Ai7b at Ai7b at
Mon Dec 11 02:54:07 EST 1995





>From Dave Pascoe <dave at>  Mon Dec 11 11:18:53 1995
From: Dave Pascoe <dave at> (Dave Pascoe)
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 06:18:53 -0500 (EST)
Subject: ARRL 10m - WS1C (Multi)
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.3.91.951211061836.12876L-100000 at zippy>

WS1C (+KM3T) Multiop

State: MA
Time on: 13 hours (approx)

CW   180    5    32
SSB  235    8    30
     415   13    62      =  89,250

Rig: IC-765 + SB-220 (900W out)
Antenna: 10el LP @ 55'

- Andrea and I decided to do a laid back multi-op
- The propagation gods made sure it was laid back!
- More ops need to learn scatter techniques.....having done 6m scatter 
  and 2m meteor scatter for a long time, this contest felt almost exactly 
  like a VHF contest, with mediocre forward scatter
- W9OEH (another VHF op) and N9QX were in consistently on scatter
  IN seems to be ideal scatter range from MA
- Scatter quite good Sunday AM compared to Saturday
- Some scattered Es (sporadic-E) on both days...better on Sunday
- Pipeline into FL,GA,NC,southern VA Sunday afternoon...made for some 
- West coast (CA/NV/CO/AZ) in on Sunday afternoon (weak)
- Thrill having CT1BOH answer CQ.....
- South America and Africa in both days
- Heard KY1H and WA2JQK work VK/ZL Sunday afternoon.....antenna too low here!
- Even with poor condx, there's something magnetic about 10m

>From KI8W <ki8w at>  Sun Dec 10 16:35:45 1995
From: KI8W <ki8w at> (KI8W)
Date: Sun, 10 Dec 95 11:35:45 -0500
Subject: 10 Meter score
Message-ID: <9512111138.AA28669 at>

-- [ From: KI8W * EMC.Ver #2.5.02 ] --

Single Op Assisted, High Power, Mixed

Hours of operation (3)

CW QSO'S	32x4=128
SSB QSO'S	73x2=146
	             105     274
MULT'S		        x 33

>From Jeff Bolda <0005782837 at>  Mon Dec 11 12:31:00 1995
From: Jeff Bolda <0005782837 at> (Jeff Bolda)
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 95 07:31 EST
Subject: 10M from AC4NJ
Message-ID: <10951211123101/0005782837DC4EM at MCIMAIL.COM>

-- [ From: Jeff Bolda * EMC.Ver #2.03 ] --

            ARRL 10 METER CONTEST -- 1995

 Call: AC4NJ  (WC4E op) 
 Category: Single Operator, Mixed mode, High Power

 CW       278     39       11
 SSB      542     47       15
 Totals   820     86       26  =   245,952

Equipment Description:
IC765 - Titan 
TH-11 95'

Club Affiliation: Florida Contest Group

Ok, so it's Sunday afternoon, new rotator dies, antenna stuck WSW.
No problem, the band is vertually dead all day, there won't many 
stations to work, right? With my host pacing behind me wanting to work
the 1A0 on and 80 and 160, I tune the band one more time and hear only
the CW Beacon man, K1ZX/4. I let my host sit down and I pack up my stuff
and drive home at 22:30. Then I hear all the stories of the last hour
being really hot. %$#@! And I stayed up til 04z each night only to miss
the hottest hour of the contest. How fitting for a strange weekend.
Could have been a closer fight.
Next year IS going to be better!

73, Jeff WC4E

>From mwdink at (Michael Dinkelman)  Mon Dec 11 14:43:24 1995
From: mwdink at (Michael Dinkelman) (Michael Dinkelman)
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 06:43:24 -0800
Subject: Summary-Power Lines
Message-ID: <199512111445.GAA10518 at>

First of all, I just want to thank all who responded
to my query - it exceeded my expectations. To my surprise,
a large number of readers were just as curious about the
results of my questions as I was so the following summary
is to meet that demand. Hope you enjoy it and learn as
much as I did. I will be staying as far away from these 
sites as I can. 73 Mike, WA7UVJ

P.S. Oh.... The last house my broker took me to (he
didn't preview) had the bloody tower for the lines
in the front yard of a wonderful 2 acre site with the
lines almost directly over a nice farmhouse (all in 
foreclosure cause NOBODY's gonna buy it). It would
have made an excellent radio site otherwise... sigh!!


My original post.....

