Saturday, January 2, 2016

New/OLD Power Line Noise 2016-01-02

The past few days it's been cold and dry here in Missouri.  Seems a new crop of power line noise likes to start up in these conditions.  From my QTH it peaks about 50 degrees.  When I turn off the internal preamp and use IPO1 I can just detect it on the S meter.  When I use Amp2 on the FTDX-5000 (preamp #2 on) it's about S9.  

The weather has been COLD around freezing (31F as I write this), and very dry atmosphere the past 3-4 days.  Skies are mostly clear.

Here's what it looks like in HDSDR (AM MODE)

Note (STRONG 120Hz and harmonics 180, 240...)

Here's what it sounds like:

After some review of Google Earth, and some drive testing I've found a line of poles that seem to fall in the correct azimuth (50 Degrees from my tower).

Here are some pictures of the poles I've ID's so far.  The poles with numbers shown above exhibited ULTRASOUND (40 KHz) arc'ing noise as well as 400 MHz Power Line Noise (AM) during this drive test.  AM 1.7 MHz also had a VERY STRONG (ON/OFF) Power Line Noise exhibited as well, however, I was unable to track that one down due to it's nature.  It sounded like some sort of ON and OFF semi-randomly.  It's unrelated to the primary noise I was tracking down in this drive test though.  (I'll revisit that one soon).

Pole # 570236

Pole# 570252

Pole # 570244

(Ultrasound TOP insulators, road-most was the worst)


  1. Attempted to contact Ameren UE (800-552-7583) @ 2:26PM 2016-01-02 however they're not available during non-business hours for non-emergency issues.  I'll try again 2016-01-04 on Monday.
  2. Contacted Ameren and filed a report/complaint 2016-01-04 12:30PM.  I forgot to get ask for the dang ticket number.  So we'll see how this goes.  Normally they send a service truck out within a few hours to discuss things, and then within a few weeks the RFI team arrive, then a few weeks later they start work on repairs.   So first person I talk to I'll get the ticket number.  Or I'll call back and get the number.  
    1. The last time I called in a request like this it got a little messed up on their end.  I was told they were in process of changing staff and their procedures at that time, so hopefully this will go more smoothly this time around.  Ameren has ALWAYS been very responsive, it's just a matter of being a little bit patient with them.  They've always been very curtious and understanding in the past.