[RFI] How Noisy is Quiet Enough?

Pete Smith n4zr@contesting.com
Fri, 16 Nov 2001 15:20:03 -0500

The S-meter on my Mark 5 is extremely generous below S9, though above that
mark it seems to be fairly credible.  Because of this difference from my
TS-930, I am having trouble assessing my ambient noise level this year,
particularly on 80 and 160 meters.

I'd appreciate advice from others, especially 1000MP and Mark 5 users, on
what you consider a satisfactory noise level on these bands.  At what point
on the s-meter do you accept the residual AC line noise and miscellaneous
emitters as "just how it is" and stop hassling the power company, walking
the neighborhood with a portable shortwave RX, etc.?

I am receiving on a 4-elelement vertical dipole wire parasitic array, which
has a fairly broad, almost-cardioid pattern.  As a benchmark, right now (3
PM local), with the IPO button pressed and CW wide position (stock filter)
my noise base to the Northeast is about S1, with very strong electric-fence
type impuse noise ticking the s-meter over S8.  To the southwest, where I
have a known couple of bad poles, the broadband noise base is a steady S7.
Clearly, THAT has to go!

73, Pete N4ZR