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KC2UGV
08-09-2013, 08:51 PM
So, I just moved my antenna (Due to moving my shack, don't ask), from the back of my house, to the side.

While, it's been a few months since I've had my HF rig on (Life being what it is), I just got it all going today.

And, DAMN. RFI.

It's a noise from 40 meters to 10 meters, at about 1 beat per second, and crosses the entire band. And, like S9 across the whole thing.

So far, I've ruled two rooms out in the house, but what should I be looking for as a source? I know generally certain items sound the same. If an audio clip helps, I can get that.

K7SGJ
08-09-2013, 09:54 PM
You didn't, by chance, end up closer to a plasma tv? What if you temporarily take it back where it was and see if the noise is gone?

KC2UGV
08-09-2013, 10:39 PM
You didn't, by chance, end up closer to a plasma tv? What if you temporarily take it back where it was and see if the noise is gone?

I don't think so, but at this point, I'm assuming it's external to my QTH... It doesn't sound like a Plasma TV (According to ARRL samples), but I could be wrong. I suppose I could try that in the morning (Moving the antenna back).

KJ3N
08-09-2013, 11:06 PM
First thing to do: Put the radio on battery power and kill the main breaker. If the problem goes away, then the issue is in the house. Be sure to disable any UPS you have first.

Do you have anything that can RX at 6m in AM or SSB modes?

KC2UGV
08-09-2013, 11:28 PM
First thing to do: Put the radio on battery power and kill the main breaker. If the problem goes away, then the issue is in the house. Be sure to disable any UPS you have first.

Do you have anything that can RX at 6m in AM or SSB modes?

Unfortunately, no 6M RX (Unless TV counts). I am however, going to kill the main breaker in the morning, however, I don't think it's interlal. My troubleshooting spideysense thinks it's the new neighbors.

But, that's a reason to meet them :)

K7SGJ
08-09-2013, 11:31 PM
Unfortunately, no 6M RX (Unless TV counts). I am however, going to kill the main breaker in the morning, however, I don't think it's interlal. My troubleshooting spideysense thinks it's the new neighbors.

But, that's a reason to meet them :)

They don't ride motorcycles, do they? Cue TZ music.

suddenseer
08-10-2013, 08:56 AM
Does the rf meter move with the one beat per second 'tick'? My daughter had a rock polisher that introduced a slow tick noise in the line. I was unaware of it's presence until I fired up the rig.

N8YX
08-10-2013, 09:30 AM
Discharge threshold for some sort of HV device as it reaches breakdown? Arcing transformer? Electric fence charger or bug zapper? I can think of a number of devices which would do this.

As Jim suggested, eliminate your house as a source first. Next, get a handheld AM radio with a loopstick antenna - which is somewhat directional - then go hunting.

KC2UGV
08-10-2013, 09:32 AM
They don't ride motorcycles, do they? Cue TZ music.

They do... And wear leather jackets...


Does the rf meter move with the one beat per second 'tick'? My daughter had a rock polisher that introduced a slow tick noise in the line. I was unaware of it's presence until I fired up the rig.

It does, actually. No rock polisher, but that's the line I was thinking: A slow motor (Like a ceiling fan, or dryer).

WTKX
08-10-2013, 11:01 AM
Some heaters do that, water and house. Other appliances as well.

Do you have an HT with wideband RX thru the shortwave and VHF bands?

I've used my VX-5 to find noise sources in AM mode...

KC2UGV
08-10-2013, 06:20 PM
Ok, so shutting my house down, and using a handheld radio, I still get the noise.

Weird thing: It appears to be coming from every power line, cable line, and phone line on my house and the neighbor's. I can hear it when I place the radio close to the power/cable boxes on both my house, and the neighbor's.

So, what's the next step to hunt this down? Start walking the street, and doing the same on the poles?

K6BSO
08-10-2013, 06:25 PM
Ok, so shutting my house down, and using a handheld radio, I still get the noise.

Weird thing: It appears to be coming from every power line, cable line, and phone line on my house and the neighbor's. I can hear it when I place the radio close to the power/cable boxes on both my house, and the neighbor's.

