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Author Topic: RFI Detectors  (Read 12696 times)

Posts: 280

« on: November 29, 2013, 08:32:45 PM »

Well I have been having PLN for about 3 years now and it is getting worse as time passes.
I have been using my transceiver and 3 el tribander and have started a dialog with the power company.
They have opened a ticket, which they call a reference number.

Anyway, I have been thinking of getting the MFJ-852 or 856 and possibly their ultra-sonic unit the MFJ-5008.
I checked for reviews and not much can be found.

Those that have used the above MFJ units. What are your opinions as to how sensitive, accurate, etc.?

If you are not using the MFJ units. What have you tried and what works for you for finding Power Line Noise?

BTW, I have been logging all calls to the power Co.
Plus using GoldWave, a digital audio editor, to save screen shots (.jpg) of the waveforms and (.wav) sound files...

73, Rick - N8XI


Posts: 1954


« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2013, 11:57:17 PM »

Hello Rick,

If you navigate here:
You will find a review of the Midnight Sciences Ultrasonic pinpointer there...  I sent a link which will list out a number of RFI tools, and reviews.  Good Luck!  RFI is a real issue of late for me...
« Last Edit: May 26, 2016, 09:20:58 AM by NK7Z » Logged

For reviews and setups see:

Posts: 5482


« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2013, 06:33:33 AM »

What have you tried and what works for you for finding Power Line Noise?

I've used a pocket shortwave receiver, an HT with extended receive and my Icom 706 in the car.  Rather than DF the source which can be difficult to do, I use the principle that the closer you get to the source the higher in frequency you'll pick it up.  Get a map of the area and make notes of where, how strong, and how high in frequency you can pick up the interference.  I have literally driven right up to an offending power pole by driving a few sweeps in the area and noting the strength and max frequency.  I don't worry about whether it's a bad ballast, faulty arrestor or arcing insulator.  All I give them is the pole numbers and let them figure it out.  Screen shots and recordings may provide a clue but when you give them a pole number they're much more responsive.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM

Posts: 280

« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2014, 07:26:07 AM »

An email prompted me to update this.
A local pawn shop had a RS Pro-106 'Digital Trunking Handheld Scanner'
good for 25 to 1300 MHz, AM and FM at very good price.
I will be building a 3L Yagi for 135 MHz or one for 2 Meters.

But, the power company, after a few fits and starts for a couple of months, finally came around.
A couple of examples of many log entries.
1) They sent out the fire department and police (just log entries) because they said I had told them a transformer
had exploded. Huh?
2) They postponed because they didn't have the equipment. But, they didn't notify me!
They did this a couple of times and I stuck around the house for them to come.
They never gave a specific time, just said between 8AM and 4PM...

One day I got tired of all the run around and told the "Customer Service Specialist" that my next move was to call
the ARRL, Public Service Commission, FCC and finally their President, CEO and Chairman of the Board until I had some resolution.
I had a Tech call within the hour and was at my QTH within two hours.
When he came the pole causing the most trouble was quiet of course Sad
Before he left he gave me his business card and said if it happens again to call him directly.
This would eliminate having to go through another layer or two of the power companies ticket system.

Anyway, a couple of days later and in snowy conditions, his crew fixed a problem insulator south of here.
Sure enough, when I turn my HF Yagi in that direction that one has cleared.

I have two more noise sources.
The problem pole mentioned above in the SW corner of my property and something due East.

Moral of the story... keep a very good log.
Use the ARRL, Public Service Commission and FCC as places to notify if Power Noise complaints have not been addressed.
I haven't had to use them yet as the power company has started to work on my problems.

Also, it is very easy to find out who the President and/or CEO and/or Chairman of the Board of a utility provider is.
When I last talked to the "Customer Service Specialist", I acted like he and I were golfing buddies Smiley
That may have been why I saw a tech within two hours of my last call...

Above all else don't do any yelling or become temperamental with the customer service people.
Those actions will appear in their log and I am sure you will be treated as a hostile customer in the future.

73, Rick - N8XI


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