I'll do
> is in the early stages of the hunt when I'm trying to find the general
> direction I must take to the source. Once I get a "lock" I focus on
> that direction. Sometimes it takes a bit of effort to get the "lock"
> but that's what the trend analysis and wide open receivers do for me.
> I prefer to work smart rather than work hard. I hate to waste time so
> I limit guessing as much as possible. 
> Good luck & 73,
> Frank N. Haas KB4T
> -----Original Message-----
> Message: 4
> Date: Sun, 12 Jul 2009 02:33:05 -0500 (CDT)
> From: "Christopher E. Brown" <cbrown@woods.net>
> Subject: Re: [RFI] Looking for ideas about yet another noise source
> To: kb4t@arrl.net
> Cc: rfi@contesting.com
> Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.0907120217560.19313@tree.woods.net>
> Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed
> I have a Grundig SW rig, but I find the HT (wideband receive w/ AM)
> with a step attenuator and a small shielded loop to be more useful.
> Also have a simple coax faraday pickup for in close.
> The issue is that the signal is strong but *SHORT*, think snap your
> fingers short, and while it may repeat after a few seconds the long
> term average is a couple times a minute or less.
> If I had a second or 2 to rotate the loop...  But I don't.
> I even tried connecting the loop to the main tranceiver mounted to the
> desk so that I could try to plot long term averages while rotating the
> loop 5 deg every 10 minutes.  Only problem, the peak reading for the
> pulse varies up to 40db from pulse to pulse. 
> I am pretty much down to guessing likely canadates, adding enough
> attenuation to lose the pulses, and then placing the loop phyically
> close to suspect devices and waiting.  The only thing I do know is
> that it is not in home or a reciever generated issue.  All AC power
> cut, still there. 
> 2 seperate HF rigs and an HT on three seperate antennas, still there
> on all three.
> Even went as far as listening on one receiver/antenna, then cutting
> power to that receiver and powering up another just to totally rule
> out the radio gear as a source.
> I keep hoping that whatever the device is it is some form of
> "statekeeping" status, and that I can catch it in an active state
> generating pulse trains of 10 seconds or longer so I can properly DF
> it.
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