[RFI] 1 of 31 re: Using an SDR to locate RFI

Frank N. Haas KB4T utility.rfi.pro at gmail.com
Mon Dec 12 13:06:40 EST 2016

It's time for some additional detail:

1.  The IC-7000 does not have a spectrum scope that is useful. The picture
on my QRZ page is the screen of an IC-756ProIII showing AC Power Line
interference spitting out peaks at 120 Hz from a pole across the street
from my house.

2.   I don't count the frequency of the interference peaks. Instead I'm
more concerned with the frequencies affected by the interference. Power
line interference tends to be 120 Hz rich in harmonics detectable to VHF
frequencies or higher. Switching power supply interference and other
sources can have a fundamental that varies widely and may be detectable up
to HF only or well into VHF and UHF depending on the "power" or signal
strength produced by the source.

3.   The IC-7000 solution I use is convenient. The control head is attached
to the dash in front of my steering wheel. The 7000 has a good and usable
signal strength indicator that works at every frequency the receiver hears.
I've been using that signal strength indicator to zero in on the source
pole or structure efficiently. I have a notebook PC mounted on a computer
dock and stand in my company van. SDR receivers provide much more
information than a signal strength meter. I'd like to enjoy that display in
my work going forward.

4.   The IC-7000 is beginning to fail. It has already filed a grievance
with the radio union alleging that I am keeping it in service despite small
problems that are beginning to consume my time (problems with the audio
chain in the radio, intermittent issues with the display.) It is time to
retire Olde Faithful! The question is, "What solution exists today that
offers the convenience and efficiency that I have enjoyed for so many years
with the 7000??"

5.   I own a Flex 5000a which I love but I wouldn't want to put that box in
my truck. The Flex 6000 series radios are a huge improvement over the
original Flex radios but they are expensive. I don't need to TRANSMIT. A
receiver is all I need. Receivers tend to be far less expensive. Finding
one that allows me to enjoy the convenience I have now is what I seek.

6.   So let's think more practically. What SDR RECEIVER can be used MOBILE
that offers all of the convenience but much more information than what I
enjoy with the elderly and ailing 7000??


Frank N. Haas KB4T
Utility Interference Investigator

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