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Author Topic: Does a quality HF RFI "sniffer" exist?  (Read 12996 times)
WB4BYQ
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Posts: 179




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« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2010, 06:50:43 AM »

when christmas is over a lots of noise goes away.  same for me.

richard
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N2EY
Member

Posts: 3833




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« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2010, 07:15:14 AM »

Whatever you do  never move next door to a railway line, even in the countryside. The Westinghouse modern signal systems use a form of BPL that jams the HF bands.

Not in the USA. No form of BPL is used by US railroads.

What country and system do you mean?

73 de Jim, N2EY
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KB3BTO
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Posts: 41




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« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2011, 04:54:44 PM »

 Here's an update: the RFI came back as it does every winter. Today, I received my MFJ-856 (it was back ordered for many weeks) and put it to work as soon as I could. It was no great surprise that when I got close to the utility pole closest to my home the 856 started to squawk. I had long suspected that this was the source of the RFI but I could never prove it. Now, I can.
 I called the utility representative and left a message to report that I had discovered the source of the interference. I am looking forward to seeing the utility company repair crew out there one day soon.
 I really didn't look forward to spending the money for the MFJ-856, but another winter of not being able to operate on 10 meters was unacceptable to me, so I did what I felt I must. I do not regret that decision.
 
  73, and I look forward to working you on 10 meters just as soon as the sunspot gods smile upon us once again.

   Charlie Shaw
   KB3BTO
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NN4ZZ
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Posts: 36




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« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2011, 07:19:30 AM »

Does anyone know the cost of the radarengineers M330? 

It seems like it should be in the $300-400 range but you never know.   The MFJ-856 may be much less expensive but I'd prefer a quality product and the MFJ reviews are not so good.

Are there any other good quality commercial RFI detection tools available?  A kit would be a good alternative  too but I'm not looking for homebrew solutions to couple loops or yagi antennas to a portable, etc.

(Kit designers....this may be a good product to consider.  There appears to be a market for a quality tool)

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
 

See the professional equipment on http://www.radarengineers.com/rfitvi.htm.

My power company has it. It makes identifying sparking poles a breeze in comparizon to AM radios, 3-el MFJ sniffers etc.  It also makes it easy to distinguish between different types of RFI. Guys from my local power company let me use it around the house.

Ignacy, NO9E
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NA4M
Member

Posts: 59




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« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2011, 05:26:21 PM »

Are there any other good quality commercial RFI detection tools available?  A kit would be a good alternative  too but I'm not looking for homebrew solutions to couple loops or yagi antennas to a portable, etc.



Wonder if anyone has tried one of these for RFI sniffing? 

http://www.nationalrf.com/type_hfdf_vector.htm

73 Phil NA4M
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NN4ZZ
Member

Posts: 36




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« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2011, 04:30:52 AM »

Update on the M330 -- I called RadarEngineers and got the price for their model M330.   It is $1,975.  The M330 is apparently one of the best tools available but it's easy to understand why more hams don't own one.  (it might be a good investment for a club to but and rent out)

I'm also looking at the ZAP CHECKER model 300 which is about $400.  Does anyone have any feedback on this product?  It come with a small log periodic antenna and I'm curious about how this works for locating powerline noise.

Al / NN4ZZ


Does anyone know the cost of the radarengineers M330? 

It seems like it should be in the $300-400 range but you never know.   The MFJ-856 may be much less expensive but I'd prefer a quality product and the MFJ reviews are not so good.


See the professional equipment on http://www.radarengineers.com/rfitvi.htm.

My power company has it. It makes identifying sparking poles a breeze in comparizon to AM radios, 3-el MFJ sniffers etc.  It also makes it easy to distinguish between different types of RFI. Guys from my local power company let me use it around the house.

Ignacy, NO9E
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AJ4RW
Member

Posts: 568




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« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2011, 05:00:34 AM »

This problem, although might draw your curiosity, doesn't require you to spend a dime of your money to rectify the problem.  I've been working feverishly with the electric coop in Suwannee Valley to try and correct this problem but haven't found the source/s of the problem yet.  It drives me nuts to tune across the 10 and 6 meter band and hear this nasty rasping noise, almost like someone welding in my radio.  I've had 3 experts confirm it's powerline noise plus I knew what it was from the start.  The ARRL has an expert, Mike Gruber, who helps amateur operators deal with the problem but if there's no correction made to resolve the issue, then you can file a petition with the FCC and they will force the power company to fix the RFI.  Here's an ARRL website:
 http://www.arrl.org/power-line-noise-faq-page
73 Randy AJ4RW
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WB6BYU
Member

Posts: 12980




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« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2011, 12:30:52 PM »

Quote from: NA4M

Wonder if anyone has tried one of these for RFI sniffing? 

http://www.nationalrf.com/type_hfdf_vector.htm


That is going to have the same problems as any of the other loops suggested:  it works at a distance
when you are dealing with essentially a point source, but totally falls apart when you get close and
the RFI is radiating from two points on the same powerline a half wavelength apart (because when
the null points at one source you still hear the other.)

Another problem with loops, especially on the lower bands, is that they will couple to local wiring.
If you stand under a power line, you may get a null pointing down the wire regardless of where the
source actually is.  This is because the loop is picking up most of its signal by coupling to the (much
longer and higher) power line.  When the loop is perpendicular to the wire, coupling is minimum and
you get a null.

Unfortunately, because HF beams are otherwise impractical for most such hunting, the best you can
do when you get close is just listen for the strongest signal and ignore the (nonexistant) directional
pattern when the noise is radiating from a power line.  Similar problems exist inside a building, where the
loop will couple to the AC wiring.  This is true of any sort of DF receiver, professional or otherwise.


For VHF/UHF work, VK3YNG has a range of "sniffers" that are actually full-featured DF receivers:

http://www.foxhunt.com.au/

Otherwise, most of the equipment designed for hunting ELTs on 121.5 MHz will work for power line noise
when you are close enough to hear it on VHF.  Here are a couple that I've used:

http://www.ltronics.com/
http://www.trackersecurity.com/FTV-Receiver.html
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