[RFI] Working with the Power Company (was: Privileged treatment)

Jimk8mr at aol.com Jimk8mr at aol.com
Thu Feb 11 10:05:26 PST 2010

My favorite story concerns a problem I encountered a few years ago.  A  
quarter of a mile away, at a bend in the road, a side mounted residential high  
voltage line insulator had broken and the high voltage line was laying 
across  the low voltage service entrance to a home.  In addition to causing RFI, 
it  didn't seem like a very safe condition.  I reported it to my RFI 
contact at  the power company, but for several days nothing happened.
So I called back and got his voice mail.  I left a message of "I sure  hope 
nothing happens, because it sure would be inconvenient if I had to take a  
day off work to testify in court that I had reported the problem and  
nothing had happened before the house burned down."
It was fixed the next day.
Obviously this approach is not to be used for your generic line  noise.
73  -  Jim   K8MR
In a message dated 2/11/2010 12:54:37 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
jim at audiosystemsgroup.com writes:

On Thu,  11 Feb 2010 05:44:00 -0500, Pete Smith wrote:

>1.  Always do  your best to identify the source of the noise to a pole or  
>2.  Be flexible about scheduling the work - they have  to put maintaining 
>power delivery first.
>3.  Make an  effort to work with the guys who come out, treating them 
>like human  beings trying to do a good job.
>4.  Recognize their limitations  and, as necessary, tactfully use your 
>technical knowledge to  supplement theirs.
>5.  DON'T assume an adversarial posture,  particularly with the guys 
>doing the work.  They can either help  or hinder you.

>This won't work for everyone - another nearby ham  had to get the FCC to 
>write Allegheny a letter to get his problem  dealt with.  A lot depends 
>on the individuals involved, but it  can work.

This is great advice for dealing with virtually ANY problem.  As you've 
noted, success will depend on the people involved and the  conditions 
under which they work. I take the same approach with the guys  who come 
out to work on the ancient telco wiring that serves our area, and  often 
fails when it gets really wet (as it did three weeks ago). Without  
asking, I ended up with the private cell phone of the guy doing the work  
and the desk phone of his supervisor. Good thing that I did -- two days  
after he found and fixed one problem, bad splices at another location  
took my lines down again. One phone call, and our job was on his schedule  
for the next day. And fixed. 

BTW -- one of the guys told me that  if you're not getting action, mention 
the Public Utilities Commission to  the supervisor. They REALLY don't like 
hearing from the CA PUC. Seems that  there's enough direct oversight to 
make their lives miserable. That might  work for you, Kelly. Or not. :)


Jim  K9YC

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