[CQ-Contest] Power Line Noise Elimination or How to fight the power company

Thomas Horton k5iid at earthlink.net
Sat Aug 16 02:54:44 EDT 2003

Hi Folks,
 For all of you who are having power line noise
problems, please read on!
 When I moved into my present QTH in 1994,
I had horrible line noise! I complained to the
power company and they did try to do some good.
Unfortunately at that time, they did not have good
test equipment. 
 Over the years I kept complaining, and was not getting 
anywhere really.
 Finally in a desperate move, I called the state public
utilities commission. They worked remarkably well with
me and it was amazing how quickly they came around looking
for the noise. Well, this went on for a while, and the company 
said they had done all they could do. I told the Commission that 
there was still more that had to be done. I	 sent the Commission
a copy of the ARRL letter regarding power line noise (can be found 
on the ARRL website) along with lots of other documentation regarding 
line noise and the Company's responsibility to repair the problem.
 Soon the power company was out here again searching for problems. 
Some were found and some were not. 
 In these days the interference calls were absolutely a non-priority  item.
Well, months turned into many months and even year or so.
 Finally in desperation again, i contacted the Commission again.
 This time they asked if I would file a Formal Complaint and I did so.
This seemed to really perk up the power company, but these items
were still put on the back burner.
 The commission sent me a list of questions to be answered and the 
also sent the company a list of questions.
 I really worked on them and tried to document everything.
A few months later the attorney at the Commission who was handled 
my case informed me that we were going to Administrative Court against 
the company.
 At the  court proceeding, there were quite a few representatives from the
power company including a couple of lawyers, the local manager, the 
interference finder, who just happened to be W8CFL, N8KM and myself.
Of course there was a judge, court reporter, and a couple of people from
Commission, including the lawyer.
 The main thing that came out of the proceeding was that now interference 
call would be treated as any other service call. This meant that they would
taken care of in 5-7 working days as are other calls.
 Another major thing that came from it was that the company purchased the 
necessary equipment needed for finding the problems and they also sent 
two men to Training with Mike Martin, K3RFI.
 Probably one of the best things that you can do to get things going is to
find out
who the person is that does the noise finding. Chances are it will be a ham.
Out of the 4 places I have lived where I needed to contact the power
 3 of these folks were hams. This absolutely helps. 
 I have been power line noise free now for about a year and a half. Thanks
to the WV Public
Service Commission, Keith-W8CFL, ARRl, Allegheny Power Company and not in
least Riley Hollinsworth at the FCC who has put some teeth into this issue
for us!
 Another small item that is interesting...I have had some intermittent
noise from
a halogen yard light next door . As long as the light was on, it was quiet,
but the 
electric eye that detected the darkness, was going flaky and when it acted
up the light would go out and I would get really bad noise on the lower
for 32 seconds, then the light would come back on and the noise disappeared
 I had told Keith about this and had talked to the neighbors, but nothing
really happened,
and I didn't file a complaint with the Power Company since it was not
really their
problem. Well the neighbors moved out and Keith just happened to call one
to check up on things and I mentioned the light again. He called the real
company and told them of the problem and stated that it could possibly be 
a fire hazard, and they gave him permission to remove the light fixture.
 Keith called me yesterday morning and told me he had in fact removed the
HOORAY!!!!! Thanks Keith! 
 This is just an example how it helps to get to know the guy that does the
Now if I could just get rid of the#^%#!@#$& computer and monitor noise.

73, Tom K5IID


Thomas Horton
k5iid at earthlink.net

"E" Sorter for the ARRL QSL Bureau

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