So, what's the next step to hunt this down? Start walking the street, and doing the same on the poles?

Could be something at your neighbor's house. You probably share a pole pig with him and possibly one or two others.

KC2UGV
08-10-2013, 07:12 PM
So, I think I narrowed it down to a house 2 doors away. Before I even consider approaching them, I'm attaching a file of the RFI. Any ideas what it sounds like, so I can offer suggestions, like,"Have you recently installed X in the house?"

kb2vxa
08-10-2013, 08:06 PM
A few years ago I had that tick all over the place centered on 50MHz and checking with other stations we discovered it covered a good portion of central and south Jersey coming from the south. I didn't check to see if it was radiating from external wiring though, never did figure it out. Sorry I can't help but you just might like to know you're not the only one receiving the carrier current transmitter of WWV.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CpsPgXyIm8

KC2UGV
08-11-2013, 10:24 AM
So, I think I narrowed it down to a house 2 doors away. Before I even consider approaching them, I'm attaching a file of the RFI. Any ideas what it sounds like, so I can offer suggestions, like,"Have you recently installed X in the house?"

As an aside, it sounds damned like an electric fence. The problem I'm running into: It's a city lot, so an electric fence is unlikely. So, what other candidates are there other than an electric fence? Does this also sound a doorbell transformer?

PA5COR
08-11-2013, 10:34 AM
Sometimes people have electic fences to keep cats from their premisses, or protect birds they hold....do you have someone that has birds there in an ouhose maybe?

KC2UGV
08-11-2013, 11:33 AM
Sometimes people have electic fences to keep cats from their premisses, or protect birds they hold....do you have someone that has birds there in an ouhose maybe?

You know, they very well might have an electric fence to keep out cats... We have quite a few ferals here, and lots of people garden.

KJ3N
08-11-2013, 11:46 AM
Anybody have a boat with an electric motor? Outside possibility that it's a marine battery charger.

KC2UGV
08-11-2013, 12:01 PM
Anybody have a boat with an electric motor? Outside possibility that it's a marine battery charger.

The house very well might. At this point, I'm just collecting ideas of what it may be (Give the audio profile), for when I do approach them.

KC2UGV
08-11-2013, 12:19 PM
Just spoke with the neighbor, and I let her know of the problem. I gave her the roughest estimate of where in her house the problem is (Dead center from side-side, and about 10 ft from the front of the house).

She asked me what to do, and I offered to hunt down the source in their house, but she wasn't very receptive (I even offered the opinion that it sounds like something is arcing, which is problematic for more than one reason to her and her husband). At which point, I left it at that, and offered to help hunt it down in the future when she contacts an electrician.

Not sure where to go from here. I don't want to alienate a neighbor, but I'd also like to work HF... Maybe re-orienting the antenna is just the best way to go, to try and null out their house?

K7SGJ
08-11-2013, 12:36 PM
Well. you could always build a Faraday cage with a man-door around their house.

KC2UGV
08-11-2013, 01:58 PM
So, I just re-oriented my antenna by 90 degrees... Still there, so trying to null out the neighbor didn't work so well.

Is it worthwhile to try and pawn this off onto National Grid? Or, just file an FCC interference complaint, since it's interfering with AM broadcast band?

K4WGE
08-11-2013, 02:30 PM
You know, they very well might have an electric fence to keep out cats... We have quite a few ferals here, and lots of people garden.

What about an "invisible fence" that keeps dogs in? Don't really know what emission from that source is...

KC2UGV
08-11-2013, 02:49 PM
What about an "invisible fence" that keeps dogs in? Don't really know what emission from that source is...

I asked, they don't have one of those. Adding to that, I've narrowed it down to inside of their home.

K6BSO
08-11-2013, 02:57 PM
If the neighbors aren't being helpful, you can go to the FCC and file an RFI complaint.

http://www.fcc.gov/guides/interference-defining-source

KJ3N
08-11-2013, 03:47 PM
If the neighbors aren't being helpful, you can go to the FCC and file an RFI complaint.

http://www.fcc.gov/guides/interference-defining-source

He's not at that stage, yet. When he hits a brick wall in cooperation, then this might be an avenue to pursue.

kb2vxa
08-11-2013, 09:00 PM
When or IF he hits a brick wall in cooperation he hits a brick wall... PERIOD. All the FCC ever does in such cases is send out Part 95 form letters neighbors wipe their asses with. If you think Amateurs have any protection under the law (there IS no law) you've got another thing coming.

