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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I created a thread several days ago about the geomagnetic disturbances which were caused by high solar activity last week, which disrupted some telecommunication. It appears that I erroneously attributed the geomagnatic storms as the cause of impulse noise interference to analog and digital TV reception here in South Florida lately, as the interference continues long after the geomagnetic disturbances have subsided.


In speaking with more engineers in the area it seems more likely that this interference is coming from arcing power line insulators, I am told that due to the lengthy and extreme drought that South Florida has been enduring, dust in the atmosphere has collected on the insulators in the power grid. When just a little moisture develops in the air, such as at nightfall, this creates a semiconductive situation at the insulators which in turn causes arcing and its attendant RF interference to occur. This type of interference seems worst on low-band VHF frequencies (channels 2 through 6) but can also be seen on high-band VHF and even UHF channels.


I am told that the power utility company (FPL and Lake Worth Utilities in our case) have been known to climb the poles and spray some anti-residue cleaning agents on the offending insulators in response to viewer complaints. I will test the efficacy of such a request with LWU. Otherwise, Floridians have yet another reason to pray for a long, steady rain.


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[This message has been edited by Dave McRoy (edited 04-06-2001).]
 

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Dave, East of 95 right? Have you attempted to get any OTA HD yet?


Roger
 

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You can use an AM radio to track the noise source. Then when you call the power company, you can reference specific poles / noise sources.


Just tune it off-station and aim it. If you are getting noise from a pole, there should be a tag on it with a number. Copy that number and report it. They are usually able to respond quicker / better to specifics than to have THEM look around for a noise source (unless they live in your neighborhood and are getting the same noise).


Good Luck


Scott
 

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I lived for 17 years in Cocoa Beach, and had to deal with power line noise the whole time I was there. Rarely did I get to listen to FM without the steady buzz in the background. The combination of dust on the insulators plus salt spray resulted in some really exciting light shows in the evening, sometimes rivaling the even more exciting lightning storms.


Don't expect the power company to do much for this, they never did anything in Brevard County.


Just be grateful the ATSC standards body included robust impulse noise rejection in the 8VSB standard. No more watching the black lines crawling through the picture on the low VHF channels.


Bob Smith
 

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Hmmm.... Lake Worth... where do you live? I'm in Legend Lake Estates near 441 off Lake Worth road.


Roger
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi, Roger,


I'm in the north end of College Park.


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HiDefDave


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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Scott: thanks for the tip.


Roger, yes we are between US 1 and the Intracoastal Waterway and I do get WSVN-DT and WPLG-DT (except when their signal is being obliterated by this infernal interference!)


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The power company IS responsible for fixing their own problems. Also, the FCC generally expects the power company to assist in tracking power-related problems.


I checked with the FCC last year, to find out if there is anything that can be done to a non-FCC-licensed entity that causes interference. The FCC says they can do something about it. After several months of relative inaction on the part of the owner (and their sign contractor) of a large neon sign near my home, the FCC cited them for causing TVI, and ordered them to fix it or turn it off.


It is now turned off. (I am still trying to help them get it fixed, though. They are losing business by having it off. No one in the sign industry seems to know why it is noisy, or how to fix it.)


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Ken English, Sr. Engineer, KSL-TV/-DT.

"Not a REAL Engineer, but I play one in TV"
 

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Here is some idle speculation about the sign:


When it was on, did it flicker or was it rock steady?


If it flickered then I suspect that the voltage had to rise to a high level before the gas would ionize and conduct. This sudden breakdown while the voltage was high would cause an rf impulse. Normally, there are enough Hg ions floating around from the previous half-cycle that the current starts to flow sooner rather than later.


This line of reasoning leads me to the conclusion that the only solution is to refill the tube with gas.


I believe this advice is worth every penny you paid for it. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif



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Quote:
Originally posted by kenglish:

I checked with the FCC last year, to find out if there is anything that can be done to a non-FCC-licensed entity that causes interference.
Non-FCC-licensed devices are covered by FCC Part 15, both intentional and non-intentional radiator. Different sections of Part 15 cover different type of equipment. For example, there's a section in Part 15 covering computing devices such as PCs. The overall intent is that equipment covered by Part 15 cannot cause harmful interference to licensed users of the spectrum, and must accept any interference from such licensed users.


Yes, the FCC will do something about interferers if pressed enough.

 
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