For those that don’t know what this is? Here’s a primer: http://w4neq.com/htm/linenoise.htm
Powerline Noise source quite graphically demonstrated by Powerlinenoise.com
Example of what my HF rig looks like, Kenwood TS-480SAT – This is where I get the Interference described in this blog post. More pictures are here: http://forums.qrz.com/showthread.php?t=193638
Another powerline noise – radio frequency interference (RFI) was located Friday at just under a mile from my antenna. The noise got as high as S9 on the meter on my HF/SSB/AM/FM Ham Radio (Kenwood TS-480SAT) in and around the 80 meter ham band. It was also able to drown out or cover WWV time signals on 5 Mhz to a hand held AM receiver in the area around here. At the source the interference go up into the VHF bands around 300 Mhz. In the ham bands it makes contacts impossible to all but the strongest signals. In amateur radio we often communicate to stations with weak signals down to even S1 or S0 (off the scale).
An example of my VX-6R handheld that has wide recieve and AM capability that I used on my Powerline RFI hunt
I took a drive the night before myself and tracked it the best I could without a directional antenna – using a Yaesu handheld tranceiver that has wide band coverage all the way down to the AM broadcast band. Before the FPL guy came out I had a map, see the following:
The trick to locating powerline noise sources is to start low in frequency … where you first can hear it on your base station ham gear. Note what it sounds like and the re-acquire that same sound on a handheld AM reciever. Then you can drive North, South, East, and West and see when it disappears. If you’re lucky you will find a general direction where it is coming from. You can then drive in that direction … in that area … and try to narrow it down more. If, like happened to me, you can get an S-meter reading going up higher as you get closer you can try to re-acquire the signal at a higher frequency. In my case the highest I got was 20 Mhz, and I wasn’t able to get close to it. It’s often difficult to know where you can drive to get closer to it. Often you are dealing with private or semi-private property. You can look suspicious to security and police. I do remember asking myself “Could it be from this FPL Power Substation” while driving by it on Mcnab Road in Pompano Beach, Fl. Just east of Powerline Rd. And that’s exactly where the FPL guy found the source. So a work order is in to fix it.
The actual power pole(s) that the noise is coming from, exiting the FPL Substation
And here is where that is at…
At this outdoor facility, Substation Cypress Creek #279
A Google Earth “Street View” look at the Cypress Creek #279 Substation
Thank you to FPL for coming out and tracking it down the the exact spot. And for putting it in for repair.
* Here’s what powerline noise RFI hunting looks like by the Power Company folks. These are not local pictures – but the process and the equipment used is the same.
Log Periodic handheld antenna (very directional) tracks it down to the source pole (or whatever.)
Tracking down a specific pole with Log Periodic VHF – UHF Antenna
Bucket Truck Fixing Powerline Noise broken Power Company Hardware
* Some people reading this might say “So what?” because they don’t use Amateur Radio. Well other communications can be affected as well as the ARRL article above tells … Because most people nowadays listen to FM Radio, watch Satellite TV or Cable Tv, and Portable Music Players not too many of them would even detect much less report powerline interference. There might be a few that use CB Radio, or listen to Shortwave Radio broadcasts. But other things including television can be affected. I think we need more people listening to “something” that would detect powerline noise interference. The power companies will only fix what WE report that we hear on our radios on our antennas. But there is a lot more broken and failed powerline hardware out there – and I find it hard to believe that the power companies don’t have a way to detect them. This broken and arcing hardware is obviously a safety issue as well. There was a story somewhere (off the ARRL page) of arcing powerline hardware starting a tree and fence on fire.
Have a look here: http://www.tvtower.com/Commercial%20Television%20Frequencies.html TV and CATV frequencies – many are in VHF and UHF. Powerline Noise when you are close to the source can get up into VHF and UHF frequencies. It could get picked up by cable tv systems. Powerline noise doesn’t care if you use the newer HDTV (ATSC television) or the older Analog (NTSC) it’s all frequencies. It can all be interfered with. * I have had powerline noise interference up to 52 Mhz here! That’s the 6 meters ham band and it’s in the VHF range. When hunting down powerline noise they find it with directional antennas up around 300 Mhz. So it’s possible for it to affect two way radio, FM radio, Television, and more… It’s very broadband. It’s very ugly.
Here’s what the ARRL article had to say about what all can be affected by powerline noise interference:
Power-line noise can interfere with radio communications and broadcasting. Essentially, the power-lines or associated hardware improperly generate unwanted radio signals that override or compete with desired radio signals. Power-line noise can impact radio and television reception — including cable TV head-end pick-up and Internet service. Disruption of radio communications, such as amateur radio, can also occur. Loss of critical communications, such as police, fire, military and other similar users of the radio spectrum can result in even more serious consequences.
* Check out the video on this page: http://blog.labelprinters.org/2007/09/fp-substation-explosion.html
73 de KA4UDX,