[AMRadio] fuzzies on the 80 meter band

Jim Wilhite w5jo at brightok.net
Wed Mar 17 21:39:56 EDT 2010

This recent discussion kind of hit home today.  My shack is self 
contained and about 25 ft. from the back of my house.  About 3 months 
ago the power company hired a tree trimming company to clear branches 
from near the power line service in the area near where we live.  They 
have almost finished the job in a 5 mile radius when I noticed that a 
lot of the noise I had been hearing disappeared.

About 3 weeks ago a real loud buzz saw signal appeared on 3.730 or so 
and extended up to near 3.775.  It was terrible and kind of made me mad. 
So finally today I had the time and inclination to see if it originated 
in the house.  I used a small Sony SW receiver and put the antenna all 
the way down and started sniffing.  The noise was almost non-existent at 
the service entrance so I kept looking.

Finally I found that my Zoom ADSL modem seemed to be the point of 
origin.  When I unplugged it, the noise went away completely.  Thinking 
it was the wart, I put another on it and the noise came back somewhat. 
I had another modem sitting here so I changed and now the band is clear 

I noticed on the label that the wart sticker said it is Rohs compliant. 
So my guess both it and the modem might have grown tin whiskers.  I just 
wonder if I have avoided a potential house fire in addition to clearing 
a real buzz saw.  Boy do I hate progress.


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