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Author Topic: Power lines only occasionally cause RFI?? Would it be possible?  (Read 33282 times)

Posts: 8

« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2014, 03:22:14 PM »

Bad advice!  Many power companies (the one I work for included) will prosecute you for vandalizing their property.  The pole does not belong to you, so you have no right to start "smacking" it with a hammer.  Hitting a suspect pole may also cause a power outage if something is ready to break.  There is also a distinct danger of a cracked transformer switch, failing lightning arrestor, etc shattering with pieces falling on you or nearby vehicles.

Don't do it, please!

Well, I don't think that a little tap will hurt anything. I've used a hand sledge to stop arcing many times in the past, but I didn't hit it hard. If you tap on the right pole, it just takes a light tap to affect the noise on the portable radio in your other hand.

You can probably do more damage by yanking on a pole guy too hard. I've seen cows scratch themselves on pole guys, and the transformers and wires really danced! No harm was done, but I sure wouldn't try and duplicate what a big cow can do.

Who said anything about a little tap?  The poster said to "give is a health smack" (sic).  Tap or smack, you have no right to hit utility company's property.  No more right than I have to smack your dog with a hammer if it barks too much.  Or crack the neighbor kid's rice box with a loud muffler.

I have been doing interference investigations for the electric company I work for over 34 years.  The safest thing to do once you locate a suspect pole is report it.  Yes, I know some companies suck at responding to these calls, but I make sure I thank my customers for calling us, even if it's the noisy power supply in their computer.  I have found many problems ready to take 1000s of people out of power thanks to a report from a nearby ham.  One line fed a small hospital.  Imagine the outcome if someone would have nailed that pole with a hammer.


Posts: 907

« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2014, 07:17:53 AM »

N3AB is so right. It seems that every location I've ever lived in (I retired from IBM (I've Been Moved)), has had RFI problems of one sort or another. My current location is a very small, old town and I'm the last person on one particular run.
Our RFI investigator was a super hard working, nice guy, but he relied on me to provide the location of the poles.

Hint: build a WA5VJB 'cheap yagi', cut for about 125 mhz. I use several cut for different frequencies along with an Icom hand held receiver.

Anyway, this chap retired and his replacement is  another super guy, + he is a ham! He had no problem tracking down all of my noise sources. He said that lightning arrestors / loose hardware are the most troublesome, at least here in the Sunshine State.

One thing that still bugs me are the trees that grow up into the AC lines..... The utility co. just don't have 'extra' money to hire tree trimmers year round.

There are excellent books on the subject. Back 'in the day', you were on your own. I've got a great story about 'loose hardware', but it's long....


If you're not the lead sled dog, the view never changes......
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