[RFI] Introduction - power line noise

N1BUG paul at n1bug.com
Tue Jun 26 16:24:15 PDT 2012

I want to thank everyone who has offered support and information on 
my problem.

I do understand a lot of RFI originates from homes and that some of 
it can at first appear to be from power lines. I have a furnace 
across the street with some sort of continuous sparking problem when 
it runs. When it first appeared a year and a half ago I at first 
thought it was another source of power line noise but quickly 
realized it wasn't. It didn't take long to figure out what and where 
it was. I have a nearby plasma TV that isn't much fun either. And 
the first thing my MFJ-856 found was my own toaster oven!

Still, my biggest problem is the power lines. I'm happy with the 38% 
suspect pole confirm ratio on the first visit from my power company, 
considering most of the sources are intermittent and it was quite 
damp early in the day. Most of the less severe ones I would expect 
to be quiet in those conditions.

I am adding an ultrasonic unit to my arsenal if for no other reason 
than I just have to know how many of my RF-detected sources I can 
confirm and pinpoint with it.

I'm still working on the UHF sniffer problem. I'm convinced a UHF 
unit would be a very useful addition. I have a couple of potential 
circuits to look into. Another possibility (unfortunately a little 
too much for the remaining budget right now) might be an MFJ-852 
receiver with a UHF to VHF converter in front of it, all mounted on 
a multi-element yagi. That could be a winning combination if I can 
come up with a suitable converter. Size and power consumption are 
very important issues. This would have the advantage of a signal 
strength meter which the other options wouldn't.


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