>        As I work on expanding my contest station (which also
>serves as a home) from a city lot to an "estate" in the country
>with some room for real antennas - I have run into a quandry.
>        Some of the best radio locations are directly next to
>or within a short distance (< 1/4 mile) of cross country high
>power transmission lines. I have always told the realtor that 
>I did not want anything to do with such properties and will 
>not consider them. 
>        This attitude comes from being able to point a beam at such 
>lines that are withn a similar distance from where I live now and 
>have the noise level go up as the beam turns. Also, I have ridden 
>on bike trails under such lines and the crackling (under wet conditions)
>I hear from such lines leaves me with the distinct idea that they 
>generate lots of noise. Alas, my brother-in-law (who works for a 
>power company) says they shouldn't be a noise source raising doubts 
>in my mind.
>        Two questions:
>        1) Am I wrong in avoiding such properties for a serious radio
>location - my heart says no? (I wish to avoid the current real debate over
>the effects of high power electro-magentic fields on living people for
>the purposes of this discussion)
>        2) How far away is a reasonable distance? (This my realtor wants
>to know especially)
>        I realize that there are all kinds of different power lines and
>each can be administered by different utilities. Maybe, I can get some
>real life experiences from contesters who have run into this problem
>as well as comments from Hams who work for power comapanies.


The answers....... (with some editing)

>From Dave, N0DH/7

Been here, done this, lived 1/8 and 1/4 miles from hi tension
lines in the past, have since moved to the country where the
only thing I am contending with is an electric fence which 
the neighbor and I finally "fixed". High tension lines are
definitely a noise source especially durimg adverse Wx.

Avoid power lines like the plague. They do cause interference
and like it or not for at least 3 reasons that I know off 
they will make your property harder to re-sell in the future.

a) They look ugly
b) some people are afraid of the E-M fields thing
c) Another Ham in his right mind wont buy it eaither even 
   if you leave him the	tower

If you are planning on mostly 20 meters and above 1/4 mile is 
enough. If you are serious about 160 meters then a mile or 
more is not unreasonable to look for.

>From Hal, WA7EGA

When I moved to the country, I put an HF radio in the car 
with a vertical and checked out the sites. That takes care
of overall noisey things like bad local distribution and 
electric fences. (Electric fences are easily filtered). I 
now have zero s-unit noise but I can hear the neon signs and
power substation in a town that is 3 miles away!  Other hams 
have been able to read 3 or 4 s-units on power distribution 
lines several miles away.

Stick to your guns. The property is the single biggest expense
and, next to geographic location (W1 Vs. W0), the most difficult
to overcome when you get your station on the air.  If you get a 
nice house with an S7 noise level when you point it at 
Europe (or the Carribean), you might just as well get a new

>From Ward, N0AX

"Shouldn't" is not the same as "Isn't" might want to 
remind you bro-in-law of this.  Also, noise to you means 
masking that piss-weak JA on 80 an hour after local sunrise.
Noise to the power company means a visible arc...

One-half mile MINIMUM from any feeder >50kV.  Residential stuff 
up to 10kV or so is so prevalent that you're stuck with it.  
If you can get into an area that has buried feeders, so much 
the better, but these are usually pretty pricey and full of 
fussy covenants, too.

Speaking of which, talk to <deleted> at the next meeting about 
making your offer contingent on the lack of restrictive covenants.
It's caveat emptor out there and what the realtor "says" is not 
legally binding.  You have to have it written into the offer in 
strict "gimme my money back plus damages and expenses" lingo to 
have any assurance that the deed was thoroughly inspected.  
Don't listen to anyone that says you don't have to have it 
in writing.  When we bought our house, every of the past three
sales had had some error made...

>From Dale, N4REE/1 

I lived for three years next to a high tension right-of-way 
on the north side of Atlanta. I had a 50 ft. tower with a 
Cushcraft A4 at 55 ft. the tower was approximately 200 ft. 
from the first of two sets of high tension lines (500 KV 
and 750 KV). I also had a full wave delta loop set up for
160-80-40m. The loop was about 100 ft. from the lines.

I never had any radio interference from the high tension 
lines, except once when the power company replaced a section
of line. There was some minor RFI (60 Hz buzz) on the low 
bands. I called the power company and they came right out 
and fixed it (it was a bad connection). They thanked me
for calling to report the problem. The engineer I talked 
to said they tried to minimize the RF noise (which was 
usually due to a bad ohmic connection on the tower insulators)
because bad contacts caused heating and consequent
power loss along the line.

