[RFI] RFI LOG Electrical - Living by the Ocean

EDWARDS, EDDIE J eedwards@oppd.com
Wed, 5 Sep 2001 14:05:41 -0500


You've made a good start on your noise problem, and keeping a log is a real
good idea.  It will help if you need to turn up the heat on GPU to light a
fire under them.  If you come to a stand still with them, contact one of the
ARRL's RFI guys for assistance (you are an ARRL member aren't you?)

That said, make sure that when you find a noisy pole somewhere that it is
actually affecting you, i.e. your reception.  The last thing you want to do
is have GPU line techs fix dirty poles that don't and won't help you.  It
will seem like unnecessary busy-work to them and after a while they'll
figure they can't make you happy no matter what they fix.  Then it's tougher
to get them to respond the next time and the next, and so on...

The question is HOW do you tell if it's affecting you and your reception
without having them fix it to see?  Yes, this is tricky.  One way would be
to find a memory spectrum scope that can store images long term and recall
them as needed.  Then hook this up to the affected antenna system and store
the noise's pattern.  Then when you find a noisy pole compare the patterns
to see if they're similar.  If so, you've found your problem pole.  If the
spectrum pattern doesn't match at all, you've found a local noise that
probably doesn't affect you, but note it anyway for future reference.

Another thing to try w/o a spectrum scope is to determine the propagation
path of the noise from the source to your antenna or house.  Is it direct
radiation or conduction?  If it's direct radiation, the pole will be within
line-of-sight of your antenna.  But conducted noise could be miles away and
could involve inductive coupling from one line to another.  This is very
difficult to sort out at times.  But remember this: power lines are
"transmission line" just like the coax or ladder line going to your antenna!
It will have standing waves all along the line with peaks & nulls.  So if
you find a noise at some distance from your antenna (not line-of-sight), try
to trace the standing waves on the line to see if it will end up at your
house (ham shack).  

Another thing to help determine if you've actually found the noise "source"
and not just another Standing Wave peak is this: The closer to the source
you actually are, the higher in frequency you'll be able to rcv it.  If your
standing within 10-20' of the source pole, you will get noise at 220 &
probably 440Mhz as well, and as you move away from the source, you'll first
loose noise on the higher VHF freqs forcing you to listen to lower & lower
frequencies to hear it.  Searching for line noise on only AM BC freqs
(550-1700khz) is like trying to find the north star in the sky during high
noon daylight with the naked eye!  It's real tough.  You need to use higher
& higher freqs to trace line noise to it's actual source.

These are some tricks of the trade.  I'm curious what department and what
type of personnel are handling RFI calls for GPU?  It should be techs in
their Telecomm dept since they'll understand RF and RF direction finding (if
they're worth a damn!).  A line technician will not.  Thus he'll not be able
to DF the noise and locate the actual source.  They'll spin their wheels
fixing a lot of things that may not help or need to be fixed.  What a waste!
GPU is big enough that they ought to have a large Telecomm dept with 2-way
radio guys who can actually DF the real source(s).

Another thing.  The comment by the tech that the ultrasonic (or UT) "method
only works for some types of arching" is not accurate.  It will pick up ALL
arching that is within "line-of-sight" and within the range of the
instrument.  It is picking up very weak ultrasonic sound waves, but it
cannot be blocked by anything.  I used one to determine that a squirrel
guard on top of a xfmr was arching.  Whenever I pointed it at the pole with
the squirrel guard visible I heard the noise, but with the xfmr blocking my
view I heard nothing.  The UT instrument can pick up a bird's wings flapping
overhead!!  They're very sensitive.  But the weak ultrasonic noise from an
arch can easily be blocked by a tree or hardware on the pole.  Hence your
tech "thinks" it only works on some arching.  What a dolt.  He's never
researched UT and probably never even read the manual.

I hope this gives you some more to go on and try out.

