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[RFI] Apartment complex RFI associated with Fire Alarm Control Panel cir

To: RFI <rfi@contesting.com>
Subject: [RFI] Apartment complex RFI associated with Fire Alarm Control Panel circuit
From: Don Kirk <wd8dsb@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 2019 12:40:18 -0500
List-post: <mailto:rfi@contesting.com>
Since its been pretty slow on this list, thought I would share my most
recent RFI problem that I've been working on (tracking down) which has
included a few new twists.

Noticed around the end of January a constant signal on 1.828 MHz at my QTH
(looks like the interference from this source is also on additional
frequencies inside and outside of the 160 meter band).  My small pennant RX
antennas indicated the signal was originating from a direction of 83
degrees and subsequent portable triangulation indicated the interference
was originating from an Apartment complex about 0.75 miles from my QTH (in
reality it probably will turn out to be 87 degrees from my QTH).

Long story short, lawyers from the apartment complex got involved when I
contacted the apartment complex.  I have to sign an access agreement every
time I walk the apartment complex grounds and I must always be accompanied
by an employee of the apartment complex.  While the access agreement was a
first for me, the relationship has been very cordial between the management
company and myself.

Yesterday was my second trip to the apartment complex and I was able to
track the interference source down to a Fire Alarm Control Panel circuit
(first visit I tracked the problem down to the circuit breaker box that
feeds the Fire Alarm Control Panel circuit).  Yesterday in order to narrow
down on the Fire Alarm Control Panel circuit we had to notify the local
fire department that we were going to momentarily turn off the circuit
breaker feeding the Fire Alarm Control Panel (contacted them to make sure
we did not generate a false alarm run by the fire department).

Here is a link to a youtube video from yesterday showing what we saw when
we opened and closed the circuit breaker feeding the Fire Alarm Control
Panel circuit.  https://youtu.be/UqLQ-mmUrVA

Another new twist was that the FACP (Fire Alarm Control Panel) circuit
breaker has a mechanical lock which prevents the circuit breaker from being
turned off that we had to remove for our tests (then reinstalled when we
were done).

Next step is to work with the people responsible for the
installation/maintenance of the Fire Alarm Control Panel, and once again we
will likely have to notify the fire department of our activities.

P.S. It (RFI) never ends.

Just FYI,
Don (wd8dsb)
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