[CQ-Contest] Power Line Noise

Ron Hooper ab4ru at stc.net
Sat Oct 11 12:04:43 EDT 1997

> Kenny and other CQP enthusiasts.
> I believe the biggest contributor to our receiving problems during CQP was
> the power line noises.  The power company did a high pressure wash of
> dozens of poles within a half mile of the station on Friday, and by Friday
> PM, there were just two weak noises audible on any band.

The remaining problems were probably due to loose hardware. A common
problem especially with the wood poles, is that after the installation
they start to shrink, leaving the hardware loose on the pole. Some
Power Companies do not use the spring washer which would allow for
shrinkage as the pole retracts, keeping the hardware tight enough to
prevent arcing.

  Another problem with finding the noise, is that in a case of
multiple noise sources it is difficult to find the problems. The
average ham does not have the equipment necessary in some cases to
locate the noise source. The power companies looks at these problems,
like well if they have power its not a big deal. Sometimes it takes
months and several calls, letters etc to get the power company to do
anything, to fix the power line noise. This seems to be the case all
over the USA. I believe that a good Power Line installation to start
with makes a lot of since in the interest of ham radio. You may not
have noticed but power companies all over are increasing their voltage
on the lines. This is fine for them because it saves them money and us
on the power bill!

  Who is responsible to see if the power company does its
installations right. Who sets the standards to which construction must
be followed.  Our goverment is setting standards on RF exposure, how
about all the stray EMF from millions of miles of power lines.

  Line noise has been a serious problem to our hobby and possibly our
lives, we just dont know it. Do the rules only apply to a few?  


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