[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [RFI] I will have the CEO of my electric utility arrested (Was:Re:I

To: "John Pelham" <john@radiophile.com>, <rfi@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [RFI] I will have the CEO of my electric utility arrested (Was:Re:I will have you arrested)
From: "Edward Swynar" <gswynar@durham.net>
Date: Wed, 10 Feb 2010 10:18:05 -0500
List-post: <rfi@contesting.com">mailto:rfi@contesting.com>
Hi John,

Again I say, "SUE THE BUMS!!!"

...Or at the very least, spend whatever it might cost to get a lawyer to
write the el presidente of the power company a nice, formal, matter-of-fact
letter...that surely would grab his attention, allowing the subsequent
trickle down effect to commence.

~73~ de Eddy VE3CUI - VE3XZ


----- Original Message -----
From: "John Pelham" <john@radiophile.com>
To: <rfi@contesting.com>
Sent: Wednesday, February 10, 2010 9:13 AM
Subject: [RFI] I will have the CEO of my electric utility arrested (Was:Re:I
will have you arrested)

> Frank, your "have you arrested" posting made me so angry that I knew I had
> to wait until today to rewrite what I wrote yesterday. You wouldn't want
> have read yesterday's missive. I realize you were trying to make a point,
> but your approach really, really rankled.
> I first complained to my utility about power-line RFI in January 2000.  I
> have many sources with different sounds, signatures and beam headings from
> my station. Over the years, a few of the sources have been fixed, most
> haven't, and it seems that they come and go from time to time. Perhaps old
> ones burn out to be replaced by new ones with new behaviors; I'm not sure.
> I've kept logs of the RFI issues and my dealings with the utility. They
> would fill over 50 single-spaced pages if printed. I've had ARRL involved
> since 2005, and Mike Gruber, ARRL's power-line troubleshooter, has visited
> my station at one point. I've also had an FCC field inspection. And I've
> many visits from the utility's RFI troubleshooter, and have sacrificed
> personal vacation days from time to time to do joint troubleshooting with
> him.
> All of this effort over a decade has produced little in the way of
> When I am able to identify a suspect pole, the utility is often not able
> find or fix anything. The utility's investigator has spent many, many days
> and hours in my area looking, but has been spectacularly unsuccessful most
> of the time. Both ARRL and FCC have written letters, again to little
> So, to use your line of thinking I should have the CEO of my utility
> arrested. The company has been engaging in unlawful behavior for over a
> decade. But of course I can't. I'm just an individual with limited time
> money. The CEO and his corporation are wealthy, and have a team of lawyers
> on staff.
> Just recently my utility's RFI investigator has been able to borrow a
> Engineers model 240, the unit that has a built-in scope for capturing, and
> matching noise signatures. Last month we (another vacation day used up)
> attempted to use it. We spent most of a day searching for a particular
> noise, but we never found it. On subsequent days I observed from home that
> this particular RFI source changes its signature as it warms up. In
> retrospect I believe we did find the RFI source; we just didn't realize it
> because it was later in the day and by that time the signature no longer
> matched the one we captured earlier at my station.
> Frank, your recommendation, in another branch of this thread, to work with
> my state's Public Service Commission is well taken. When I recover enough
> willpower to take on another stab at this with another agency, this will
> my next step.
> John, W1JA
> --------------------------------------------------
> From: "Frank Haas KB4T" <kb4t@arrl.net>
> Sent: Tuesday, February 09, 2010 5:31 PM
> To: <rfi@contesting.com>
> Subject: [RFI] I will have you arrested
> > I am an interference investigator for a large electric utility in
> > Florida. If I see someone hitting a power pole with a sledge hammer
> > (or anything else) I call the police and have that person arrested.
> > Tampering with utility equipment is foolhardy, unlawful and doesn't
> > solve the core problem.
> >
> > If you know what you are doing and trust your equipment, you don't
> > need to tamper with utility equipment. If you don't know what you are
> > doing and don't have equipment to trust, enlist the aid of someone in
> > your area who does. Call the utility and request an interference
> > investigation. Work with the utility to help them locate the problem
> > especially if they don't seem skilled enough to do it themselves.
> > (Interacting with the utility is an entirely new thread!!)
> >
> > I have said this before here: You don't have the right to tamper with
> > utility distribution equipment. As has been pointed out by many here,
> > you can be injured or killed. Sure it's rare to get caught and rare
> > that things fall off poles but it does happen. The police in my
> > territory are happy to respond and arrest people tampering with
> > utility equipment.
> >
> > If I determine that interference is coming from your home rather than
> > from power distribution facilities near your home, is it appropriate
> > for me to start beating on your house to try and change or stop the
> > interference? Of course not. For this same reason, you don't have the
