[RFI] Power line or ? noise

Mike Brown k9mi at sbcglobal.net
Sun Apr 16 15:08:00 EDT 2006

Dana, I'll trade you. I have 15 over noise on 10m, around 10 over on 15 
meters and S9 on 20 meters. I've had this for 8 months, the ARRL is 
involved, but I don't know where I stand now. The location of the noise is 
around 100 yards, maybe a bit more away. My local utility company is not 
very cooperative. This is my 4th major problem in 10 years of living here. 
If I could afford to move, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

I use my tribander to peak the noise, and also drive around the 
neighborhood, and it is extremely easy to find the area. Do you use your 
tribander to peak the noise?

Not knowing the 480, I don't know if S6 with a preamp on is reasonable or 

Good luck, but this does not seem to be too bad of a problem from where I 
stand :-)

73, Mike K9MI

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dana Roode" <dana.roode at gmail.com>
To: <rfi at contesting.com>
Sent: Sunday, April 16, 2006 18:17
Subject: [RFI] Power line or ? noise

> RFI Folk,
> I have a station located at a house I own with my brother out in the
> California high desert - its a residential area, but on 2.5 acre lots.
> The nearest houses to ours are about 500' away (lots are 300' x
> 300').
> I've had a bunch of noise problems that I have been trying to sort
> out.  Last summer I contacted Southern California Edison (SCE) who
> sent their RFI guy out (Larry Johnson).  Larry did a thorough check of
> the electrical poles within about 1000' or more of our house and found
> 7 noise sources that he reported.  It took quite awhile for the SCE
> crew to come out, but they did in November.  Afterwards, the nature of
> the noise I was hearing seemed to change, but there was still plenty
> of it.
> Larry came back out and checked the poles again and reported they were
> all clean, leaving me to think it was a problem with one of my close
> neighbors, but now I'm not so sure.  Let me tell you all about what I
> hear and see if you have any thoughts about what I am dealing with.
> On my TS480 with the pre-amp on, the noise peaks at about S6 on the
> meter to the east.  With the preamp off it is s0 with spikes up to
> s3-4 every few seconds.  It sounds like garden-variety atmospheric
> noise but stronger with some sputtering interlaced.  The noise is
> broad and fairly strong from just south of east, through north to just
> south of west.  The power lines are closest to my house on the east,
> north and west, so it seems like the noise may be propagating over
> them.
> When I stand at the eastern part of our property with a portal SW
> receiver and a loop antenna, I'm not able to hear the noise much at
> all, and can't get any direction on it.  My Yagi at 65' picks it up
> quite well.  I have a 40m four square - the noise is clearly stronger
> NE and SE than it is NW and SW.
> When Larry was out he hooked up his receiver-scope to my antenna - the
> goal was to get a picture of the noise to make sure he was chasing the
> right one.  However, it was never strong enough to show up on his
> device.
> I've done the standard thing of turning everything off in the house to
> verify it wasn't coming from my stuff.  I do have a problem with my
> Internet service, which is wireless - it creates a pretty strong
> signal I've tracked down on 6 meters and 15 meters.  I've replaced my
> Ethernet cable with shielded cable and added ferrites but haven't been
> able to solve it.  However, the noise I am talking about above is not
> the same as I've turned the Internet equipment off while I've been
> tracking it down.  The network equipment does not seem to cause
> problems below 21mhz and only peaks when I point my antennas toward
> the house.  It also is frequency dependent, peaking every couple of
> hundred Khz or so.
> Some random questions for you:
> * Is it all in my head :-) ?  I turn the pre-amp off, and its not bad.
> Larry's device couldn't even hear it, nor my portable receiver.
> Maybe I should just live with it.  (I'm thinking not, but had to ask).
> My noise at my home in Irvine is much worse, however, but I gave up
> on that years ago (being surrounded by houses on 1/8 acre lots).
> * How far might this noise be from the house?  Its not bad at all
> 15meters and up, its mostly a problem 20m and down.  Could this be a
> half-mile away?  A mile?  Perhaps I or SCE needs to check poles
> further away.
> * I have an AR8000 portable receiver and a 4 element 2 meter beam - is
> this adequate to check poles out to see if they are noisey?  Would it
> be better to do it on 220 or 440 (Ive got small beams for those bands
> too I could use).  Use SSB and the Smeter or AM and audio level?
> * Would it be helpful to hear samples?  I have some .wav files I could
> upload to a web site.
> * Ideally, I'd like to hear the noise on my portable receiver with a
> loop and track it down starting at my property.  Otherwise, I need to
> wander around until I hear a noise and hope its the right one.  Any
> thoughts on this?
> * I have a mobile rig in my Ford Expedition and can drive around
> looking for noise.  However, the Ford has bad ignition noise so I have
> to stop and turn off the engine to really hear it.  Is it helpful to
> use a mobile rig and a vertical whip like this to track down the
> noise, or am I better off on foot?
> * Does it seem likely the noise is coming from a neighbor's house even
> though I can't hear it without my yagi at 65'?   My yagi is located on
> the east side of the property about 150' from our house and perhaps
> 300' from the neighbor's.
> * Is it useful to listen after a rain storm to see if the noise
> changed?  The thinking being that if it doesn't change (get weaker)
> its more likely to be in a house than a problem on a SCE pole?  I
> don't recall the noise changing much due to the weather, time of day,
> or anything else.  Seems to be pretty solid.
> Thanks for reading my stream of consciousness post, any thoughts would
> be welcome.
>  Dana K6NR
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