Dealing with External QTH RFI: My Journey

The duality of comfort and severe insanity is a fine line to what can make or break an amateur radio operator at their home QTH.  I am now a victim of RFI around my QTH and it has been exciting to work through and solve.

This all started around February when D&D Power, a local subcontractor of National Grid did a very sloppy job on some line work on my street. This caused severe RFI at my QTH to the point all bands were useless to work CW and SSB.  FT8 seemed to make it through on an s9 noise floor.

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With the help of Amir K9CHP, Jerry NK2C, Roger WA2AEW Steve KD2ETP, Rob (Call will remain nameless due to association with power company)  and the ARRL Folk at their RFI labratory (Paul C.), we all had our part in identifying what this problem could be.  It turns out some components were bad the pole down the street from my home. That took almost 5 weeks to fix and National Grid had to fix the issues of D&D Power on a new pole they installed. National Grid did a great job keeping me informed and vise versa. I thank you National Grid for picking up the slack and fixing those issues. Existing pole still has telecom lines installed while a new pole next to it has high voltage lines.

(sorry for the crappy picture)


Now fast forward to today. My RFI issues continue as now they are intermittent.  on 04/05/2020, I sat near my radio just about my entire Sunday and monitored all ham bands and no noise to be heard, until about 15:00 and intermittently occurring.

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This is where I am at, attempting to locate this next bit of noise. Wave files below for your listening pleasure.

Recording Equipment: IC7610 with a WA6LVP RX Loop with null pointed directly at noise source.

Disclaimer to naysayers: Before you suggest that is in my home, I am a capable Amateur Radio Operator and already ruled that out.  Think before you speak.

UPDATE 01/21/2021 –  Continued issues with that same pole and broadband noise.  See video below.

UPDATE 01/24/2021

Noise is still there. NG Crew came out and attempted to find it. They could not. Also, I had some other Amateur Radio Operators out to assist and reasserted that this issue is not in my home, but outside. We did find a null at the pole in question where signal peaked and overwhelmed the receivers of our tracking rigs. I am glad they are continuing to look at this, but it is disappointing that this issue still is intermittent and exists someplace in our area.

UPDATE 01/25/2021:

RFI is back but very intermittent.

UPDATE 02/19/2021

RFI today on my day off has taken an interesting turn, it is now intermittent after 09:50 AM ET. Sound clips below capture some of that intermittency. Funny thing is that noise stopped when snow flurries subsided. Engaged Paul C. from ARRL Lab to assist once again in pinpointing this noise.

Update: 02/28/2021

A Breakthrough!


**** & his coworker were able to get out to this location during the wet snow storm we had earlier in the week.

They identified the source of the radio interference into one of our high line towers.

The NGRID OHL Supervisor went out to do a visual from the ground and did not see anything obvious from that vantage point. 

We therefore need to wait until our company helicopter (down for maintenance until the end of March) can run the line from above.

I appreciate your patience and I’ll be keeping you updated.

thank you,

Red is my QTH

Green line is the HV Powerline.

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