[RFI] Another success story

David Simmons dsimmons@macromedia.com
Thu, 16 May 2002 13:07:09 -0700

I thought I'd briefly share a nice story on solving some power line RFI.

I set up a station last year after being off the air since 1980.  I enjoyed a lot of contacts through the winter, especially DX on 10m, but as things dried out this spring some s5 to s9 buzzing appeared and blanketed the HF bands.

I did some simple testing to confirm that it was coming over the power lines.  I wasn't expecting much help from Pacific Gas and Electric, especially since there are notes on the ARRL site about the FCC having to write them a few years ago to solve an RFI issue.  I finally stopped procrastinating and called PG&E on Tuesday this week.  The customer service rep was friendly but clueless, and said she would forward all my into to the RTVI department.

This morning (2 days later) I got a call from a service technician who knew his stuff.  He was in the area 30 minutes later, equipped with a hand-held log periodic beam and receiver.  They tightened up some connections on the pole across the street, which got about half the noise.  They drove around a bit more (and may have done some other repairs) and now my old Kenwood's meter sits at s0 and I can hear a lot more people on the bands - my first QSO was CA0YAM on Easter Island.

I'll definitely write PG&E customer service to let them know I appreciate the response.  After hearing all the problems on this list, I didn't expect a fix this fast.  My radio is useful again, and I'm back on the air.

 - Dave