Recieve issues, Sauk County. RFI or EMI?

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KC9ZNV

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Hi all, Another Noob Here,

I am studying for my Tech level Ham, in the mean time I'm working on a receive issue in Sauk County near Baraboo.

I have three problems that I am facing just on reception.

T.V. Free broadcast Digital
Wireless Internet
all Scannable frequencies in my kitchen as well as one weird twist related.

The TV Broadcast is ok now with our 3rd NEW antenna, what happens is that around 5-8PM in the fall some Madison Channels will go out (Pixelated) - We have a local professional who works on this from time to time. We are not sure if its interference from the near by big rock (125-200 ft. above the ground level) issues from a very near by tower, or as I recently found out a General class HAM close by. (I can't hear his broadcast. _ only list this problem as it may help be a determining factor. I cannot find any filters in the feed line but I can't get on the roof to look up higher.

The wireless internet, This is kind of the companies problem, as well as where its mounted the little box antenna with cat-5 can see the "repeater" tower mounted on a silo near by but it may just be receiving problem because it shoots between two metal buildings about 2-3' apart - Once again, Just noted as potential indicator.

My biggest problem and why I am writing this is this. My kitchen blocks ALL VHF and severely messes up UHF from time to time. We have tried two different scanners but very little difference. Here's where it gets spooky and why I'm concerned. If I walk through scanning for the local 2 meter and 70 centimeter repeaters, my portable scanner will lock onto one of two repeater outputs ( I forgot which frequencies) but it will just be noise, it will also freeze on the 155.7 Police frequency with solid noise. Now a first thought was just throw up a Discone and be done with it, but even weirder the kitchen TV will pixelate when a person stand in a certain spot in the kitchen. The spot is coincidently about 10' from the feed line. I sad spooky.

Now, Like I said there is a Tower near by (less than a mile and I can see it), I assume its a repeater for the local municipalities as it's owned by TV6-HC Towers, LLC. I don't know for sure. So when the system was upgraded to the new FCC mandate last year, this stuff started happening. However, both scanners will work outside but will indicate knife edge when I walk to where the scanner once sat in the kitchen (on the outside). So we were convinced that the yet to be installed discone would help the problem, but this still doesn't explain the problem with where a person stands in the kitchen.

I thought maybe some RFI or EMI in the house or something with the Aluminum siding. I busted out my little am radio and started searching. I hear a heavy buzz at the power supply to the house, I hope that's normal, it quieter when I follow the water lines and wires in the basement, It disappears at all the sinks and some of the protected outlets except for by the kitchen sink and window. The kitchen window screen acts like a buzzing beacon as well as the surrounding siding outside. My biggest concern is do I have stray voltage somewhere? I can not pick this signal up heavy anywhere else. I certainly don't want a fire. Nobody has been shocked as I am aware of.

The window faces west but there is another 90 degreed wall to the next west wall, that other west wall only has buzzing near where the outlets are and a faint RFI from the living room television.

I'm half tempted to run a ground rod and sheet metal screws into that aluminum siding by that wall, but I'm still concerned about stray voltage or some other threat.

Any ideas on what to look for?
 

R8000

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I can't help you with the DTV stuff as I don't use it.

The VHF/UHF stuff could be getting interference from about 10 different things in your house. Your wireless internet hardware could be noisy, poor quality switching power supplies, computers...etc.

To eliminate RFI from something in your house, fire up your battery operated receiver and listen to the noisy signal, then kill your main circuit breaker in your house and see if the noise goes away. If it does, you nailed it down to local noise and can then re-apply power and kill things one at a time till your noise goes away.

If it doesn't, then you can at least be at ease knowing it's not coming from your own place.

This is a good starting point. Noise/RFI can be a real bear to track down.

Good luck.
 

ofd8001

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This may fall into the looking for Zebras when hoofbeats are heard. . .

That being said, leaky cable TV has caused interference (or at least back in the days of analog cable TV systems).
 

ScanWI

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In modern houses there are a lot of things that will give out dirty RF mainly on the 2m band. If you want to PM me I can give you a hand in figuring it out. I am from the area.

The best suggestion I would give is, put the antennas outside.

155.700 is the local Sheriff Freq, this is on a repeater at the Court house in the center of town. So when they are broadcasting your scanner stops on it but there is so much interference all you can hear is static. 147.315 and 146.880 are the local 2m repeaters with 443.900 is the most active local 70cm repeater.

I would try listening to the 70cm freq and see if you still have the interference.
 

KC9ZNV

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Sauk County WI
Its an old house, I had cut the power to the WiFi and it did nothing. I couldn't hear anything frombthe AM radio when right next to it any way.

