[CQ-Contest] Line noise GONE!

Jim George n3bb at mindspring.com
Fri May 28 06:30:04 PDT 2010

Wow!  I need to congratulate my utility, Pedernales Electric Company (PEC), 
which serves the rural areas to the west of Austin, TX. They will send a 
man and a bucket truck out here within a day or two if I call. But the 
critical fact is that they cannot find a noise source as a rule. It's hard, 
and usually it depends on me finding it, and then them correcting the problem.

I own the MFJ noise yagi/receiver and it is NOT effective. The frequency is 
too low (136 MHz of so). It is too sensitive and shows up RFI being 
radiated down the line from other sources. Over the years I have found that 
a combination of things is needed. I start with an HF mobile setup (I use 
twenty meters AM) to isolate the general area. From there, I use a small 
short wave radio (Sony in my case) with a loop antenna. Swiveling the 
antenna to nulls and maximums allows me to get to the direction of the pole 
or poles. Follow that direction until you get to a very loud spot. At that 
point it requires a 440 MHz HT and a 6 element yagi to zero in on the 
actual pole. You must use AM for all data.

There are plenty of poles that are noisy to some extent, but the real 
trouble makers, the ones that have an arc, are either intermittent or 
continuous. I maintain a simple Excel spreadsheet with data such as the 
pole numbers and the receiving data and send it electronically to the Chief 
Engineer of PEC when I locate a bad pole. He now takes my data seriously 
and they have a truck check it out within a day.

It's hard to believe that some utilities are so crass and unresponsive.

Jim N3BB

  At 09:48 PM 5/27/2010 -0500, Ralph Bellas wrote:

>AmerenIP in central Illinois is dreadful!  6 months, over 50 phone calls 
>for them to replace a lightning arrester and I identified the pole. One 
>excuse after another.  The Illinois Commerce Commission and FCC did not 
>help.  A year later and there are still numerous unresolved sources.
> > Date: Thu, 27 May 2010 20:57:26 -0400
> > From: nf4l at nf4l.com
> > To: cq-contest at contesting.com
> > Subject: [CQ-Contest] Line noise GONE!
> >
> > Today my utility company sent a crew out in response to a request I had
> > made of them to see if they could solve a horrible noise problem I had.
> > It was never less than an S9, and most of the time was 10-20 over. A
> > couple of us had walked around with one of those MFJ line noise
> > receivers and a 3 element beam, and had found what we thought was the
> > pole in question.
> >
> > The lineman called me and told me he thought he had found the noise
> > source, although not on the pole I thought it was on. He said there was
> > a bad lightning arrestor, and it was VERY loud on his gear, and was
> > radiating for more than a mile.
> >
> > I turned on the rig, and....... S1 and below!!
> >
> > There are some good guys out there.
> >
> > Just had to tell SOMEbody.
> >
> > 73,
> > Mike NF4L
> >
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