Thursday, January 29, 2015

MFJ-5008 - Followup

The MFJ-5008 (purchase here) (view my photos here from a prvious post) has proven to be a solid bit of gear.  I had my suspicions when I bought it as to whether it would even work.  However, it works, and works very well!  I have used it while wearing a pair of Beats "Solo" headphones and seems to work well with them.

One of the things I'm trying to work out now is how to record the audio from a location to later analyze it.  I found an app that runs on my Android Smart Phone that should do the trick.  However, I also needed a USB sound card (dongle) that will plug into an OTG cable from the phone.  I bought on this week for about $7.00 on Amazon that is known to work with the app I'm going to try first.  The app cost almost $7.00 on google play.  SO for about $14.00 US I have a nice audio recorder (that also has a built in gps, and camera :-).

All very useful tools for recording the location of power line noise.

The idea is to setup the phone's app and the usb sound card, and connect the sound card to the audio output of the  MFJ-5008 to record the sound of noise.  

Once I have that recorded, I should be able to compare the noise signatures between what I'm hearing at home vs. what I recorded.  They won't be exactly alike...but should help in locating offending poles.

The important thing I'm trying to accomplish with all of this is to identify the noise sources I'm hearing from home and get ONLY those fixed.  That way my problem goes away, and the power company isn't chasing every single noisy bit on their system.  While they're not supposed to be creating this noise, I can't very well have them productively resolving MY ISSUES by fixing every single issue THEY HAVE.  I just need the ones I'm hearing fixed.

Anyway, I just wanted to post a bit about my next phase of plans with the MFJ-5008.

Now that I know most of the really noisy locations in town, I'd like to 'go out on rounds' and check them every day for say 2 wks and make recording of them...combined with weather data I believe that should prove to be quite useful and show more than due diligence on my part to getting this problem resolved.

I would like to mention also that so far it's been almost 2 weeks since I first sent my request to Ameren UE requesting a ticket and reply from them regarding what I knew about the local power line noise and so far I haven't had a single reply from them.  

I will try to call them on the phone in my next round of attempts.  If that fails to get a ticket number, I will send them registered (return receipt letters).  One way or another I'll get their attention.  There are a LOT more options if that doesn't succeed.

The last time I did with with Ameren they replied within 24 hours and had a truck out at my house.  This time seems different so far.  SO we'll see.