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Power Line Noise Interference - Automatic Meter Reading BBOP type system

May 28th 2019, 13:55


Joined: Mar 1st 2011, 09:28
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Ok, so I complained about Power Line Noise 5+ years ago. I had a laundry list of complaints.. i notified the appropriate agencies and really never did get the problem resolved.. I must have stirred up a Hornets nest because I did get some action from both Pennsylvania American Water and United Electric Co Op Inc - Dubois PA..
5 years ago, the situation was that PA American Water was using some type of RF signal - telemetry - between their pumping stations and their water tanks. The noise was so bad that when you got to within 1/4 of a mile from either one the overload was severe - would even drown out XM radio in the vehicle, 2 meters had birdies on several frequencies, all the way into the HF.. The electric company was using something called "The Turtle System:" Some type of crappy meter reading system that used the power line and the neutral to gather the meter readings - 24 hours a day.. The company tried to BS me and after I walked the line 2 miles and took pictures, documenting field strength readings and visual problems with the line, it wasn't very long before PA American Water was putting up 20' Rohn 25G towers with directional antennas and United Electric shut off the Turtle.. There was no correspondence between them and me.. I was a full time student at Penn State U and I did not have a lot of time to play their games anyways.. So I lived with a perpetual S-7 noise level on 80 meters.. Then the electric company revised their transmission lines and upgraded their so called Sub Station in Robertsville PA.. Looks more like something Tom Edison would have built 100 years ago with blade switches and fuses.. What Mike Holmes would call Lipstick and Mascara.. So after several months of a perpetual S-9 noise level , I called the electric company.. All I will say about it is that their good people retired and they hired a bunch of kids.. Electricians and people that worked for a line service - tree trimmers, anyone that wasn't afraid to get in the bucket truck..
So they have no equipment to diagnose the problem, other than a yellow box that looks like an AM transistor radio with a loop antenna.. The guys must not have wanted to get cold, because they rode around town back in Feb holding the radio out the truck window.. Then they started playing with lightning arrestors - I knew at that point that they didn't know what they were doing.. 15 minutes in town every Tuesday for the next 4 weeks, kind of like a courtesy call where they did nothing but look out the window.. So I contacted Steve Long - Project Manager and head Engineer of UNILEC,, I knew something was up when he visited my home with Mike Flock. His title is System Planning Engineer. Another way of saying - Their Tech guy.. Now they are going Oh Ohh.. Do they want to find the problem, maybe have to scrap another meter reading system that they spent big money on? NO! So they turn off the power to the house, no change in noise level in my Kenwood TS 590S, turn off the circuit feeding the power to my house, no change, turn off the whole town - no change.. The noise is on the neutral and can be heard on an AM radio as much as 3 miles away in all directions.. A steady hum, sounds like a electrical motor noise, not an arcing noise.. On 160 meters i hear a loud clicking noise.. This noise is also getting into my television, I have vertical lines going thru the picture, extreme pixelation and drop outs on channels that were normally stable, and are stable at my dads house 1/4 mile up the road. And here is the kicker, COMCAST has a Green box mounted on the pole just below my dads house.. The noise stops just before that box.. I walked almost all of the 7 miles between De Lancey, PA and Robertsville PA, carrying a pocket am radio, while wearing headphones.. I am disabled and it took all I could muster to make the trek - with bone spurs in both heels of my feet and rheumatoid arthritis and spinal stenosis in my back and neck.. What I found is that the noise is strongest about a half mile from my house - but I couldn't get access to everywhere - because the land is posted and I didn't want to get in trouble with the landowner, not to mention - it isn't my job to fix the electric company's problem.. So I get an email from Steve Long saying - Mr. Bosak:

I went with our line crews down to DeLancy today to investigate possible radio noise heard at three locations. At these locations we did not find anything of significance. I believe United Electric’s power lines are in good operational order. With this last effort, I am closing the request for investigating radio noise.


Stephen Long

Manager of Engineering

United Electric Cooperative, Inc.

So the ARRL web site says send this letter, send it registered mail, so I sent it to Brenda Swartzlander - President of United Electric Co Op.. Basically they wiped their butt with it.. I sent the report to the ARRL, both times - 5 yrs ago and now, never got a reply.. So I called The FCC.. FCC says - Screw You, the woman on the phone said - we won't send anyone to investigate, we don't care about your problem, you have to live with it.. meanwhile, all my neighbors and myself are experiencing problems with our landline telephones.. Safelink shut off my cell phone after I complained about crappy service, even blocked my address to re apply.. I can't listen to the AM radio anywhere near 550 and 1100 AM, is all noise... But if you go up the road to my dad's house ( 1/4 mile up the road ) you can hear WTAM - Cleveland Ohio clear as a bell.. I'm at whits end.. Even when someone calls the house their first comment is - what is wrong with your phone, I can hardly hear you or it keeps dropping out.. Phone, TV and Ham Radio all being interfered with.. I am an active participant with the 3rd Region Phone Traffic Net, an ARRL Sanctioned net.. Trying to work HF at my QTH isn't even worth trying anymore.. Can't hear Chit, nothing but noise. ( Noise level with the pre amp on is 10 / 9 to 20 / 9 ) Guess I am here because I thought The ARRL represented all the hams, not just the ones they are friends with.. I'm not in the buddy club.. Can't understand why no one cares.. FCC / Phone company / P. U. C. / I even called my state representative - Chris Dush, my US House of Represenative - G. T. Thompson.. And you wonder why no one wants to join the ARRL anymore! I left my membership drop after the first incident 5 yrs ago... Doesn't seem to be worth it when all you get is a magazine once a month and nothing else..

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