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Re: [RFI] Power Line RFI in Corn Country

To: rfi@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [RFI] Power Line RFI in Corn Country
From: jimk8mr@aol.com
Date: Sat, 16 Jan 2010 11:29:38 EST
List-post: <rfi@contesting.com">mailto:rfi@contesting.com>

It's great that you were able to get the power company out that quick. I'm  
If things don't get resolved, get the radio station involved. They have an  
interest in people being able to hear their station, and may have more  
influence, both with the FCC if needed, and as a commercial customer of the  
power company.
I can generally do noise location down to a particular pole using a 6 el  
432 MHz yagi and a receiver with an AM detector.  My Icom IC-R10 and Yaesu  
VX-2 both work well. 
73   -  Jim  K8MR

In a message dated 1/16/2010 11:18:30 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
wesattaway@bellsouth.net writes:
You could do some further searching (if you  want the practice) by checking
the noise at higher frequencies.   Generally, the closer you get to the
source the higher you can go in  frequency and still hear the noise.  The
power company will probably do  this, but you might have fun trying  it

------------------ Wes Attaway (N5WA)  ------------------
1138 Waters Edge Circle - Shreveport, LA  71106
318-797-4972 (office) - 318-393-3289  (cell)
Computer Consulting and  Forensics
-------------- EnCase Certified Examiner  ---------------

-----Original Message-----
From:  rfi-bounces@contesting.com [mailto:rfi-bounces@contesting.com] On
Behalf Of  Dale Svetanoff
Sent: Friday, January 15, 2010 10:47 PM
To: RFI List
Cc:  Dick W Jones; Larry Wacha; Ron B. NN0L
Subject: [RFI] Power Line RFI in Corn  Country


New Years wishes to everyone.  I decided to get  my new year off on a good
start - or, so I hope!   Today, 15  January, I contacted Alliant Energy, my
electric power provider, about severe  RFI that has existed at or near my
location for most of 2009.  (Yes, I  should have done something about it
months ago, but that elusive round-to-it  could not be found.)  The bands
most affected are 160, 75, and 40  meters.  I have determined that the
primary source of the wide bandwidth  buzz saw is about 1 mile from my 
in an ESE direction.  A few  rides in my truck with the AM radio tuned to 
local station, 600 kHz WMT,  found the hottest point.  WMT, with 5 kW about
15 miles away, is totally  inaudible under the racket when driving by one
particular cluster of power  poles.

I made my call at about 2 PM local time.  At about 3:30 PM,  local time, I
had a call from a line engineer who said he had been to my  house and was 
parked under the power lines I had described to the very  pleasant lady who
took my call.  He confirmed that WMT was wiped out on  the BC radio in his
truck, as well.  Further, he mentioned that they  have had a few complaints
from farmers in that area that they can not hear  the farm reports on WMT 
to the noise.

When I moved out here 9  years ago, residual noise on 75 and 40 was about S0
to S3, max.  The  noise level would go up to about S6 or S7 in the fall when
the grain dryers  are running (probably from their ignition systems).  There
are dozens of  grain dryers within a mile or so of my place.  In early 2009,
the buzz  saw started, intermittent at first, then got worse as the year 
on.   The noise level on 160m is now S9+10, on 75m it is S7 to S9, and on
40m,  about S3 to S7.  I can hear harmonics of this stuff up as high as  6m.
Today was a first step.  The engineer told me that he will call in  for 
special RFI tracking unit to see what can be found.  One  problem: the area
in which the noise is located has power lines from two  separate utilities:
Alliant has the 12.5 kV lines for local distribution, and  another company
has the 34 kV lines for inter-area distribution.  If the  noise is on the 34
kV lines, Alliant said that they will inform the other  company and keep the
ball r
olling.  Hopefully, I will not have to  chase down the other guys.

I am thrilled and amazed that Alliant had a  crew on the problem barely more
than an hour after I called.  The crew  confirmed my suspicions and they
understand that I am a licensed Amateur  Radio op with a station (the
engineer saw the tower farm at my house).   I have read about many fiascoes
with power companies on the reflector, so I  thought I'd post my experiences
to see if my luck is any better or  different.  I know that many, if not
most, power companies do cooperate  in RFI issues.  I won't bore you with a
blog, but I'll update the list  (or even ask questions) as the process
evolves.  Hopefully, someone else  can benefit from the info.

Note:  The lady who took my info said  that I provided much more and better
details than they usually get.  For  the record, I gave her my specific
location, the road intersection where I  found max noise, the call letters
and frequency of the local AM station, and  a description on the sound and
what has been happening (including the fact  that the whole mess may clear 
for several minutes to an hour at a  time).  I also gave her the specific
frequency bands that have been most  affected.  

73,  Dale

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