[AMRadio] Bad Static Problem

Jim Wilhite w5jo at brightok.net
Tue Feb 1 15:35:24 EST 2005

Generally speaking when you near noise in greater strength at low 
frequencies, it is VERY close to you or far away.  Noise of the specific 
variety propogates according to the length of the wave.  IF it is power line 
generated and you hear it on 160 and 80 strong and weaker on the higher 
bands, then it will be far away and carried by the line.

The closer you get to the source the higher frequencies will get strong as 
well.  Equipment for finding the specific location of power line noise will 
be tuneable from 30 to 300 MHz, AM.  The closer you get the higher in 
frequency you should go until reaching 300 MHz and using a beam antenna you 
can pinpoint the pole where the noise is.

Check around your house for sources of noise that has been suggested, TVs, 
VCRs, your stove (if it has a microprocessor) Satellite receiver (mine has 
broadband noise), doorbell transformer, your water heater, water softner, 
etc.  If it is in your house you should be able to hear it on the higher 
frequencies but you say it is not strong there.

Remove the antenna connection to your receiver and see if you hear it, if 
not attach a short piece of wire.  Should you not hear it with the short 
wire, it will be located in your neighborhood or down the street up to a 
mile or more away.  Then you should check your neighborhood with a hand held 
portable.  If you own a portable or scanner that receives the aircraft band, 
then make up or purchase a 3 element VHF beam and use a short piece of RG 58 
to attach it to the portable.  Start at lower frequencies and as the noise 
gets louder, switch to the higher frequencies until you locate a couple of 

At that point, copy the numbers on the poles and call your power company. 
Document the call and who you speak to in case they are not very responsive. 
Sometimes it takes a few days to a couple of weeks for them to fix a 
problem, be patient and give them adequate time.  If, within about 6-8 weeks 
they have not contacted you, call again and document every call.  If they do 
not respond in about 3 or so months, then send a complaint to the FCC with 
copies of your documentation.  This is all true if the noise is coming from 
the power company.

If it is a neighbor, then notify them verbally, be very nice, but do 
document.  Recently the FCC sent a Notice of Apparent Liability to a man and 
woman who owned an electric wheel chair and the charging circuit was 
generating noise.  The ham installed filters and the owner removed the 
filter.  After several attempts to convince them to fix the problem and they 
would not, the ham sent the information to the FCC.  The FCC made several 
attempts to convince the owner and when they would not address the problem 
the FCC sent the notice.

This is probably more than you want to know, but it illustrates where some 
of these crazy noises can originate.

73  Jim

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Schichler, Alfred" <ASchichler at microwavedata.com>
To: <AMRadio at mailman.qth.net>
Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2005 7:48 AM
Subject: [AMRadio] Bad Static Problem

> I just started getting an intermittent noise problem on several bands that
> runs from s-9 to about 20 over. It's especially bad on 40 meters,
> but I can hear it on 80 and 160 pretty good too. Not too bad on the higher
> bands. Sometimes it is just one or two pops per second, then it changes to
> as much as about 50 or more pops per second, then slowly back again.
> Sometimes only one every few seconds. This is very annoying, because the
> main receiver I use does not have a noise blanker, and the noise limiter
> doesn't do a whole lot.
> I was wondering if that sounds like anything similar to the noise any of 
> you
> other guys have been getting. (Maybe from power lines?)
> I can't hear it at all on a portable AM broadcast band receiver, so it 
> might
> be difficult to track down without getting the power company involved.
> Thanks for any help.
> Al, NE2D
> ______________________________________________________________

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