I actually found that the noise on the low voltage (400v/3000v)
local distribution lines was more of a problem - harder to 
identify and harder to get the power company interested in 
since the power loss is much lower due to lower voltages.

All that being said, when I tried to sell my house I was 
told repeatedly by agents and potential buyers that I had 
a "beautiful house, but they wouldn't buy it because of the 
fear of the power lines". This despite all the studies (which 
we had copies of) showing that you get more exposure to
magnetic fields sitting next to your alarm clock than from 
the high tension lines next door.

We ended up selling our house for a loss (I had already 
moved to Connecticut to take a new job).

So, the bottom line is: the lines shouldn't cause you RFI 
problems, but be aware of their impact on the resaleability
(and sales price) of your propoerty. However, I guess if 
you're 1/4 mile away they shouldn't have much impact on 
the resaleability of the property.

>From Tyler, KF3P

I also work for a local power company and have done
a little RFI work for them in the past.  I also live 
about 1 mile or so from 2 different runs of 230/500kv 
high lines.  I've never heard any noise from them.  It's 
rare to have noise from them because they are generally
carefully constructed on metal towers that are well grounded 
with no loose hardware and lots of clearance.  

The number one culprit around here anyway is overhead 
distribution lines that run along the street on wooden 
poles.  These are anywhere from 4kv to 69 kv feeders.  
As the poles age and dry, once tight hardware loosens up 
and starts arcing and creating noise...and this is ANY 
hardware: mounting bolts, loose grounds, etc.  You can 
also get arcing between the bell insulators, which
is quite common and can be cured with "RFI clips" - 
spring steel shorting clips wedged between the insulator flanges.

Now if I could only get my electric provider to fix 
THEIR stuff!!>@!@! I've had a horrible noise when it's dry 
in the direction of Europe of course! I dont know that I'd 
want to be within 1/4 mile of 230/500kv, but over that
probably wouldnt be a big deal.  Only other comment I'll 
make is that if you DO end up having a problem from them, 
it'll be a LOT harder to convince the power company to shut
that down and work on it! hi hi  But I've run underneath
my local 230KV lines with a TS50 in the car and a vertical
and have never even heard a peep.

>From  Lew, N7AVK

    I had a friend who is now a SK, who lived with 1 of 
those large 2 line trunks that winds toward civilization
from the dam, that was about 100 yards from his back yard. 
Don't know the power rating of the lines, but Larry couldn't 
hear worth anything. Had at the best a steady S4-5 noise 
level away from the line.... when trying to work Africa or 
JA the noise could reach S8-9.  We could detect the typical
AC noise crap up to 1 mile away when we mobile.

    Interestingly Larry, his wife and son all died from 
cancer..... course they smoked too.

     When I was looking for my QTH 10 years ago, the absence
of power lines was one of my requirements. About the only 
noise I get now are electric fences and very distant 
industrial stuff around 6M. Stick to your guns... The 
power lines DO make noise.... When I built my place I 
also ran all the power lines to the QTH underground.. Makes 
15M quiet, but the real benefit is the quiet on 2M!

>From Bill, W0ZV

Michael, I also have tried to avoid high voltage lines 
within 2 or 3 miles. However, I recently moved to be 
closer to my family and an ideal radio site (except for 
power lines) adjacent to my sister's farm.  I was naturally
concerned about these lines since they are only 1/2 mile 
away.  I drove under them several different times and at 
several different places and could hear no noise with my 
AM radio tuned up around 1700 kHz.  I am a dedicated top 
band DXer with 274 worked now, so I was very nervous
about my decision.  However, after 3 months of operation 
on 160, I think that this is the quietest location by far 
of any previous QTH's!  I believe that lines that are properly
maintained are no problem and because of the importance 
of 100+ kV lines, I believe power companies inspect these 
much more frequently than the normal 7.2 kV distribution 
lines.  I will hasten to add that I have heard many horror 
stories about HV lines such as noise being induced in 
adjacent metal structures, etc, but I can tell you
that in my case I have heard zero on 160 from these lines.
I guess the bottom line is to listen carefully to the lines
in question.  I have a strange habit of driving around with
my AM radio on 1700 and I often DO hear noise increase under
HV lines...mine just seem to be quiet and I sure
hope they stay that way!  Good luck and caveat emptor.

P.S.  While you're checking, watch out for the 7.2 kV lines
also.  They can be a terrible source of noise if they are 
not maintained.  