de ed -K0iL
Omaha, NE

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Peter D. Vouvounas [SMTP:wb3fsr@home.com]
> Fellow HAMS -  Yes it's long - So far this is what I've been through
> trying
> to resolve the dreaded electrical noise problems in my area.
> I'm open to any suggestions / methods etc.
> 73
> PeterV [REN] WB3FSR
> PT Pleasant/ Brick New Jersey
> Now who said they wanted to live an operate HF by the OCEAN!  It has it's
> price.
> ========================================================================
> Electrical Noise LOG WB3FSR
> 1.)
> JC 3231  	412 Midstream's				V Bad
> JC 3294	       Meridian				V Bad
> 6/21/01 Inspected W/ Mr. Kit OdoX GPU noise level down at this time ~ 1330
> Hrs MatXXy did hear elevated noise before 1200 Hrs but couldn't identify
> specific pole or source at this time!!!
> 2.)
> JC 3283	Area of Bellavista & Esplanade	V Bad
> JC 3245							V Bad
> 6/21/01 Inspected W/ Mr. Kit OdoX GPU identified JC240 using ultra sonic -
> arching bad brown insulators
> 3.)
> JC 2258	Arrowhead					    Bad
> Open issue
> 4.)
> BT 1994							Intermittent
> Burst
> C MatXXy & I found on 6/20/01 via my Jeep radio @ 1700Khz tree limbs &
> leaves burnt & hanging over HV lines
> 5.)
> BT 2250 Loc ???
> Kit OdoX & I found on 6/20/01 via my Jeep radio @ 1700Khz
>  Mr. James BeXXne  - Passed on to Mr. Chip MatXXy as of 6/18/01 1554Hrs -
> Called Chip left VM  6/18/01 2204Hrs more poles ID'd Still no call back
> 6/19/01 1500 - 1515 Called Customer Svc Spoke with Supervisor Laura
> BednXXr
> (hub K3TEJ) she is escalating!
> Comm Tech Sr. T&EM
> GPU Electric
> Larrabee
> Toms River, NJ
> 800-662-31xx    Office 800  Press 9,4,0,#,1
> 732-367-25xx    Fax
> 732-370-72xx Office
> Mr. Kit OdoX of GPU called my cell phone 0826 Hrs 6/20/01
> He received call from control center to contact me and had not heard from
> Jim B. of GPU as he had promised me on Monday 6/18/01.  I advised Kit that
> I
> would be home by 1200 Hrs this date and would like him to stop by to
> review
> the interference with me. He agreed.
> 6/20/01 1230 Hrs
> Kit OdoX arrived - I demonstrated noise levels on 14, 18, 21, 24 & 28 MHz.
> HF Bands - condition of noise at this time was moderate compared to
> earlier
> highs ~ S2 - S9 vs. S2- 10db over S9
> Offered to assist and he agreed - started inspection in GPU van.
> Conditions: Paving work by county in progress starting at Meridian Dr. and
> extending ~ six blocks towards Rt88 Chip indicated that he could not get
> to
> the poles in this area and I suggested how we could get around the
> obstructions.
> The GPU van in major disarray - GPU using commercial RX unidentified MFG.
> -
> portable wide range approx. 500 kHz - 1 GHz or greater.  Unit had not been
> charged for 2 weeks - used cigarette lighter plug - Operations very poor,
> very high noise levels generated intermittently inside of vehicle i.e.
> ignition noise, alternator whine, unit appeared to randomly shut down.
> Kit
> did not appear to be very knowledgeable of it full operation i.e. spinning
> knob hundreds of MHz at a time - calling UHF / HF.
> Antenna described by Kit as VHF on roof of van looked more like an 800 MHz
> cellular ant.
> I would be surprised if one would be able to identify any interference
> with
> the possible exception of MAJOR RAW noise utilizing this arrangement.
> Kit demonstrated an ultrasonic parabolic dish with amplifier/headphones,
> which was useful in identifying one particular pole.  He went on to say
> that
> this method only works for some types of arching.
> After about an hour in his van I suggested that we take my Jeep use my
> digital car radio tuned to 1700 kHz and his ultrasonic. He agreed.  We
> then
> proceeded to my earlier detected locations and demonstrated noise
> conditions
> to him.  He was only able to ID Bellavista & Esplanade pole JC240 with his
> ultrasonic unit.  As a result of diverting around road construction we
> observed other noise locations & tree/limb destruction from HV lines.
> Next we drove into the area of K2VVF's location near RT. 88 & Midstream's
> where we observed substantial electrical noise - Kit tried to located pole
> among about a span of 10 poles but could not at this time. He said that he
> would need to come back and use higher frequency rx detection to pin point
> the offending pole/equip.
> Next steps: Contacted Kit this morning 1016 Hrs 6/21/01 requested update -
> indicated that he was within a couple of blocks of my home reconfirming
> noise and poles - would report identified issues to the line department by
> 1200 beyond that he had no clue when anything would be done by the other
> department.
> I next plan to perform a complete drive of the area w/map in an attempt to
> identify any other possible noise sources and then escalate within GPU for
