No power in my neighborhood; GREAT HF!

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W4EAE, Jun 21, 2019.

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  1. W4EAE

    W4EAE Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have been dealing with terrible noise on HF lately from 160m-20m. I searched for the source, and it is not close by. (I actually got my neighbors on either side to let me switch off their mains as well for a test last week.) I have just about given up finding it, and I am about to put up a noise antenna and do some phasing.

    A freak storm came through yesterday afternoon with wind gusts in excess of 100mph and took out power for about 40,000 residents of my city, me included. I connected my batteries--which I had already charged in preparation for field day--and jumped on the air. WOW! With the exception on the occasional lightning crash, 80m was pristine. What would have been noise and about 3 QSOs over 100kHz or so because a QSO about every four or five kHz. 40m was not as active, but just as beautiful.

    I am not going to move out to the country side. The rest of my life just works too well for it to be worth it for the sake of radio; but it is wonderful to occasionally enjoy its benefits.
    KJ4VTH, WN1MB, N4FZ and 1 other person like this.
  2. WF4W

    WF4W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    isnt it grand? I live in a semi-rural suburb so noise is low for me. HOWEVER periodically I get a certain noise (see it here ) that drives me insane. I powered off my house and it's NOT in my house. I feel bad for people who have constant noise.
  3. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    My 80M top loaded vertical is surprisingly quiet. Just happens to be far enough from the local noise sources to be a quiet receive antenna!
    NL7W likes this.
  4. W7HTA

    W7HTA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I feel your pain. 40 is all but unusable for me.
  5. KM6CND

    KM6CND Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yesterday, it was a planned power loss I forgot about. I was setting up my Field Day station in the back yard (I'm a 24/7 caregiver, can't venture far from home) when I realized the power was out. I fired up my solar powered FT-991 and... .001 noise floor:), full volume needed just to hear the noise.

    Not much activity, but it was nice to know what it's like to operate far from a power grid.
  6. W4EAE

    W4EAE Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am a bit hopeful that phasing a noise antenna with my dipole will work. I can pick up the noise with a random three-foot piece of speaker wire I had laying around. MFJ, DX Engineering, and few other companies make antenna phasing boxes that should allow me to cancel the noise out. The theory is that the little indoor wire is not going to be picking up stations very well, so put it out of phase with the dipole should cancel out a good bit of the noise.
  7. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    That sounds like an AC line voltage thermostat cycling on and off such as a fish tank heater, or a thermal cutout doing the same thing on an overheated small transformer such as in a doorbell.
    W1TRY, WQ4G, WF4W and 1 other person like this.
  8. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    That is a good choice. I do live out in the country (high desert) and enjoy noise free radio. Unless there is a station tuned in, my S-Meter needle always sits at "0". But being in the country is not for everyone. Where I live, I have electricity and telephone, but that's about it. I have dirt roads, no mail delivery, no street lights, no sewers, no big box stores (100 mile trip to find a Home Depot), and no water (wells are not practical). For water, I have a cistern and I have to fill it myself. If the power goes out, I have to run a generator, just to maintain water pressure. While it is nice living close to the edge, it does take a bit of getting use to. And as you get older, it gets more and more difficult.

    The most positive part of living here is crisp clean air. There is never any smog. There just isn't enough people to create much smog. On a clear night, which is most of the time, you can lay back and watch the Milky Way overhead.
  9. W4EAE

    W4EAE Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't know if something inborn, or just conditioning; but I can't sleep in total silence. If freaks me out. I need the din of a city in the background. If it were solely up to me, I would live in an apartment walking distance from where I work; but my wife does get a say. So instead, we live in a house about three miles from where I work. There are definite benefits. For one, I actually have room to get 136 feet of wire in the air. To me, just about everything else is a downside: a yard to maintain, a house to maintain, an electric bill that is more than double what that of a similarly-sized apartment, and that three miles can take the better part of half of an hour with traffic. But she's happy, so I'm happy.

    I cannot imagine traveling 100 miles to the store. If I am not headed completely out of town, I rarely ever travel more than 5 miles from my house.
  10. K4KYV

    K4KYV Subscriber QRZ Page

    If the FCC would enforce existing rules, this would be a lot less of a problem. Consumer crap from China often has blank holes or jumpers on the circuit board where the missing RFI filter components were supposed to go. The components were included in the prototype used in the test set-up for FCC certification, but omitted once in production, to save a few pennies per unit.
    N0TZU likes this.

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