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Author Topic: Underground Utilities  (Read 1271 times)
N4UE
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Posts: 292




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« on: June 23, 2002, 05:16:12 PM »

Hi all. I'm pretty excited. Just returned from the new QTH in Florida. I had a choice of several different lots. I really liked one lot (5 acres is kinda standard), but it had questionable restrictions. I managed to find 5 acres with underground utilities and no restrictions against antennas OR towers. One OM in the subdivision.
My question is this: Of all you hams out there, have you had any problems with underground utilities? There are the small, metal distribution boxes on each lot, but I'm looking forward to some long wire antennas. I have some huge Oak trees on the back of my property. There are no power lines of any size, for at least 1/4 mile, in any direction. Investigation with my R-10 receiver(with a 4' whip), showed zero noise on any frequency. Been a long time since I heard that! Yes, it was working, could hear the CBers on the interstate a couple of miles away......

I would be very interested in any comments, either positive or negative.......

tnx

ron
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KL7IPV
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Posts: 984




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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2002, 11:59:45 PM »

I have had the use of my radios with underground utilities since 1980 in Alaska, Colorado and now Nevada. I have NEVER experienced any kind of problem. That is not to say you can not, it just says I have been fortunate. If the electric box is above ground for ventilation you could get some noise one day but that would be fairly easy to find if it happened. Congratulations on your good fortune. Enjoy !
73
Frank
KL7IPV
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K9KJM
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Posts: 2415




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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2002, 02:39:27 AM »

Overall, I would rate buried primary power lines above "overhead" lines. You can still have power (Lighting) surges and interference from them, but should be better than overhead lines. And 5 acres sounds great! Lots of room for antennas!
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KB4X
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2002, 12:55:01 PM »

Ron,

I lived in and operated from a subdivision with underground utilities for about 17 years.  I had zero line noise and/or other problems related to the utilies during that entire period, except they had to dig up my front lawn in about year 15 to replace the mains.  I think you will enjoy the underground and find it far superior to overhead utilities as far as hamming goes.

Good luck at your new QTH.

73,

Bob, KB4X
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N4UE
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Posts: 292




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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2002, 01:17:31 PM »

Thanks for all of the great responses! I am certainly looking forward to the move. The last QTH was in an older subdivision, and was dead quiet when I moved in. However, as the area built up, the noise increased to the point my station was unusable on 6 and 2 meters. For some reason, (still unknown) the utility company ran the overhead distribution line directly over the middle of the back yard! When you only have 1/2 acre to begin with, that ain't good. On dry, windy days, the noise was 40db/S-9. Yes, the power company worked on it, but the problem was just plain awful.

thanks for the answers.....

73
ron
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20595




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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2002, 02:45:02 PM »

Underground utilities are far nicer, not to mention less likely to fail due to some bozo slamming his car into a utility pole.  I place "underground utilities" fairly high up on a checklist of what I'm looking for in a home.

WB2WIK/6
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W0JOG
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Posts: 28




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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2002, 04:36:10 PM »

I vote for underground utilities too. Especially here in the Ozarks where ice storms in winter can be a problem. I wish someone had the clout to demand the utility industry bury all its obscene lines and noise.

One caution with underground. If you get inspired to bury radials, etc., be sure to call their toll-free number and have someone come to snif out the line and show you just were and how deep it is.

73 de Vern, W0JOG
www.runningriver.com
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N8EMR
Member

Posts: 235




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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2002, 01:33:49 PM »

There is no such thing as underground electrical wiring.
Its all an illusion. WHile it may be underground on your  property and maybe ever subdivision, it will make it above ground sooner or later.
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KL7IPV
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Posts: 984




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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2002, 01:39:30 AM »

Well, that is not entirely true. While most underground utilities may eventually go above ground , not all will.  It really depends on where the distribution center is for the utilities and how they were designed to begin with. As far as noise, Ron. On a day of high, dry winds, the winds will build a static charge on the antennas as well. They noise you heard could have been just from that and not the electrical utilities. If the antennas you install are to be at a ground potential, be sure the ground you have is good. If the static charge builds too high, it could discharge into your radio and other equipment. A good static discharge unit that we used to use long ago was a spark plug that allowed the discharge to leap the spark plug gap to ground. I believe you can now buy commercial units that accomplish the same thing. Good luck with your new location. Congratulations.
73
Frank
KL7IPV
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20595




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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2002, 06:29:07 PM »

You're right, Frank.  In some modern areas near me, the electrical utility service is 100% buried from the substation to the end user.  The only overhead lines are the high tension lines, which are hundreds of feet above ground because they must be.  But the 7200V domestic distribution system is entirely buried.

WB2WIK/6

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K2WH
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Posts: 199


WWW

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« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2002, 08:17:28 AM »

Sounds like your biggest problem will be atomospheric noise.  Florida is the lightning capitol of the world.

K2WH
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WA4PTZ
Member

Posts: 528




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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2002, 08:42:22 AM »

Just be sure that you have the utilty companies
locate and mark their stuff before you dig or
drive posts, anchors, or tower bases. Then take
pictures and measurements from the house to be sure
that you will know their locations in the future.
Don't assume anything. If you screw up , your
homeowners insurance may cancel you. That is
serious.
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N6AJR
Member

Posts: 9906




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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2003, 09:09:39 PM »

Burried is the way to go.  You will find even driving through an area with power lines in the air that a distant repeater becomes questionable but in the area with burried utilities you get out much better.  This goes for stationary antennas too and  I prefer the burried any day of the week..

73  tom N6AJR
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