[RFI] UPDATE: New annoying noise just started

Hare, Ed W1RFI w1rfi at arrl.org
Thu Sep 8 06:40:09 PDT 2011

You are making an assumption that is probably not true, Jim.  Although ARRL has hired (almost pro bono, by consultant rates) people to go out and do some power-line work, such as  the consultant whose abilities and social skills you criticized, the only times we do that are those instances where we feel there is some national precedent, or important information to be gathered. I don't know which of the two cases we have send Brian Cramer out to look at in your area that you are discussing. One involved a windmill and the other, I believe, was a conventional gap-noise case.  I know Brian well, and he is one of the kindest people who can't even bring himself to cuss most of the time. I just can't envision him acting the way you described, no matter how hard I press my imagagination..
In most areas of the country, there are no ARRL "RFI" investigators. Each section has a Technical Coordinator and typically one or more Technical Specialists to help deal with all types of technical matters in the section.  It has never been the job of these unpaid volunteers to travel sometimes 100 miles or more in a large section to diagnose and troubleshoot power-line cases in person, sometimes repeatedly.  Although some work can be accomplished in power-line cases, trying to sort out mulitple noise sources, some of which may be caused by power-company equipment and some of which may not, without the time-domain signature techniques used by competent power-line investigators, so there is generally a very significant limitation of what a volunteer can accomplish.
You may have your own standards for what you say about others, Jim, but I don't know enough about the case in question to know whether Brian was truly condescending or whether "condescening" is another way of saying that he tried to tell your friend something that your friend didn't believe to be true.  
Generally, we have sent out our paid guns only in those cases where the amateur is not as able as your friend is described to be.   I am curious as to why, if he has worked extensively with the power company, he asked ARRL to send someone to assist.  I am also surprised that he didn't turn to you to have you come out and diagnose the problem for him.
Please have your friend contact me so we can discuss the conduct of the person who we sent out to help him.  I'd be curious as to which case and how it ultimately turned out.
Ed Hare, W1RFI
ARRL Laboratory Manager
225 Main St
Newington, CT 06111
Tel: 860-594-0318
Email: W1RFI at arrl.org


From: Jim Brown [mailto:jim at audiosystemsgroup.com]
Sent: Wed 9/7/2011 5:10 PM
To: rfi at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [RFI] UPDATE: New annoying noise just started

On 9/7/2011 1:22 PM, Brendan Minish wrote:
> It Seems to me that It's not appropriate to have a go at the ARRL's EMC
> volunteers

You are making an assumption that is probably not true -- it is my
understanding that ARRL DOES hire and pay people to address power
company noise issues. One of them ended up in our area to help a local
ham who happens to be a very good EE, and who has worked extensively
with the power company people to solve RFI issues.  He found the ARRL
person quite condescending and not very helpful.

73, Jim K9YC
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RFI at contesting.com

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