[RFI] Using an SDR to locate RFI

Dave Cole dave at nk7z.net
Mon Dec 12 12:52:55 EST 2016

73s and thanks,

On 12/12/2016 08:19 AM, Frank N. Haas KB4T wrote:
> For the last several months, I've been trying to use an SDRPlay SDR
> Receiver with 3 different software packages as a tool for locating arcing
> and other forms of interference to the HF and VHF spectrum. I have
> virtually nothing to show for the effort.
> For over a decade, I've been using an ICOM IC-7000 mounted in my work
> vehicle with a Hi-Q 4/80 HF screwdriver antenna, a VHF 3 dB base loaded
> mobile antenna, a 5 dB center loaded UHF mobile antenna and an antenna
> switch to effectively drive to within 1 pole or 1 structure of the source.
> The system has served me well and made my (nearly daily) interference
> location work efficient and easy.
> The IC-7000 is long in the tooth. While I enjoy cashing the Social Security
> checks for the rig, I admit I'm spoiled by the enormously informative
> spectral displays provided by SDRs. It's time to retire the 7000 and
> install something new. The SDRs seem like the perfect, reasonably priced
> solution. Yet the SDRs are so efficient at masking noise that it's nearly
> impossible to use one as a locating tool.
> But my experience is limited to the SDRPlay. I chose the SDRPlay because of
> its frequency coverage. I've tried SDRUno, SDR Sharp and HDSDR software
> packages. I've spent hours experimenting with the configuration of each of
> these software options and have not been able to find a setup that
> effectively, consistently and clearly displays arcing interference. What
> I'm looking for is the type of display one sees on an ICOM IC-756-II or
> -III spectrum display. Look me up on QRZ (KB4T) to see a picture of what I
> seek.
> I've tried an Anritsu and an HP Spectrum Analyzer and they lack the
> sensitivity or the mounting practicality to do what I want.
> There are many other SDRs out there. WinRadio, AirSpy and a boat load of
> other makes and models. HAS ANYONE ACHIEVED ANY MEASURE OF SUCCESS getting
> one of these smart boxes to provide a useful spectral display of arcing
> interference? If so, please share with this group!!!
> Thank you!
> Frank N. Haas KB4T
> Utility Interference Investigator
> Florida
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