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Ham Shack Noise

Mike-VA3MWMike-VA3MW FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager admin
edited November 2019 in New Ideas
HF Noise

We all think it is the other guy, neighbour, etc.  

Odds are that most of the noise you hear is right within your property line.  Your Flex radio makes a great tool for watching noise on the waterfall.  Why not make use of it.

Case in point.  These 2 pictures were sent to me by a close friend of fine.  His shack is in the basement of his house.  

His antennas are 200-400 ft away since he has a large piece of property.  He has 2 runs of 7/8" hardline that is buried for about 150ft to his switch box at the base of a tower.

He went looking for these birdies on 160M:

image

Turns out it was a Diawa Power Supply and a Genius Battery charger.  These were located 200' from the antennas.  Imagine if they were actually near the antenna system.  

Cheap switching power supplies, like all charging devices have, are a problem.  Those designed for HF operation, like the Powerwerx are pretty good.  Personally, I try not to use switching power supplies when possible.

Now, look!  Wow, what a difference.

image


I have mentioned in the past that my largest 80M noise at my HF station was the power supply on a security system.  It was a 5-minute fix.

Short story.  You may not have to put up with as much noise as you think.  If it is on your property, you can fix it.   

Do not assume it isn't your problem and you have to live with it.  

The bands aren't really that dead.  Your phone charger is just covering it up.  Did you notice 10M actually opened 2 weeks ago, or did you miss it?

Mike va3mw





Comments

  • Mark_WS7MMark_WS7M Member ✭✭
    edited November 2019
    Nice Michael,

    I know I have some noise sources around the house but taking the time to find them is hard.

    My plan is to pick a fairly warm day next summer and put the radio on batteries along with my laptop.

    Then shutoff all the breakers in the house.   Slowly turn each breaker on and observe the bands.

    See what I can find and remove!
  • W5APW5AP Member
    edited November 2019
    I had a similar problem at my qth in the mountains of CO. The noise covered all bands. Rotated my antenna which pointed the noise source as my neighbors house.  I accused him of growing Mary Jane with grow lights.(They are very dear friends). He said no. Of course when I unplugged the power drill battery charger in my shack, the noise disappeared.  We still laugh about the incident over a glass of wine and I still give him a hard time about his grow lights (he absolutely doesn't have them or grow anything)
  • Paul MPaul M Member
    edited November 2019
    Another case in point, I was repairing my very first short wave radio that I have had since I was 13 years old.   When I attempted to use the AM band there were no signals, but a awful buzz.  Since I had just replace the caps and this was a buzz not a hum  I decided to look around the house.  It turned out to be the Food Saver in the kitchen.  The power supply was also the main cause of noise on 80M.  Now I always look at my house first before looking outside the property. 
  • edited November 2019
    After having it for several years during some noise hunting I found my MFJ 1708SDR switch was putting out a huge amount of hash. I have an email into MFJ to see their opinion. Meanwhile the switch is off line.

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