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Good lesson... dealing with power line noise

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Author Topic: Good lesson... dealing with power line noise  (Read 395 times)
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Posts: 124

« on: March 04, 2017, 12:31:30 PM »

I had been experiencing power line noise for sometime but learned to accept it until the problem became increasingly worse.  I had suspected a transformer mounted on a pole near my backyard.  I contacted the power company and an "engineering technologist" was assigned to the case.  I was told that he rarely deals with hams anymore and they used to relied on hams to help detect interference.  They handled dozens of power line noise complaints annually many years ago, but that figure has dwindled to just a handful.  Anyway, the problem was isolated to a "cheap foreign made" lightning arrestor several blocks down.

I was impressed with their responsiveness and subsequent follow-up.  I learned the value of being friendly and developing a good relationship--be patient, don't go "guns a blazing", or threaten them with the FCC.

All is good and quiet now.  I almost forgot what low noise sounds like!
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2017, 05:28:27 PM »

  I handled interference complaints in my area for the local power company, did that for 15 years or so, in this day of cable and satellite TV I handled few complaints for that. The term the company used was RTVI, Radio and TV Interference. The main group I got complaints from where HAMS which was one of the reasons I handled the work. Next were those with AM radio interference.

  It did help if the ham tried to do locating in their own, I had specialized equipment that was designed to locate power line interference which made it easier, you really don't want AGC for locating RFI. I would always speak with the person who put in the complaint before going out.

  A very significant number of times I would find the source was not utility, there are LOTS of poorly designed electronic devices that generate RFI. Things like wall warts that are switching power supplies, battery tenders cheap fluorescent lights  to name a few.
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