trying to ID interference

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Just getting set up in our new (to us) home. After living in the country and having almost no interference, I now have this:


How lucky can I be? ! It's that way all the way from 80 meters to 10 meters. And to top that off,
there is a STRONG signal that's on and off at 27.044Mhz. And this is with a long wire connected to the center conductor of the coax coming from my antenna tuner! Planning to put up an outside antenna this coming weekend. So, if it's this strong with the short piece of wire, I'm hoping this means it's something in the house that I can find an eliminate. Already disconnected the cable modem and WiFi router. No change, even after disconnecting my computer speakers, and the speakers to my 6500 this is still there. All the hardware, including a 70amp power supply, (built by a local ham and weighs a ton) are the same. I did switch out to a switching power supply just for grins and the switcher's output was so clean that it could not overcome this stuff.
Just thought I'd share!
james
WD5GWY
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James Whiteway

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Posted 3 years ago

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Rob N4GA

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That's wild!

Keep us posted.
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Ouch! Try looking at my QRZ page for hints, or KY6LA's excellent presentation on building a quiet station. You're right - likely in your home. Best bet is to turn EVERYTHING off at the breaker, keeping the rig (only) on with a 12 volt battery, and a laptop directly connected and on battery.

Breakers on, one at a time.

One thing that might help - when you install the antenna, use the BEST FEEDLINE you can get. LMR, 9913, etc., and get the antenna away from the house as best you can. Line isolator at the feed point. Maybe you'll get lucky and the inverse-square law will solve your problem enough.
 
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K4SC

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It almost looks like a 100 KHz harmonic.  You don't happen to have an old boat anchor receiver running that has a 100 KHz calibrator gone nuts do you?
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James Whiteway

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I do have a few boat anchors, but none are hooked up right now. We found out today that our A/C and heating system needs replacing. Lots of rust on starting caps and blower motor getting excessively hot. That may be part of the problem.
We will know in a few days.
James
WD5GWY
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Dave Dave

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the joys of a new home..... I have the biggest power line just 1 block down but noise on hf is not any problem.    I say we put u up a 50 ft tilt over like mine at the farm, I may do the same thing here.
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James Whiteway

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Wish I could do a tiltover tower! It may be our A/C heating system. Will know in a few days.
James
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Steve

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I had the same kind of screen as the OP. I tracked mine down to the router/ethernet switch stack I have in the closet. I was able to remove almost all the "steve" generated noise with an Array Solutions common mode ac line filter  http://www.arraysolutions.com/Products/nqnaclinefilter.htm
I put the filter between the UPS and the outlet strip and 90% of the noise was gone. I have been working on the other sources as time allows.
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Mark - WS7M

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Ouch James, Lack of time has me just living with a few noise gremlins. In particular I have a little noisy thing at 14.030 that sort of is annoying.

I will say 80 meters for me is a mess too. Again no time to snake around and try to figure them out.
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Walt - KZ1F

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I have noise kind of like that on 80 and 160. It's a spike every 1khz. Thanks for the suggestion Steve. While I kind of want my dev system on a UPS so it can either shut down or survive until the Genny kicks in. For everything else we have a whole house surge protector. But 160 is virtually unusable.
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Dave KD5FX

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Was the blower running on your heater/AC unit? When mine runs it looks like that.
Also, make sure all the TVs and other electronics in the house are off. Go unplug ALL the little wall warts in the house, see if it goes away. Might also be the power supply in your PC.
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WX7Y

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Using a UPS to power the computer in the shack while testing isn't a good Idea because most UPS's have crappy square wave inverter's in them to produce the AC, You would be far better off to use a laptop with a Ethernet Cable  go direct between the Radio and Laptop and turn EVERY THING including the UPS for your test's OFF and UNPLUGED and then turn one thing on at a time. 

I'll bet you'll find a small wall-wart switching power supply somewhere in your house that are used to charge Phones, Tablets, power small speakers like you have maybe on the radio itself, Router's, Ethernet switch's, Solar chargers and even Digital Clocks ect.

It's always the thing you wonder how on earth could that be causing all that noise.

If it turn out to be a Wall-wart Power supply throw it away and get a new one with the correct voltage, amperage and Plug polarity.
 
The Filter's like Steve is talking about work very well for most noise and remember that your mileage will vary. 

