[RFI] Re: RFI Services bullcrap smell test :)

Michael Tope W4EF at dellroy.com
Sun Oct 24 23:09:55 EDT 2004

Mike - please see my comments below:

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Martin" <mike at rfiservices.com>

> Anyone that is involved in locating Power Line RFI sources for a living
> would know better. There are enough power line problems that I don't think
> need to look forward to eggs, golden or rotten.

Okay fair enough. I am not (nor ever have) been in the professional RFI
locating business. Still I would think that BPL would be a source of
clients eager to pay big bucks to get their RFI problems resolved.

> The statement, (Mike drives down the street with piles of "sophisticated
> test equipment" and hears nothing?), isn't a quote. I've never said that.
> find RFI sources I usually use the same equipment found in a ham shack. My
> receiver is an Icom R8500 connected to either a hamstick or Hustler type
> antenna.

Fair enough, Mike. Shame on me for quoting second hand information.
What you just describe above should be very similar in sensitivity to what
Ed Hare was using when he did his surveys.

> This is so people don't suspect I'm using "sophisticated equipment"
> that isn't necessary.


> As for the notched frequencies, those are the
> frequencies I'm commonly asked to monitor. Yes, I commonly forget to
> my antenna. I seem to forget more as I get older. I'm 45 and can't imagine
> what I'll be like by the time I'm 60.

Don't feel bad, this afternoon I installed some lockwashers
on my screwdriver antenna (actually it's W6RMK's antenna
that he loaned me) to keep the base screws from falling out
due to road vibration and wind buffetting. After I finished the job, I
jumped in the truck and turned on the FT-817. I couldn't hear
anything at all. When I got out to look at the antenna, I noticed
that I hadn't put the lug that connects the Unun to the antenna
back under screw head where it belongs (and I am only 39).

> As for the "asinine comments", "smell test" methods and "Bullcrap", carry
> on.

The reason I said your previous comments didn't pass the
"smell test" is simply because the opinion you gave is in
direct contradiction with a very large body of very credible
theory and data. Perhaps "smell test" was a poor choice of
words on my part, but nevertheless, I am still at a loss to
explain why your "data point" is on the other end of the graph
from all the others.

> The popularity of amateur radio is no doubt declining.

Perhaps. Recent societal changes are probably responsible.
Nowadays anyone can talk to the other side of the world with
a computer. The only people that can really appreciate the
special nature of talking to the other side of the world with ham
radio are those folks who are technically literate enough to
appreciate the "look ma' - no wires" factor. You've got
enough RF energy to light a light bulb coming from your short
piece of wire and the guy ten thousand miles away has the
same, but yet you can talk with each other with nothing but
mother nature in between (no ISPs, no underground cables,
no T3 lines - nothing but air).

The second factor is that I think more and more people are
living in areas with HOA restrictions. Ham radio isn't much
fun unless you can put up good antennas. Nowadays, depending
on where you live, you might need a team of lawyers to get
that done. Imagine a young kid trying to get started into ham
radio with all those barriers. When I was a kid, I just hung
my ham antennas off of Grandma's 55 ft TV tower. For me
the biggest barrier was trying to get permission from
Grandma to climb it  (I had to resort to clandestine climbing).
Nowadays they only thing somebody's grandma is allowed
to put up is a DBS dish.

> It's getting more
> difficult get good presentations at club meetings.

I won't argue with you there.

> I used to do at least one a month. I still do them, but for
> some reason only a few a year? I wonder why?

I dunno. I would enjoy hearing one of your talks. I have plenty
of line noise around here and I would love to have the benefit
of learning from your extensive experience as a professional
RFI hunter. Of course if you said not to worry about BPL, I
would no doubt argue with you on that specific point :)

> When I'm asked a question, the answer will be only from my experience.
> Whether it agrees with popular assumption or opinion or not, I can't
> that.

This has nothing to do with which opinions are popular or not, or
at least it shouldn't. I am sure you saw what you saw. That doesn't
mean that by extension that we can say that BPL is of no concern
to the ham community. As I pointed out, there are other possible
explanations which square better with the laws of physics. Maybe
the system wasn't on when you drove by or it was just idling in
keep alive mode. If it is a question of evaluating the effectiveness
of notching, it would seem to me to be prudent to monitor both
notched and un-notched frequencies. This would give some
indication if the lack of interference was due to effective notching
or if it was just the fact that the system was off-line.

Anyway thanks for your comments.

73 de Mike, W4EF..................

> My Telephone number is available and published for those I can assist.
> Good day and best wishes,
> Mike Martin
> RFI Services
> Cell 240-508-3760
> Office 301-855-5961
> Nextel Direct 164*21*29180
> Fax 410-741-5153
> mike at rfiservices.com
> Check out Our Web Site at rfiservices.com

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