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[RFI] Across-the-bay line noise from 17 miles away

To: <RFI@contesting.com>
Subject: [RFI] Across-the-bay line noise from 17 miles away
From: "John Pelham" <john@radiophile.com>
Reply-to: john@radiophile.com
Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2011 09:22:04 -0500
List-post: <rfi@contesting.com">mailto:rfi@contesting.com>
Peter, K3ZM, posted this amazing story in another venue. He gave me
permission to post it here. I'm hoping you find it as interesting as I did.
It's FYI only; as far as I know he doesn't monitor this reflector.



As most of you know, I have been plagued by line noise from the Southeast
for more than a year.  On the new XMIT four square, it is S9 when pointed SE
without the K3's attenuator on and on AM detector.  On the RX four
square(s), it is S7 with their pre-amps in line and AM detector on.  I have
simply dealt with it.  But it has disrupted my ability to phase my pair of
Receive four squares broadside to EU and in-line to JA and really annoys me
in general.  So, I ramped up my efforts to track it down.

I am blessed now with three different very directive switchable arrays on
160m.  With these, I narrowed the noise down to an azimuth of 140 degrees,
plus or minus 5 degrees, I thought.  That was pretty good detective work.
The noise is very faint on 80m and disappears above 6.2 mhz, another large

I proved that the noise was not coming from the three houses (that's all
there is - remember, I'm practically on the coast line!) to my southeast,
two of which are almost never occupied anyway.  All was silent here on the
mainland for all that I could ever determine.

Horrified, I faced the inevitable conclusion that the noise was coming from
the Eastern Shore of Virginia, on the OTHER SIDE OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY.  To
the southeast, this would be at least 17 miles away.  I thought I was safe
here.  That's why we chose the place!!

So on Thursday, I drove there.  It is a 2 1/2 hour drive, each way.  Over
the York River (as in Yorktown), over and under the James River, past VA
Beach, then over the 17 mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to the Eastern

I targeted the town of Cape Charles, which was very close to my determined
azimuth.  As soon as I got close to downtown Cape Charles, I knew I had
found the mother lode.  I found the pole.  It was arcing.  You could hear it
buzzing audibly.  As a bonus, I found another bothersome pole, which was a
mere amateur compared to the really bad one.  I used the car radio, a
general coverage Yaesu receiver that belonged to our late brother-in-law, my
MFJ 2m AM noise-finding dipole, and my MFJ 2m AM noise-finding yagi.

I called the power company on the Eastern Shore at 8 AM today.  They had a
crew at the pole by 10:00 AM and confirmed my suspicions.  Would it be okay
if they didn't get it fixed until later in the day?  they asked.  "Fine," I
said.   (!!!)

The noise disappeared at 2PM.  Hallelujah!

I drove 5 hours to track down this noise source, traversing three large
bodies of water and paying $19 in tolls.  It doesn't get much better than





John, W1JA

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