Grow lights may indeed be the #1 source of ham RFI complaints received by
the ARRL. But all RFI issues endured by Hams are not reported to the League.
As an Interference Investigator for a large electric utility I've often
wondered about the wideband noises I hear and pinpoint to various otherwise
non-descript houses. I always assumed it was one of the many switching power
supply-equipped devices I've found in customer's homes that was the actual
source of the interference they blamed on my employer. Of course I've also
wondered why certain instances of the otherwise unidentified wideband noise
was so strong. Another slice of naiveté shaved away.
Hams represent a very large percentage of my interference cases. The vast
majority of their sources are power line issues. In 7 years as a utility
investigator and decades of previous land mobile interference searches, I've
never come across a "grow house." If the source isn't power line-based, it's
usually a consumer electronic device with the occasional street light thrown
in for some variety.
I guess if I keep doing this kind of work for another 10 years I'll
eventually run into a grow house. In years past I had no problem taking a
walk around a residence wearing my clearly marked hard hat and ID with my
pinpointing gear. Guess I'll think twice about that in the future.
Given the ubiquitous nature of electric distribution facilities throughout
our communities, it's hard to fathom that anything else could produce more
RFI complaints. However, the tsunami of noisy switching power supplies
washing over us is definitely giving the power grid a run for its money.
Happy New Year!!
Frank N. Haas KB4T
Electric Utility Interference Investigator
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2011 10:06:08 -0500
From: "RFI Services' Michael Martin" <email@example.com>
Subject: [RFI] A wish
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
"I was told that "grow lights" are now the #1 source of ham RFI complaints
at the ARRL; eclipsing power line noise complaints."
Michael C. Martin
6469 Old Solomons Island Rd
Tracys Landing, MD 20779
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