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lots of static - new ham

Dec 24th 2020, 15:45

CARLMADSEN

Joined: Oct 10th 2019, 07:40
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Hello everyone - I could use an Elmer! I've had my license for over a year, mostly use it on 2M, but would like to get into HF.

I have a terrible time on 80M, way too much noise. 20 and 40 are better, but still very noisy.

My antenna is from DX Engineering a Buckmaster 7 band 300W OCF dipole antenna connected to my ICOM IC-746. It's installed per manufacturer's recommendation, in trees in my backyard. It's on a slope, as I live on a lake and there's over 80' of elevation change.

It's fed with 125' of DX Engineering RG213U. There's a powerline 70' away, about the same elevation, running parallel to the antenna.

I've tried isolating the different components to find the problem. I disconnected it from my building, powered from a battery, and even shut off the main disconnect to see if I can find the source of the noise. I can't shut off the nearby powerline (to test) without getting the power company involved.

What's my next step? Get a transceiver that has a better noise filter? Install a noise filter in the IC-746? Buy a separate noise filter? Move the antenna?

Carl, N0GFT, Gunflint Trail 3.5 miles from Canada in Northern Minnesota (EN48rb)

73 everyone!
Dec 24th 2020, 15:58

W1VT

Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
According to this graph, if you live in a quiet rural area, you ought to expect an S7 noise level on 80 meters. And the noise will be S8 or higher in a residential area.
https://owenduffy.net/measurement/noise/FSAmbientNoise.htm
Hams who want to do voice on 75 often run amplifiers to help get over the noise.
Zak W1VT
ARRL Senior Lab Engineer
Dec 24th 2020, 17:25

WA0CBW

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Running your antenna perpendicular to the power line may help some.
Bill
Dec 24th 2020, 17:47

CARLMADSEN

Joined: Oct 10th 2019, 07:40
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Q1 - So S7 noise level on 80 meters is common?

Q2 - Should I replace the dipole with an 80M loop and ladder line feed, and external tuner?
Dec 24th 2020, 17:53

CARLMADSEN

Joined: Oct 10th 2019, 07:40
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Thank you Bill WA0CBW yes I can try it perpendicular. That will be a good first step!
Dec 24th 2020, 18:30

W1VT

Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Yes, you aren't likely to do better than S7 on 80M with an efficient antenna and a "normal" location. There are places near the North and South poles that become very quiet when ionospheric conditions prevent noise from reaching those locations.

Noise from lightning storms can easily travel around the world. Antenna heights that we consider impractical are nothing to a bolt of lightning. When it is the middle of winter it is the middle of summer in the opposite hemisphere.

A much better solution than a large loop antenna is a rotatable Yagi on a tower for the higher HF bands. Not only can a Yagi be used to determine what direction a noise is coming from, but a beam can be pointed away from noise sources to improve reception. Often, there are compromise headings that null the noise while allowing good reception and transmission. But, a beam and a tower is expensive.

The most cost effective solution is to learn propagation for your area, and operate at the times of day when propagation is best. As well as the times of year when propagation peaks.

For some, Contests are good time to operate because very loud stations will show up to participate in the contests. For others, they aren't interested in that sort of activity.

Zak W1VT
ARRL Senior Lab Engineer

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