Please read the Power-line Noise FAQ and follow the steps set up by the ARRL and FCC to efficiently handle power-line noise interference complaints. If reasonable efforts have been made to try to resolve interference directly with the power companny and it is not able to correct your noise, read the FAQs and applicable articles, then contact the ARRL for help, providing the information that the FAQ says is needed for ARRL to work on the case.
Please understand, the ARRL does not have any authority to enforce FCC Rules under federal law. Only the FCC is empowered to enforce its rules in the United States. The ARRL Laboratory Power Line Noise pages are our best recommendation on how to resolve a power line noise problem. However, once a complaint becomes an FCC enforcement matter, the ARRL no longer has control of how the complaint is handled.
Locating Power Line Noise with Mike Gruber, W1MG, of the ARRL Laboratory. A demonstration of an actual power line noise case in Pleasant Hill, California.
Tutorials and case histories
- Transmission & Distribution World Magazine
provides practical information and insight toward A Smarter Approach to Resolving Power-Line Noise. T&D Magazine is edited for engineers and operating professionals in the electric power industry. Expanded from this article with additional information is The Issue of Power-Line Noise A Smarter Approach.This expanded article covers all aspects of how best to handle and resolve a power-line noise complaint.
- MFJ-5008 Ultrasonic Receiver, Poduct Review by Mike Gruber, W1MG. QST June 2016, p 53. Provides detailed information on the use of ultrasonic receivers to pinpoint the offending source hardware on a pole.
- Locate And Fix Power-Line Interference
QST December 2001, pp. 68-69
Technical Correspondence from Gene Preston, K5GP
- How the FCC can Help with Power-Line Interference
- Basic Steps Toward Tracing and Eliminating Power-Line Interference
QST November 1991, pp. 43-46
- Power-Line Noise Mitigation Handbook for Naval and Other Receiving Sites
This is a comprehensive manual that describes how to understand, locate and correct power line noise. A must for every utility or RFI troubleshooter.
- Cornering That Buzzing Interference
QST March 1924, pp. 34-35
An early power line noise tracking experience from the earliest days.
- Power Line Noise Hunting
Gary's, N8DMT, account of tracking down bad power line poles
By Dave Dunbar, N0RQ. Provides hints at finding and fixing power line noise.
Build equipment to help locate power line noise
- Adapting a Three Element Tape Measure Beam for Power Line Noise Hunting
QST, May 2007, p 28
Provides construction details on a low cost and easy to build antenna for locating power line noise. This versatile antenna project can be adapted for a variety of frequencies and receivers.
- Attenuators can be essential for RDFing power line noise – especially if your receiver doesn’t have an RF gain control. Although attenuators are often a popular Hamfest and flea market item, many hams prefer to build their own. Here are three construction projects for doing just that:
- A Home-made Ultrasonic Power Line Arc Detector
QST, April 2006, p 41
Provides complete construction details on an ultrasonic pinpointer capable of isolating arcing noise sources. This article originally appeared in the April 2006 issue of QST on page 41. The author also provided an Update to this article on page 99 of the June 2006 issue.
- MidnightScience Ultrasonics Kit Offerings includes ultrasonic equipment.
- Locating RF Interference at HF. A proven and practical approach to dealing with RFI from power lines, grow lights and more, by Tom Thompson, W0IVJ. QST November 2014, p 33.
- A Simple Direction-Finding Receiver for 80 Meters
QST September 2005, pp 36-42
Provides effective interference tracking at the low end of the HF spectrum.
- Simple Equipment for HF Fox Hunting
QST August 1994, pp. 33-35
RDF HF sources of interference with this low cost project.
- A Simple TRF Receiver for Tracking RFI
QST March 2001, p. 32
Build this small receiver/antenna assembly to sniff out RFI sources.
- The EMI Finder
QEX November /December 2003, pp. 48-53
Easily locate sources of electromagnetic interference with this sensitive, low cost, UHF receiving system.
- A Line Noise Sniffer That Works
QST September 1992, pp. 52-55
Equipment you can buy to help locate power line noise
- Radar Engineers
Makers of RFI locators, ultrasonic locators, arc reflection radar, secondary fault locators and cable tracers.
- Transtronics Ultrasonic Translator
Ultrasonic receiver in kit form.
- UE Systems Inc.
Manufactures of ultrasonic equipment and instruments.
- RFI Services - Power-line workshops and troubleshooting consulting.
RFI Services provides classroom and on-site training for power-company personnel on the techniques used to identify and cure power-line interference. They can also troubleshoot electrical-noise problems in the field.
- ARC Technical Resources, Inc.
Providers of electromagnetic compatibility training, equipment, systems and services, including power-line noise locating.
- Lichtig EMC Consulting
Provides power-line noise consultation services. Also provides EMC consultation services to the telecommunications industry.