>From Randy, K5ZD

AF5K actually had his tower within 200' of a high tension line.
When we put up antennas at his place, I could draw an arc 
between the antenna boom and my hand.  Made it a rather 
interesting place to work!

When he got a small bad connection on the beam, the noise 
generated was incredible (from the arc).  So...this says 
you don't want to live that close to one.

At my current location, I have a powerline within .2 miles.
I do have noise when pointed directly at it.  And the noise 
does come and go depending on the wx.  I think you should 
try to be at least 1 mile away.  And even then, drive around
with a receiver on before you decide to buy.

>From Steve, WD8IXE

I purchased aviation maps from a local airport which show 
high voltage transmission lines. I used these in conjunction
with topographic maps to determine the best radio locations
within 30 minutes drive from work. I plan to show this info
to the realtor after I finish fixing up my present home. 
Hopefully, I'll be able to find a seller with 5+ acres 
in a good location over the next year or two.

>From Joe, K3RR

I would suggest you try to avoid all above-ground power
lines if possible. I moved to a rural location several 
years ago, after looking around for a long time.  
Finally bought over 100 acres and divided off 12 ac. for
myself and sold the rest, with perpetual covenants which
prohibited any installation of above-ground power lines 
or outdoor RF lighting.  My noise level on all bands is 
S-0 in all directions except one, where it is S-1
due to a fence charger on a dairy farm about a mile away.
Just bought a JPS ANC-4 for nulling that out.  My nearest
neighbor is about 1500 feet away, on land I sold to them.
In all other locations before this one, have eventually 
had noise problems from power lines and other sources. 
>From this QTH, have done packet cluster put-outs on signals
so weak that other fellows send me msgs. asking me to 
confirm the DX's frequency!

>From Dave, W6QHS

You are right to avoid high tension lines if you can.  
If you can't, they should be to the south of you so they 
won't be heard in the EU and JA directions.

As you are aware, the typical problem is with 12 kV 
distribution lines, and the most common problem is with 
the bell insulators that terminate spans where the direction
changes.  These are installed in stacks of 3, and the
clevis pins corrode and cause spark discharge that can
only be cured permanently by replacing the bell insulators
with one-piece "epoxilators". Your brother in law can show
you pictures, etc.

But, high voltage lines are supposed to be free of interference.
But they aren't on the scale of weak-signal ham radio 
contest operation!  And the problem, if it exists, is 
practically unfixable.  The typical problem is corona
discharge, which unlike spark discharge occurs over the
whole ac cycle and can't be touched by noise blankers. 
Sure it may not be S9, but even S3 noise removes a whole
layer of weak signals in a contest.

The problem is that the power company will not even touch
a high tension line unless it is about to fall down.  I've
tried to convince them that corona discharge might be the 
result of someone shooting at an insulator that is about 
to fail, but they aren't interested at all.

I have a 230 kV line about 1 mi line of sight from the 
hilltop here, and it has corona discharge that can be a 
problem for me in the EU direction. As it happens, line 
noise is often the least of the problems in a crowded
band, but I do notice the difference on 15 and 10.

What you want is terrain that slopes down from the AF 
direction through north around to the JA or VK direction,
and any power lines should be behind you to the south.  
Another good direction you may need is the LP direction
to EU (SW) and the LP direction to as Asia (SE), so it's
best to be free of big power lines. 

Although the noise you hear when you go under them may 
in part be inductive, there is still good reason to 
avoid high tension lines. I would say 2-3 miles is 
still too close.  The problem is that you won't hear
the noise until you put up a really good antenna setup, 
and then it's too late!  I don't hear any noise to speak 
of when I have my antenna at 30', but if I put up the 
tower to 70' or switch to one of my better antennas
there it is!.  The only good solution if you find yourself
in that situation is to use separate receiving antennas, 
but that's not as good as total quiet.  The two quietest 
receiving locations in the world are at EA8EA
and PJ1B.  No surprise they win every contest they compete,
although there's more to it than just receiving noise, of course.

Hope this helps.  You want foreground slope in the range 
of 3 to 10 degrees, not more and not a cliff.  And follow 
your instinct to keep all power lines out of your sight, 
especially to the north.

>From Jim, KR9U

I live 5/8 mile from a 345KV.  It is quiet during most 
of the dry season. BUT.. on the lower frequencies, esp 80 
and 160, when it is raining or damp, dew. It really 
lights up. The power company has measured 50 mv of noise 
from that line while sitting in my drive way.
I hear only signals that are above S9 +20 when it is hot.