KC2UGV
08-11-2013, 09:03 PM
When or IF he hits a brick wall in cooperation he hits a brick wall... PERIOD. All the FCC ever does in such cases is send out Part 95 form letters neighbors wipe their asses with. If you think Amateurs have any protection under the law (there IS no law) you've got another thing coming.

Except, it interferes with broadcast AM as well...

K6BSO
08-11-2013, 09:15 PM
When or IF he hits a brick wall in cooperation he hits a brick wall... PERIOD. All the FCC ever does in such cases is send out Part 95 form letters neighbors wipe their asses with. If you think Amateurs have any protection under the law (there IS no law) you've got another thing coming.

Start reading the FCC enforcement actions and you'll see that you don't know what you're talking about.

WTKX
08-11-2013, 09:37 PM
Keep 'em happy, help them with computers, or veggies, or somethin...

K7SGJ
08-11-2013, 11:55 PM
Make them a batch of your world famous magic brownies. Wait thirty minutes, and they'll be very cooperative.

n2ize
08-12-2013, 02:57 AM
Start reading the FCC enforcement actions and you'll see that you don't know what you're talking about.

Actually I can understand where Warren is coming from. Maybe things have changed today with respect to RFI complaints from hams and swl's. But a couple of decades ago RFI complaints to the FCC or the power company rarely brought any satisfaction. Most of the time they would simply send the homeowner a booklet about RFI and that was as far as it went. Neighbors were often uncooperative. The usual argument from neighbors was , "well, your ham radio comes through my (enter name of cheap consumer electronic piece of junk) so how can you accuse my house of interfering with your ham radio gadget". Most people don't comprehend how their electronics can interfere with ham radio. After all they don't have an antenna, they aren't transmitting, so its impossible that it could be coming from their house. And complaints to the FCC rarely got action. Perhaps its different nowadays.

The overall noise floor has risen considerably on HF here. Considerably higher than it was 10 or 20 years ago. Most of it is noise from all the computer and networking gear installed in my own home, neighboring homes, and throughout the neighborhood in general. In the aftermath of hurricane Sandy it was incredible how quiet the radio spectrum was as the power was down and most of the neighborhood and computer networks blacked out. I could hear weak stations on a little piece of wire, Soon as the power came back on and all the computing stuff came back online WHAMMO... the noise floor shot right back up to normal.

WTKX
08-12-2013, 09:05 AM
If a ham gets interference and also shows it's a problem in another radio service, it will get dealt with eventually. The sound clip does sound like an electric fence, but it might be for a cordless drill or something similar. There are some appliances that do some weird RFI clicking as well.

If they cooperate to the point of switching off circuit breakers in the house, it could be found quickly.

KC2UGV
08-12-2013, 09:11 AM
If a ham gets interference and also shows it's a problem in another radio service, it will get dealt with eventually. The sound clip does sound like an electric fence, but it might be for a cordless drill or something similar. There are some appliances that do some weird RFI clicking as well.

If they cooperate to the point of switching off circuit breakers in the house, it could be found quickly.

Well, likely not a drill, as it's 24x7 (For the past week). I'll revisit them in a few days, to see if they made any progress, and impress upon them the need to rectify the issue, and again, offer my assistance to find out.

I'm thinking whatever it is wont last much longer. It's arcing, and not supposed to (They have no battery maintainers, no electric fence, none of the usual suspects), and it's pretty bad; which means it'll die soon (Hopefully).

WTKX
08-12-2013, 10:37 AM
There have been cases of regular clicking caused by arcing in bad wiring. I found one of those last time I searched the "RFI subject. Could probably find it again. Wires were terminated inside a metal box that was dampened. The arcing actually caused charring. It got caught before a potential fire, because Ham Radio Always Saves the Day. But seriously, it is a malfunction, possibly dangerous.