> status & correction.
> Ed Pinter experiencing very high noise levels at his location
> K2VVF 308 Midstream's Rd HM# 732-892-7xxx
> Kit OdoX Cell Phone number 908-216-8xxx
> Kit OdoX Ofc/shop number 732-695-5xxx w/vm normally not in ofc
> 6/21/01 1300Hrs - 1730Hrs
> Mapped & Performed complete drive test of the community,  found the
> following additional:
> BT 2280 & JC3384 Lights on during the day - may indicate noise generating
> /
> faulty detector
> JC 3298 Tree limbs/leaves on HV lines small noise source
> JC 6665 Tree limbs/leaves on HV lines small noise source
> JC 3364 Tree limbs/leaves on HV lines small noise source
> BT 5315 Medium noise level
> BT 225 Tree limbs/leaves on HV lines small noise source also located on
> 6/20/01
> JC 5293 Very High noise level (This may be the source location that Chip
> tried to identify on 6/20/01 Tested with wide coverage receiver
> JC 2392 Vloud
> JC 3307 Noise
> Intersection of Meridian Dr. & Stratford Dr. noise in evening very loud.
> 6/21/01 2000 Hrs
> Left message on Mr.Kit OdoX  voice mail with additional information above.
> Requested that on 6/22/01 Kit set-up a conf call with the supervisor of
> the
> line department & me to outline the process and status update for
> resolution
> of these problems.
> As of 6/28/01 Rcvd no call back from anyone at GPU nor any acknowledgement
> from Mr. Kit OdoX re: my VM & earlier requests.
> Attempted to contact NOC Supervisor Laura BednXXr @ 1045Hrs 6/28/01 left
> msg. req. call back
> Spoke with Mrs. Laura BednXXr  mid afternoon - faxed copy of my rpt - ref
> name incorrect in my rpt - learned on 7/2/01 that Mr. Kit OdoX was GPU rep
> sent out to meet with me not Mr. Chip MatXXy!
> Kit's name & number supplied ; left VM's starting on 6/28/01 with no
> callbacks.
> 7/2/01 Reached Kit on Tuesday 7/3/01  0810 Hrs- He advised that he turned
> information over to Marylyn Blaxxe in Pt. Pleasant office 732-370-7xxx and
> to call her for status.  Also he indicated that he found defective
> lightning
> arrestor within three blocks pole number BT 2256 and reported it.  I
> requested that he email me a copy of his rpt, which has just arrived -
> will
> review before my call with Ms. Blake. Kit also reviewed my last findings
> to
> confirm he had received them.
> 7/02/01 0845 Hrs Called Ms. Bake rx VM she is out of ofc passed to Monica
> no
> info passed then to Bob DoughXXy 732-370-7xxx !!!!  Lot of info; Due to
> storms over weekend, crews recovering he will have crews late this week or
> worst case start of next week and call me with schedule.
> 7/10/01 0800 Hrs Called Bob DoughXXXy rcvd VM stating that he would be out
> of OFC until 16th - He supplied two new numbers in his VM
> 732-370-7xxx
> 732-901-2xxx
> Called 370-7xxx - lady answered and indicated that supervisor is Owxxn
> passed me to his VM - left msg for call back 0815 Hrs
> Called 7/13/01 - Spoke with Monica - She checked on status of crews an
> advised that they expect to be out this Monday but need police escort as
> no
> room to pull off road.
> 7/16/01 - GPU crew working on pole at Midstream's & Meridian intersection
> installed new support guy from intersection to my electrical pole and
> removed top guy wire by drive way.  Changed out insulators on corner pole.
> Observed substantial improvement in noise during the next two days
> provided
> one of the crafts people my list of noise sources in the community - he
> commented that communications rep is normally with them when they come out
> and was surprised that no on was with them now. Indicated that they would
> be
> working on this between priority situations.
> 7/24/01 Called Bob DoughXX  370-7xxx Direct 901-2xxx , 370-7xxx , 7xxxx?,
> 370-7xxx? Marylyn BlXXe for status what has been done and what is left to
> do - he advised that e tried to call me but must have wrong number -
> provided both numbers and he will call later today with status when crew
> returns.
> 7/29/01 Called Bob D asked for update indicated that all except for one
> location not near me worked - will provide details by end of week
> 8/01/01 Called left VM for Kit, Noise still present around my intersection
> -
> Cap bank between here and 88 on Midstream's still noisy - lot's of noise
> on
> 88 & Midstream's both directions
> 8/27/01 Tried to get update several times since 8/01/01 from Bob D - too
> busy each time I called over the past 3-4 weeks and advised that he would
> call me back - He has not
> 8/27/01  1055Hrs Left detailed VM again requesting status phone call and
> email with report of what has been done , what is left to do and next
> steps
> Reported by:
> Mr. Peter D. Vouvounas
> 98 Meridian Drive
> Brick, New Jersey 08724
> 732-701-1130
> Updated 8/27/01
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