As far as getting it fixed?  No deal. They say that it 
would cost a minimum of $10 K and probably more
to take care of it and they are not prepared to do it.

So far I have lived with it as each year it seem to 
lessen somewhat. They commented that some hunter
probably shot one of the insulators, or it is just 
"normal" corona. So far they refuse to even consider
repair. No I havn't gone the FCC route yet.

I'm not saying that all lines have this noise but, it 
could pop up at any time.

>From Dave, K1VUT

My station is located exactly 1/4 mile from 100 
foot high high-tension lines.  (They are located 
in the NE direction - exactly where I point my
beam for Europe.)  When I raised my two towers 
from the 65/65 foot levels to 100/89 foot levels, 
I noticed an increase in static, especially when pointed
in the NE direction.

However, the interesting part of my experience is 
that the static is not always a problem.  Sometimes it 
is not noticeable at all.  However, if either 10 or 15 
meters is only barely open, the static on those bands is
quite noticeable.  Also, during summer rain storms it 
badly affects 10/15/20 - regardless of the direction 
of the yagis.  After the storm, the static is
hardly noticeable.

I imagine that this problem is also somewhat dependent 
on the xcvr you are using.  I use a TS-930s, and I 
imagine that it's quiet rcvr characteristics
make my problem a lot more bearable than some 
other xcvrs would.

I think the whole problem is something that you will have
to weigh carefully as there are many variables.  I hope 
my experience will give you some useful ideas in making
your decision.

>From Tony, GW4VEQ

I now live in the country, and have paid for the 
power-cable coming to the qth to be put underground,
these are 11kva run's, and terminate in a transformer
to convert to 240v standard we use here in the UK. 
I had problems with a fuse insulator on the 11kva
line once, which started tracking accross, and made
it impossible for me to rx EME signals on 2m. I searched
high and low for the culprit, but was looking in the wrong
place, as the ceramic fuse-holder was half-way up the 
power line pole. Eventually the tracking got worse, 
and I spotted the blue sparks, and soon after our 
mains failed, the fuse had burned out, and the power
company came to fix the fault, all ok now, and no qrn,
a very quiet qth, with very low noise, even on 160m!

Before I moved, I lived about 15 miles away, in the 
centre of a vilage, which was surrounded by 160ft pylon's
carrying 450kva lines. These are the ones I've heard buzzing
too, and sometimes arcing over in a big way after a 
storm due to the salt deposits on the insulators (but 
that only happened once in my life time, but it was 

These 450 kva lines were about 0.5 miles away from my 
qth, and ran around half the village on it's extremities.
I can't honestly say that I noticed any problems from my 
old qth due to the high-voltage pylon's, and worked 
about 270 countries on 80m with quite simple aerials.

I reckon I had more qrn from thermostats, and tv 
time-base, and pc's than from the lines.

>From Keith, WB9TIY

No matter what someone in the employ of a utility sez, 
AVOID building a contest station near high voltage lines.
You WON'T be sorry.

Even lines that are noise free when first installed 
will PROBABLY go noisy in time.  Utilities just don't 
have the funds to maintain them at peak noise-free 
conditions.  What may be "noise-free" to them could 
be QUITE noisy when you're pointing many elements of 
HF/VHF yagi toward them.  I've heard older lines for 
MILES when using larger arrays - not the hot setup when 
trying to sort through those 3rd level EU's on 20 or 15.

>From Ed (lost the call, sorry)

I wouldn't be within 2 miles of them, and think 
5 would be better. Local lines are bad enough, try 
one with about 400,000 volts on it arcing.

>From Rob, WS1A

I recently relocated to a new QTH specifically 
to put up a superstation and went through the 
same discussion with the broker.

Regardless of what your brother-in-law says, you 
are 100% correct. Having high-tension power lines
running near your QTH will haunt you forever. The
lines are noisy and broadband. If you're serious 
about HF, get no closer than 2 miles from such a 
line. At that point, the noise they generate is on
the same level as the thermal noise in your receiver. 
You can easily see their influence by tuning your car's
AM radio to 530 kHz and driving until you no longer 
hear the interference.

PS. I told my broker to look for land that had 
either CATV master antennas or cell phone towers.
These guys have already found the best spots.
Michael Dinkelman
Kent, WA
mwdink at

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