Originally Posted by scruggsy
well I'm almost certain that this question has been asked before, but here goes anyway! (because I can't find it)
my house sits about 75yds from high voltage power lines, and I was wondering how does this affect my scanners reception?
I have a bct-8 connected to a mag base mobile antenna sitting high in the room, and a bcd396xt with a RS telescoping center loaded antenna,
I have no problem with reception for a 25 to 30 mile radius on the 396xt, and a solid 20 mile radius on the bct-8, I have even received some really strong signals from about 60 miles away to the NNW on the 396xt which makes since giving that it was coming from high in the Blue Ridge Mtns of NC,
I'm just wondering what I would be hearing if not for the Power lines?
so how do power lines affect reception?
I have a set of 125kv lines less than 100 feet from my antennas. No problems at all unless there are arcing insulators on the lines at the support structures. Insulators can arc and not be seen by eye. The power companies usually like to know if you are hearing powerline interference as they can fix it before something more catastrophic happens. They use a variety of detection gear including ultrasonic using parabolic dish's that they pinpoint a fault with.
Ameren is very good in my area about coming out if I report noise.
My lines terminate at a small sub-station located maybe 500 feet from me.
That substation does use remote switching that is usually used more in the hot summer months. When they open or close the switches, I do hear that mostly on my HF rigs and then on VHF Low band more than anything.
I once had a bad insulator that fed an apartment complex just next to me.
The guy from Ameren found it very easy with the ultrasonic thing. In that case, I could hear the interference all the way up into the UHF range.
They had to send out the forestry crew as the lines were in a very overgrown area. It was fixed in about two days though. Now they have a program going where they are starting to go underground with everything. They started with the areas that have had a lot of outages due to trees coming down in ice or wind storms and will then move to the areas that don't normally see any power loss. It will take them years if they ever complete the project. I suspect it will get shutdown as management changes as it has to be very costly.
If your lines are in good shape, they should not cause any interference to your scanners. A faulty insulator can be heard on an HF receiver for several miles away if that helps tell you anything.
Usually, if you can hear powerline interference in the UHF band, it is going to be close to you. And when something does start going bad, the yes, it can wipeout scanner reception! It sounds like really bad raspy buzzing noise. It's very noticeable on weak signals.