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Author Topic: Power line noise  (Read 439 times)
NA7I
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Posts: 9




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« on: August 29, 2009, 09:36:59 AM »

I have high noise on 80 and 40m. Our house is in a newer development, and the (underground) power is turned on/off by a control box with a short radio antenna down by the street. I'm wondering if anyone else has diagnosed noise problems from these devices. I've not really started to chase the noise, yet. - Thanks - Dick NA7I, Bozeman, MT
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AH6RR
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Posts: 803




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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2009, 10:01:20 AM »

Aloha Dick,
It would be best to hunt the noise source down first before Assuming that the noise is comming from the control box. I had a problem on the low bands also but the source of the noise was more than a mile away. Also make surf that none of the noise is comming from your own household equipment. Hook the radio up to a battery than turn the breakers off 1 at a time. If that solves the problem find what is hooked to that circuit (ie. TV/Computer ect.)If not then it gets a little harder with out a mobile setup. If you have a mobile rig than it's time to do a little driving (Fox Hunting). Once the noise source is found than get the Power company involved it is their problem and they are compelled to fix-it. Our power company has a team we call the "Noise Boy's"
and their job is to find and get these things fixed.
Good Luck
73'
Roland AH6RR
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K1CJS
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« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2009, 07:52:33 PM »

better to turn all the breakers off and run your rig off a battery when turning the breakers on--one at a time--and off again.  If the noise comes back each time--or is still there with all the breakers off, then its a good bet the noise originates outside your home.  If the noise doesn't come back until one specific breaker is turned on, it's a simple matter to find the outlets powered by that breaker--because all the others will be off.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2009, 07:53:16 PM »

Oh--and be sure to check all the breakers like that--the noise may just come from more than one circuit.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2009, 08:24:34 PM »

How is power turned on and off?

I guess a better question might be "WHY" is power turned on and off?  I\'ve never lived anyplace where the power is intentionally turned off...
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WA3SKN
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Posts: 5559




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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2009, 05:12:22 AM »

Fisrt verify that it is incoming via the antenna, then verify that it is power line noise.  Underground installations are usually quiet, and power transformers normally block noise above about 400 Khz.  I\'ll bet you have a digital device in the house that is causing your noise problems.  Operating the radio off a battery and throwing breakers will isolate the noise.  Don\'t forget that you can have more than one noise source!
Good luck!

-Mike.
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N0EQ
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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2009, 08:40:47 AM »

K1CJS wrote:
" ...better to turn all the breakers off and run your rig off a battery when turning the breakers on--one at a time--and off again..."

I bought a set of cheap, wireless headphones for around twenty bucks on eBay to use for "noise hunting". Plug the headphones\' transmitter thingie into the audio output of your rig, then wear the cans as you walk around the house, turning things on and off. Then you can hear when the noise starts and stops without having to run back and forth to the rig.


Craig \'Lumpy\' Lemke

www.n0eq.com
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K0OD
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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2009, 09:04:45 AM »

"the (underground) power is turned on/off by a control box with a short radio antenna down by the street."

***I think we\'d all like to hear a lot more about this.***
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N7ZM
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Posts: 131




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« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2009, 12:03:23 PM »

Dick,
I\'m not sure about power companies reading remotely, but I am a retired waterworks Foreman, and water departments have been doing this for over 20 years now. The meter box has a round remote antenna on top of the meter box. Not familiar with electric meters, but I imagine that they are operating like this also because it does save time and expenses on meter readers.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2009, 12:21:23 PM »

"I bought a set of cheap, wireless headphones for around twenty bucks on eBay to use for "noise hunting". Plug the headphones\\\' transmitter thingie into the audio output of your rig, then wear the cans as you walk around the house, turning things on and off. Then you can hear when the noise starts and stops without having to run back and forth to the rig."

Good idea, but you still want to turn off the power by the breakers.  Otherwise you may well miss a noise source that is on all the time, such as a light dimmer or a wall wart.
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KL0S
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Posts: 132




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« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2009, 12:23:30 PM »

Underground utilities are not an absolute guarantee of a RF quiet QTH.  See my experience where it turned out to be an underground connection that was the culprit:

http://www.arrl.org/news/features/2003/08/10/1/

Good luck!

73 -- Dino KL0S
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