Sell 'em on that.

I fixed a leaky cable install in my neighborhood AFTER I got my 200 watt 2M SSB signal out of a cheap home entertainment system.
Used CAT5. Their splitter leaked a nice carrier at about 144.201.5. Bad installation. Easily fixed by terminating unused ports.

When you go QRO, you'll might be able to install shielded twisted pair wires to all their speakers when they hear you on SSB.

Without complaints. ;)

KC2UGV
08-12-2013, 10:39 AM
There have been cases of regular clicking caused by arcing in bad wiring. I found one of those last time I searched the "RFI subject. Could probably find it again. Wires were terminated inside a metal box that was dampened. The arcing actually caused charring. It got caught before a potential fire, because Ham Radio Always Saves the Day. But seriously, it is a malfunction, possibly dangerous.

Sell 'em on that.

I fixed a leaky cable install in my neighborhood AFTER I got my 200 watt 2M SSB signal out of a cheap home entertainment system.
Used CAT5. Their splitter leaked a nice carrier at about 144.201.5. Bad installation. Easily fixed by terminating unused ports.

When you go QRO, you'll might be able to install shielded twisted pair wires to all their speakers when they hear you on SSB.

Without complaints. ;)

What's funny, is I actually pressed that issue (Likely arcing at high voltage) more so than radio interference... It's likely I was talking to the wife, who was less than trusting of me (It's the beard, I think).

Main reason I plan on revisiting in a couple of days, to hopefully get a chance to speak with the husband, who may be a bit more receptive to hunting down a potential fire hazard.

n2ize
08-12-2013, 12:38 PM
They don't ride motorcycles, do they? Cue TZ music.

Now, you boys don't happen to be HAM RADIO OPERATORS... Approach it like these guys did and you won't have any problems with the neighbors.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-BvorCzdbM

K0RGR
08-12-2013, 03:16 PM
It sounds like some kind of clock motor to me... I wonder what the actual frequency of the clicks is?

kb2vxa
08-12-2013, 07:33 PM
Thank you IZE, that post was based on personal experience with touch controlled lamp dimmers and a totally hateful neighbor. So I don't know what I'm talking about? Yeah, right.

Shelley Fabares was just too <pant slobber pant> CUTE. That was 1964 and now it's 2013---EEK! But I just have to ask, what kind of ham antenna is this???
Rod Serling had a thing for ham radio, another episode it was mentioned in was The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street. "Claude has a ham radio in his basement - sending messages to them aliens?"

K7SGJ
08-12-2013, 07:58 PM
It sounds like some kind of clock motor to me... I wonder what the actual frequency of the clicks is?

I was kind of thinking on those lines myself.

Most clock motors are synchronous, of the induction type. They typically run at 1 RPM, (60 cycle synchronous) although I have come across some over the years that are different, but they are rare. Another thing that I was pondering was the control box of a sprinkler system. Some of the older ones use the above style motor, however, more recent ones are mostly all electronic. There is the possibility of a timer on most anything, electric water heaters and refrigerator defrost timers for example. I can see a whole pot load of possibilities, but the majority are negated by the fact that the symptom is consistent and a 24/7 constant. It sure would be nice if they could pull power for just a few minutes. Can you get to the breaker panel when they are at church? Another thing I found at my own place last year, was the whole house surge suppressor I had installed at the service entry panel started generating noise during the summer, in the afternoon, as the sun was beating down on it. I disconnected it and the noise cleared, hooked it back up, and a few minutes later, noise again. I shot the shit out of it with freeze spray and it cleared up for the rest of the day, but returned the next afternoon. I swapped it out with one of my extras and never had another problem. Just something else to consider.

A conundrum, indeed, I shall ponder it further.

kb2vxa
08-13-2013, 07:14 PM
Just to clarify, a 60Hz synchronous motor turns at 2400 RPM and if it's used in a mechanical timer or clock it's usually with a gear train in a sealed unit with the output shaft turning at 1 RPM. As such the likelihood of one producing RF hash is nil, I wouldn't discount any cam switches it may be driving however. The possibilities are endless and diagnosis by remote control impossible, you could be bantering this about forever. The only solution is good old fashioned hands on detective work, process of elimination. Get out of the bathroom, that's NOT what I meant!

