70768db039d93522f0063838b3f12919.jpg 

 

To the left is a photo of a "gift" that Jackson EMC (my local electrical membership corporation) was kind enough to have given me about 6 or 7 years ago. They relocated the power pole from the property boundary to right in the center of my front yard while remaining in the right of way. They did not do this out of spite (although I sometimes wonder), rather it was conveyed to me as being necessary when they were widening the dirt road for what we all thought was the first step towards a paved road.

They eventually did (about 3 to 4 years later) pave the road and for that I am very thankful, however this power pole has been the source of some quite intense RFI at various times during the day. At the time they relocated the pole I was inactive in amateur radio however once I got back into the hobby I was going crazy trying to locate the source. I tried many different approaches:

  • Turned of the mains to the house and ran the HF rig on battery power to ensure that it was not emanating from something inside the home - result was negative.
  • I used a beam antenna to try to isolate the azimuth where the RFI was the strongest. I had assumed it might have been a neighbors electric fence based on the direction however that has since turned out to be false.
  • I used my HT in AM mode and this resulted in interference when close to the power pole.
  • The final confirmation of the source came from using a 5 pound shop hammer and beating on the power pole while recording the results on my iPad next to the rig. The difference was remarkable. This is the recording of those results

After identifying the likely source, I contacted Jackson EMC and notified them about the RFI and the power pole being right in my front yard. A great amount of time passed without ever receiving any contact about the issue. Finally about 8 months ago I was trying to work a semi rare DX station on a Sunday when the RFI was just too much for me to take any longer. I called the emergency power outage number and claimed my power was out so I could get someone out here and actually put this issue back on the radar. 

Apparently the engineer/tech that handled RFI problems was retiring and I somehow got lost in the cracks. I gave them 8 months as previously stated and finally I called in to the local corporate office and found that a new technician was in that position and he was very attentive and came right out the next morning. Although he did not have the exact gear he needed (he is waiting for it to arrive) he was able to confirm that there was a problem up on the pole but if he were to just send out a lineman to start tightening any and everything that it could possibly make it worse and that if I could give him a couple of weeks until his new gear arrived that he would return and isolate the emission right down to a tack, bolt, insulator, etc.... I agreed with him that a couple more weeks would be nothing compared to the amount of time I have been waiting for action up till now. 

Now I feel confident that this will get taken care of and once isolated and corrected I will be hoping to experience some fantastic receive out here in the country and no more constant "bacon sizzling". I will update this during the course of action. For now, I am keeping my fingers crossed.