Are you within one kilometer of a PLC power line? Two new Amateur Radio bands, 2200 and 630 meters, have an FCC requirement to register ham station locations 30 days prior to use. Operators can map their proximity to high voltage lines that could have Power Line Carriers or PLCs. . Typical map of power lines for gauging potential PLC interference The active line frequencies and sites of Power Line Carrier system (PLC) transceivers which share the new Amateur Radio frequency range (135.7-137.8 kHz and 472-479 kHz), are kept confidential by the power companies themselves. The power line companies are not FCC-licensed for these frequencies, thus they aren't required to register their frequencies in the public FCC database. But, these unlicensed powerline radio frequencies have nonetheless been protected by bureaucratic slight-of-hand. It tends to shield their essential infrastructure control systems somewhat from the vulnerability of general public knowledge. This also presents a huge hurdle for operators in the Amateur Radio Service of USA who now want to quickly find locations where they can operate on these new ham bands. Perhaps this whole registration process was put in place to scare them away, but, ham operators are a resourceful lot. Eventually, amateur operators will develop their own crowd-sourced database of where the lines that carry these ham-band-sharing PLCs are. But, for now, it will be a time-consuming process of trial-and-error reverse engineering of their database to find a good QTH for operating in our new ham bands. A combination of several free online geographic mapping tools can be utilized to make the task of finding an interference-free QTH easier: OpenStreetMap with its utility program called Overpass-Turbo; and Google Earth. Here is a quick guide on how to use these to determine one's own QTH geographic coordinates and the distance to some of the known overhead high voltage lines. This example below in Overpass-Turbo shows how to map some of the lines near a typical ham QTH in the Silicon Valley area of Santa Clara county, California. . Example of using the Overpass-Turbo wizard to find power lines in your county 1. To start with, go to the OpenStreetMap utility site, Overpass-Turbo.eu 2. Click on the Wizard button. 3. Copy and paste the following into the Query Wizard textbox: type:way & (power=line) in "Santa Clara county CA USA"4. Click on the [build and run query] button. 5. Zoom to the local map area 6. View the location of possible high voltage powerlines (it shows lines higher than 69 kiloVolt) Now repeat the process, but this time in the Query Wizard, change "Santa Clara county CA USA" to one's own county and state instead. For example, the query for Albany county New York would be: type:way & (power=line) in "Albany county NY USA" The Export button of Overpass-Turbo to download a *.KML file, which can be opened by Google Earth or imported into Google My Maps. . Image of a *.KML file imported into Google Earth with the Edit Placemark showing QTH coordinates. The distance ruler measurement tool can be set to kilometers to find the distance from the QTH to the nearby power lines. Once the desired QTH location is found on Google Earth, put a placemark there. In the Google Earth - Edit Placemark box, you will see the Latitude and Longitude of the QTH. This can be copy and pasted into a text editor. Then, this can be edited into the strange (slash-separated) Latitude and Longitude textbox entry format of the Utilities Technology Council's PLC Database Amateur Notification Process web form. https://utc.org/plc-database-amateur-notification-process/ Example of converting the above example QTH map coordinates into the slash-separated format for the UTC's web form: 37°21'21.77"N = Latitude 37/21/21 122° 1'15.19"W = Longitude -122/1/15 . Utilities Technology Council's PLC Database Amateur Notification Process web form. Enter the other pertinent information, and wait 30 days for any email response . Note for advanced users: For some counties, the following example of a Overpass-Turbo wizard query string might add additional powerline information: type:way & (power=line | power=cable | power=minor_line) in "Santa Clara county CA USA"