Just remember that many devices stay on when switched off so the way to be sure it's completely powered down is to pull the plug and wait at least a minute for a big electrolytic to discharge. That's by design so momentary power glitches don't upset the apple cart. That made me think, I have a VCR that keeps time for forever and a day, the internal clock must have one hell of a big cap in it.

"A conundrum, indeed, I shall ponder it further."
A conundrum, indeed, I shall grok it further. There, all fixed. Grok means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed, as part of the offending device you will gain knowledge as to how to fix it. Then if all else fails you can eat it.

WX7P
08-13-2013, 07:27 PM
Start reading the FCC enforcement actions and you'll see that you don't know what you're talking about.


Gee, that's a shock

WX7P
08-13-2013, 07:29 PM
Just to clarify, a 60Hz synchronous motor turns at 2400 RPM and if it's used in a mechanical timer or clock it's usually with a gear train in a sealed unit with the output shaft turning at 1 RPM. As such the likelihood of one producing RF hash is nil, I wouldn't discount any cam switches it may be driving however. The possibilities are endless and diagnosis by remote control impossible, you could be bantering this about forever. The only solution is good old fashioned hands on detective work, process of elimination. Get out of the bathroom, that's NOT what I meant!

Just remember that many devices stay on when switched off so the way to be sure it's completely powered down is to pull the plug and wait at least a minute for a big electrolytic to discharge. That's by design so momentary power glitches don't upset the apple cart. That made me think, I have a VCR that keeps time for forever and a day, the internal clock must have one hell of a big cap in it.

"A conundrum, indeed, I shall ponder it further."
A conundrum, indeed, I shall grok it further. There, all fixed. Grok means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed, as part of the offending device you will gain knowledge as to how to fix it. Then if all else fails you can eat it.

Why should we pay any attention to you , when you don't even use the quote function.

You're being contrary on purpose and I think it's assholish. Get a life.

You don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

N8OBM
08-21-2013, 01:26 PM
So, I just moved my antenna (Due to moving my shack, don't ask), from the back of my house, to the side.

While, it's been a few months since I've had my HF rig on (Life being what it is), I just got it all going today.

And, DAMN. RFI.

It's a noise from 40 meters to 10 meters, at about 1 beat per second, and crosses the entire band. And, like S9 across the whole thing.

So far, I've ruled two rooms out in the house, but what should I be looking for as a source? I know generally certain items sound the same. If an audio clip helps, I can get that.

I don't know If you have solved this yet but Is there any possibility of getting a better quality recording of the sound? Possibly something direct, bypassing the microphone at the highest sampling rate you do? I've been trying to get a better look at it for clues as to what It came from. I looks like it might a be a series of pulses followed a short period of low gain which is most likely from the AGC in the radio. I'm thinking maybe hash on the power lines from a switching supply, A funky CFL bulb, or if you are really unlucky some power companies have been playing with a form of BPL to talk to their Smart Power Meters.

Archie N8OBM

mw0uzo
08-21-2013, 01:32 PM
Its not just you bro here's my 30m qrss grabber 'filled with weak signals' and S9+ of vicious qrm
10483
with all that shit covering everything up you may as well sell your radios

KC2UGV
08-21-2013, 01:36 PM
I don't know If you have solved this yet but Is there any possibility of getting a better quality recording of the sound? Possibly something direct, bypassing the microphone at the highest sampling rate you do? I've been trying to get a better look at it for clues as to what It came from. I looks like it might a be a series of pulses followed a short period of low gain which is most likely from the AGC in the radio. I'm thinking maybe hash on the power lines from a switching supply, A funky CFL bulb, or if you are really unlucky some power companies have been playing with a form of BPL to talk to their Smart Power Meters.

Archie N8OBM

Haven't "solved" it yet. Going to pop by the neighbor's house again this week to ask if they tracked it down. I'll again offer my services to help find it, and if they refuse again, I suppose I'm left with filing an interference complaint, which has ground, because it also affects broadcast bands (AM broadcast).