Monday, January 19, 2015

Next Steps - After locating a noise source

Now that the "Driveby" system seems to be catching things fairly well simply by driving around, the next steps are to:

  1. Stop and get out of the vehicle when I encounter a spike.  And have a good visual of the area - if possible.  Take some pictures, and note things like weather conditions (skies, wind, temp, humidity), and note the pole number (if there is one).
  2. Get out a VHF/UHF antenna and swing it back and forth, up and down, and all around the suspected site to try to get a closer indication of the problem source.
  3. Get out an Ultrasonic Parabolic dish and hunt around the area detected by steps 1 and 2 above.  With this type of device very often it's possible to narrow down the offending source to within about 12 inches.  Depending on the dish, and specs of the device. 
In order to accomplish steps # 2, and 3 above I've ordered these items.  
  • An MFJ-5008 - "Ultra-Sonic Receiver W/Parabolic Reflector, 40-kHz, Portable, 9-Vdc" which can be found here and HERE - While this device doesn't have many if any reviews on it that I've been able to find, it's price-point as an entry level ultrasonic dish for this purpose seems like a good place to start.  (Even though I don't like a lot of the stuff MFJ sells, some of it is absolutely perfect for a given task, and I'll give them the chance on this one).  There are others like the one Midnight Science makes called an RX-3.  But it's a bit over 2x the price I'm paying for this one.  And has semi-mixed reviews.
  • Arrow II Hand Held Portable, Item# 437X14
  • Alaskan Arrow Satellite Antenna with Split Boom and Duplexer, Item# 146/437-14WBP
  • Male SMA duplexer instead of BNC, Item# MALESMADuplexer
So the idea behind these added items will be to narrow down 'to the device on the pole' I hope...or at least within a few inches of the source.  A lot of these power line noise tech's that power companies use are semi-mediocre at what they do.  Some are EXCELLENT.  But what I'm trying to do is provide them with as much information as humanly possible in order to insure that they actually FIX the problems I'm aware of and that care causing such devastation on 50 Mhz Ham Radio here.

I do reasonably well on 50 Mhz here in Missouri.  However, I *KNOW* that folks are hearing me that I'm not hearing due to this local noise problem.

Anyway, I just wanted to post about the next round of items I'm intending to try to use and why.