[RFI] Radar Engineers RFI Analyzers

N1BUG paul at n1bug.com
Wed Dec 26 10:06:42 EST 2012

I don't doubt for one second the RE equipment is worth the cost if 
one can somehow manage it. I sincerely wish I could have that 
equipment to work with. It would make my life simpler.

The situation may be different in areas with higher median income 
but here I can assure you the vast majority of hams would have no 
other choice but to get out of the hobby if it came to down to RE 
equipment being necessary to get use of the bands back. I dare say 
even several our clubs combined could not hope to raise a sum like 
that in less than several years.

I've done pretty well with a combination of relatively inexpensive 
equipment consisting of

135 MHz AM receiver with 3 element yagi

445 MHz AM receiver with 7 element yagi

40 kHz ultrasonic receiver with 12 inch dish

Total investment just under $800 which was still a challenge but it 
*was* either that or give up *all* on air activity.

In many cases I have been able to identify a specific piece of 
hardware causing noise. In all but one case I have been able to 
identify the source structure. The more experience I get, the easier 
it becomes, naturally.

I am having difficulty with one, possibly two sources and will ask 
about it on the RFI forum shortly.

Paul Kelley, N1BUG
RFI Committee chair, Piscataquis Amateur Radio Club

On 12/26/2012 07:57 AM, RFI Services' Michael Martin wrote:
> Wow, Ok Kurt, Cover those Cheerios next time!
> RE Equipment isn't made for Hams, I think we all know that. However it is
> most definitely better and more convenient for its purpose than anything
> commercially available. Every Ham I know that owns RE equipment is glad they
> have it. However, a ham with power line noise that's not getting along with
> the power company (for whatever reason) will be looking for something better
> than the average equipment. Then finding that specialized equipment is so
> expensive would probably get him a little "excited".
> It is true that a home brew combination, in most cases, is a sufficient
> setup for locating the structure containing a power line noise source, if
> used correctly, but if you do it every day you'll start looking for ways to
> improve your methods and equipment. Eventually you'll end up with RE
> Equipment. It's also a matter of expense and taste combined with the level
> of success one demands. That level may be different for everyone.
> The task of locating power line noise requires more than a UHF receiver and
> yagi. It requires patience and training, whether OJT or taught, and a lot of
> experience. Then more experience.
> Watch out for the newest edition of the ARRL's RFI Handbook due in 2013.
> Merry Christmas to you guys,
> Michael C. Martin
> RFI Services
> 6469 Old Solomons Island Rd
> Tracys Landing, MD 20779
> www.rfiservices.com
> 240-508-3760

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