I'll have to cut the power to the whole house to rule out the radiator across the road I'm 8-9 miles from the court house, I know which tower your talking about. If the screen still acts like an antenna, I'll know. A

I did put a small "scanner" antenna out in the back yard about 10-15' away frombthe quiet wall and ran tge line right next to the TV antenna coax. My portable scanner loves the new antenna but my base will freeze on the national emergency or fire frequency and give a loud distorted noise directly after the. .7 frequency for Sauk is recieved. Im looking for another base to see if it died or is just to sensitive. I can't tell if its bleed over or just messing up fron of the reciever. I picked up similar distortion on the roof directly above the kitchen with my rubber duck in my portable when looking for places to put the recieve only antenna.

I'll keep in touch, its working for now, kinda and my ham test is in 2 weeks, I have to finish reading the book.
 

KC9ZNV

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Well, I haven't cut the power to the house because the antenna in the back yard has muted most of the problem and all of a sudden the local 2M and 70CM work in the kitchen (Scratchy but they work).

I do have an interesting development, First the guy at Radio shack in Reedsburg, claims everyone has problems with reception, He claims it started when the local municipalities did their upgrade. Second, The brrrp noise that trails a lot of voice on the scanner, usually from Reedsburg started showing up in my hand held attached to my portable scanner. This is new, So I may have to look at the antenna and try some type of grounding. If I knew what kind of interference it was I would add in filters to the line.

The only main source of interference I have potentially interference I have identified is the electric fencer. This show up prominently at when its humid outside, but only on 2M (usually the local YTARC repeater and the .88 machine) I will trace the fence line later . The interference pulse from the fencer is completely different than the distortion sound and so I'm still at the start line to this problem.

I have noticed the sound sounds similar to what we believe is a digital packet of some sort on the national emergency frequency 155.465 MHz that bleeds over to 155.460 MHz

I recorded the Emergency frequency noise: linked up here: This is the major noise! - YouTube but haven't recorded anything from normal traffic on the scanner as I am not really sure the best way and most legal ways of doing that yet. They sound is similar in distortion. Folks across the country claim there is a weird noise on the N.E. frequency according to forums, but I don't know if its the same sound. Not sure if it's related.

My test is tomorrow for Ham if I pass I will order a FT-60R most likely that can listen on air craft bands and see if I cannot pick up the RFI then.

Thanks for keeping up with me.
 

KC9ZNV

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Okay. Things arent working out. kc0wkp I tried to pm you but it tells me I'm not authorized.
 

R8000

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Your major noise on your YouTube video is digital data.

It's not noise..it's data. Sounds like P25 data.

Your trying to monitor stuff in the VHF band. You WILL get interference from many things, and also when the bands open up...skip from other areas.

Program in the local action you want to hear...with a PL/DPL tone and call it good.
 

ScanWI

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155.460 from the video is a channel used by WISCOM. What you were hearing is the P25 digital coming over as someone was talking.
 

KC9ZNV

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OKay, I actually reduced the outside antenna issues with the outside scanner antenna, (the scanner does not allow for pl tones) I found a open in the outer braid of the RG-58, I am still tring to remove the hiss I find on the Sauk county dispatch and Baraboo PD in the kitchen, Depending on the position in the room it shows up on the local HAM repeater. I get a his and on the frequencies between 100 and 112 MHz I can pich up a slow pulse, This resonates to the outside of the house as well.
 

KC9ZNV

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Update: Though the battle continues, I have solved one of the major troubles with the kitchen. The cattle tank had a water heatingvelement in it. This little contraption started to short out into the water. The water line is hooked to the house as well. So when I was led to believe something was going by the sink it actually was, just not RFI from where I thought. This was a major growl that sounded similar to the digital transmission on the tactical channel that blead over. When we put the antenna outside it helped some, however, when we discovered the blown heater and replaced it, the growl just went away. Now all that is left is a hiss on 155.7 almost exactly. But I am still working to correct other issues with TVs, screw in florescent bulbs, and anything else I can now start to pick out. I will still just keep antennas outside and research the aluminum siding as this happened all of a sudden. I will also have to open the phone box and look for suspicious things where the house is hooked into the service.

Thanks all.
 

ScanWI

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One thing you could try that would be a great project and usefull for many things not only interference locating. Build a homemade yagi and attach it to your hand held on known bad frequencies and 5 Khz =or- of that frequency.
2 METER SSB YAGI ANTENNA - A 6 ELEMENT BEAM HOMEBREW PROJECT
Here is a great link to some plans and there are many more out there. I would suggest using your Ham Radio HT over a scanner because it will be more sensitive. You could always purchase a Yagi from AES or Hamcity, but I find building one is a lot of fun and you can learn a lot doing it.
 

ScanWI

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A little addition to my earlier post there are other plans out there for smaller yagis that could be used for fox hunting or interference finding.
 
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