> > right to tamper with utility equipment.
> >
> > In many respects, locating interference sources is much like regular
> > direction finding. You need equipment that can pinpoint the source.
> > You must learn to trust your equipment. Buzzing interference can come
> > from many NON-UTILITY sources. The biggest mistake many people make is
> > ASSUMING a source is coming from utility equipment. These days it's no
> > longer a slam dunk that the buzz you hear is utility-based. I'll
> > comment on this later in this note. Rule #1: Assume NOTHING! Trust
> > your equipment to lead you DIRECTLY to the source.
> >
> > It's somewhat difficult to carry an 80 or 40 meter beam around. Small
> > loop antennas work well for sources that can't be heard much above 7
> > MHz. I use one I picked up at the Dayton Hamvention a few years ago.
> > Check out: http://www.g4tph.com/. A loop antenna coupled to a handheld
> > receiver capable of AM reception throughout the HF spectrum with a
> > usable signal strength indicator makes for a nice portable low
> > frequency DFing kit.  http://www.homingin.com/joemoell/80intro.html
> > offers links to other low frequency DFing options.
> >
> > I rarely need to use my loop set however. I use an Icom IC-7000
> > installed in my company truck with a Hi-Q 4/80 tunable antenna to
> > listen easily from 1.7 to 144 MHz. Starting from the customer's
> > location, I listen on the affected frequency (often in the 80M ham
> > band) and drive around in an expanding circle or square. When the
> > signal begins to max out the signal strength indicator, I tune to the
> > next higher harmonic or even higher and continue to drive. With many
> > sources and nearly all power line sources, I can hear the signal on
> > VHF. If so, within a short time, I'm parked within one pole or one
> > house of the source. Handheld equipment points me directly to the
> > source. If the signal is never heard much above 7 or 8 MHz the loop
> > set is broken out at the point where the signal strength maxes and the
> > foot search begins.
> >
> > The vast majority of real power line interference sources can be heard
> > well up to 300 MHz as you get closer to the source. At VHF, it's easy
> > to pinpoint the pole. Once you have located the pole, leave the rest
> > to the utility. There are a few power line sources that can't be heard
> > above about 8 MHz even when you are close. Loop antennas have pointed
> > me to these sources. A power line source that is farther away than a
> > 1/2 mile, may not be heard at VHF at the starting point. Instead, the
> > low frequency components of the interference are heard. Small loops
> > can point you in the right direction. As you travel in the direction
> > of the source, the signal strength will increase. As the signal gets
> > stronger listen higher and higher in frequency until you can point at
> > the source with a small yagi.
> >
> > Once you have located the pole, it's next to impossible to determine
> > from the ground what might be wrong without very expensive specialty
> > equipment. 50% of the time, even the expensive specialty equipment
> > won't pinpoint the actual problem. I'm not a lineman. I don't climb
> > poles and I don't have a bucket truck. I do use binoculars to closely
> > examine equipment on a suspect pole. Sometimes I can see the problem
> > but very often I can't. Only a utility crew working with a skilled
> > investigator can take the right steps to find the source and eliminate
> > it.
> >
> > As the ham radio community begins to comprehend the spreading epidemic
> > of HF spectrum pollution that overrun the US, the ability to DF
> > interference sources is going to become ever more important. The
> > tsunami of garbage electronics flooding the store shelves and
> > streaming into your neighborhood will be much more of a problem than
> > the occasional power line interference issues that crop up. Keep in
> > mind that your utility cannot resolve non-utility interference issues.
> > For an illuminating introduction to this epidemic, take a walk around
> > your neighborhood with a battery operated handheld shortwave receiver
> > tuned to your favorite HF band. Be ready for a shock. You will
> > understand in short order why the noise floor in your receiver is so
> > high now. Power line interference pales in comparison.
> >
> > Smacking a pole with anything is against the law and doesn't solve the
> > basic problem. Work with the utility to resolve the problem. Learn
> > their process and use it to your advantage. The problem will be
> > resolved safely and more quickly.
> >
> > Want to take a sledge hammer to something? Replace your neighbor's
> > Whackycrap 5000 Deluxe with the spectrum-blanketing switching power
> > supply. Then use the sledge hammer to crush it so it can be mailed in
> > an envelope to the uncaring importer/manufacturer who designed it,
> > imported it and allowed it to pollute the spectrum in your
> > neighborhood.
> >
> > Good luck.
> >
> > 73,
> >
> > Frank N. Haas KB4T
> > Professional Interference Investigator
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > RFI mailing list
> > RFI@contesting.com
> > http://lists.contesting.com/mailman/listinfo/rfi
> _______________________________________________
> RFI mailing list
> RFI@contesting.com
> http://lists.contesting.com/mailman/listinfo/rfi

RFI mailing list

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>