Power Line Noise?

sparklehorse

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The days it worked well we’re dry and breezy. But over the past several months that I’ve had the issue we’ve had all kinds of weather that didn’t seem to make a difference.
My powerline noise tends to be minimal when it’s raining, and at its worst during a hot, dry spell.
Affects VHF Hi for sure, even worse in the shortwave bands.
.
 

emsflyer84

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Mine seems to be fairly consistent regardless of weather. The only clue I have right now is that the noise was totally gone one day when they were working on the utilities in the mile stretch in front of my house. Like something was turned off while they were working. Then it was back the next day. I had power and cable the whole time they were working so I don’t know what they could have turned off.
 

emsflyer84

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Reviving this thread with an update... Power company replaced the transformers on both poles near my house this morning. The power was off at my house and the houses around me. During that time, reception with my scanner was great. So my issue is definitely power related. After the transformers were replaced and power was turned back on, the noise and interference is back. I was hoping the transformers were causing the problem, but I guess not. They are still working on the utilities up and down the road so we'll see what happens.
 

iMONITOR

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Quick tip: Once in a while the signals that are scratchy and noisy come in crystal clear all of a sudden, like someone threw a switch. Then just as quickly, the noise would be back.

This seems to rule out any issue with the power companies wires and transformers in my mind.
 

emsflyer84

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This seems to rule out any issue with the power companies wires and transformers in my mind.
True, but still when the power company cut power to my house the noise went away. And I already ruled out my own house as the issue by killing the main breaker and the noise remained.
 

iMONITOR

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True, but still when the power company cut power to my house the noise went away. And I already ruled out my own house as the issue by killing the main breaker and the noise remained.
It's most likely something one of your neighbors is running. Anything unusal in your neighborhood? Neon signs, electric fences, small welding shops, doctor offices, hospitals, ETC?
 

mtindor

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The days it worked well we’re dry and breezy. But over the past several months that I’ve had the issue we’ve had all kinds of weather that didn’t seem to make a difference.
Please don't rule out noise that is being generated from within (your house wiring or devices). Before pursuing anything with the power company I would suggest:

1. Pick a time when the interference is active and really bad
2. Immediately shut off your AC completely at the panel
3. Then immediately evaluate to see if the noise disappeared
4. Probably should do that on at least two occasions, separated by time

If you can absolutely rule out anything internal causing your interference, then you have that ammunition to provide to the utility (eg: noise is still present with my power turned off). Because otherwise, without truly proper equipment, you may only be able to guess where the noise is coming from -- and if it's coming from in front of your house, it could be something on the pole or it could be something in your house. You want to rule out your household wiring / devices being the culprit.

That's just my take, FWIW.

mike
 

emsflyer84

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It's most likely something one of your neighbors is running. Anything unusal in your neighborhood? Neon signs, electric fences, small welding shops, doctor offices, hospitals, ETC?
Nothing unusual, basically rural all residential. Like I mentioned earlier, I can do a non-scientific test with the AM radio in my car tuned to a dead station. When I drive by my house the noise on the radio increases dramatically. Once I get past my house and my neighbors house it drops off. The noise on the car radio is loudest when I pull in my driveway, but that could just be the orientation of my car, etc.

Here is the strange part. This all started several months ago as an intermittent problem, where the noise was more often NOT present, and it would happen only sometimes. It became more and more often until now when it's constant. The only time in the past several months it's been gone is when the power company was working on the lines around the house. The first time a few weeks ago that it was totally gone for a whole day, they were working on the lines in the stretch in front of my house. The second time it was gone they turned of the power to my house to replace the transformers. As soon as my power was back on the noise was back. And the noise stayed while they replaced the transformer in front of my neighbors house, during which time I assume their power was off. So to me it seems like it's directly related to my house, or the main power line from the pole to my house.
 

iMONITOR

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Any electric heaters, humidifiers, well pumps, video cameras, outdoor lighting?
 

iMONITOR

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Dimmer switches, touch On/Off lamps, florescent lights, CFL/LED light bulbs, photocells, doorbell transformers?
 

tweiss3

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Do you have any agricultural neighbors? This past year a club member had an issue with a neighbor using a mismatch ballast/bulb for interior gardening (because they were cheaper than buying the correctly paired set) and wiped out his radio usage completely.
 

JoshuaHufford

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I would go talk to the crew working in your area and see if they could tell you what they have been switching off while the problem went away, might give you an idea. Maybe bring them some cold drinks and cookies or something, might make them more willing to help.
 

DS506

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Any device running on or backed up by battery, solar, or a UPS? Alarm system, WiFi, Sump Pump? Any gas engine, wind turbine?
 
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