Good luck

73's
Bret WX7Y
(Edited)
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James Whiteway

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I plan to do the laptop and 12v battery test when I get back home Saturday. I even bought a portable radio to snoop around with if it turns out not being in our house. I appreciate all the suggestions and tips.
James
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Dave KD5FX

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If you have an iPad load up k6tu's app and use that instead of your PC.
Dave
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Norm - W7CK

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You can connect the Flex to a 12v battery then run an Ethernet cable between it and a laptop.  Turn off all electric to your house.  If the noise is still present, it is not being generated at your QTH.  If it is not present, you can turn one breaker on at a time in an effort to isolate the source.  I have a dish washer that when the door is closed but not running, it generates hash.  

Good luck and let us know what you discover!
(Edited)
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Steve

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I have found battery chargers both the marine type and the hand tool ( riobi one 20v) are very suspect.
Steve
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James Whiteway

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Found two problems. One, (an easy fix) is the wall wart for my Boise Companion II Series III speakers. Unplugged it and nearly all the trash above 80 meters went away. I can use Remote to overcome that issue until I resolve the problem with the wall wart. I tried wrapping the power lead from the wall wart to the speakers around a snap on bead, didn't really seem to help. My computer speakers that I use for remote don't seem to be causing any problems and they were $10 at Fry's several years ago!
The other culprit, is going to be much more troublesome. We have a band new frig with built in ice maker that dispenses crushed ice, cubed ice and ice water. It has a fancy LCD display on the front door by the dispenser. I can take a portable radio tuned anywhere in the AM band and the screeching sound that comes out of the radio when the antenna is held near the display, is LOUD!
And matches the pulsating image in the waterfall that I see on 80 meters and lower.
It's evenly spaced down to just above the broadcast band and even with a short wire antenna connected inside to my antenna tuner, (short meaning 3 feet or so) it can be seen and heard.
Maybe, once I get my outside antenna up and further away from the frig, it won't be so bad.
It's either that or call Sears and tell them to come get it. But, I'm betting RFI from it is not considered a problem.
Thanks for all the suggestions guys!
james
WD5GWY
 
(Edited)
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Contact the tech support for the fridge and tell them that it is behaving as an incidental radiator causing unintentional interference to an authorized radio service in violation of FCC regulations Part 15.5(b).  I suspect there may be a "fix" for it, but you may have to get to a supervisor in order to get to an engineer who can help.
 Especially if it has a CE certification.  It is not unheard of for an appliance to have extra filtering for passing  CE emissions and FCC certifications, and then take the filtering out to lower the manufacturing cost for production.
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Mark - WS7M

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Dang it James!  You had me going... I have some little Boze speakers on my desk that I love and when you mentioned your boze power supply I thought... oh man.... because suddenly 20m for me looks like this:



This recently started and I thought... wow... could it be my little boze power adapter but alas it was not.   

In support of Flex radios I will say that even with this noise I worked a DX station in the right side of that big peak.  I found him by putting in some filtering and playing with stuff until I could hear him.  I could not have done it with another radio!

I've been too busy to do much operating not to even consider trying to figure out this noise.  But I'm hoping for a day next week when I can completely power down the house and turn things on one-by-one and try to figure it out.

I was about ready to send you a nice six pack of beer had that been the problem.  Well I'll still buy you a beer next time you cruise through the Colorado area anyway!
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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A quick way to finding things inside the house is to do the following:

1.  Connect your Flex to a 12DC BATTERY
2.  Direct Network Connect the Flex to a Laptop running from internal battery
3.  Shut down all the breakers
4.  Turn on breakers - ONLY one at a time to identify which breaker is the noise source

Alternative  - this works well too

1   Connect your Flex and your network Router to a BATTERY
2.  Using an iPad and K6TU App.. connect the iPad to your Flex
3.  Shut down all the breakers
4.  Turn on breakers - ONLY one at a time to identify which breaker is the noise source


You will be amazed at the number of different noise sources are INSIDE your house... Virtually every wall wart is suspect....

Here is a link to How to Build a Quiet Station

https://db.tt/xG8SOiRI
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@Tim

Those Manufacturer's CE and FCC Fridge Self-Certification tricks sound very much like the cheating byVolkswagen Diesel Self Certification's
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K1UO - Larry

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LG Refrigerators are notoriously noisy.  Had to choke the power cord on each one we have had.  Another kitchen noise source was the Electric Stove with the electronic display and also the Microwave.  Each required power cord chokes.  I should mention this was for Lowband noise mitigation.
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James Whiteway

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Another update. My computer's power supply is kicking out a lot of noise too. It may have been doing it at our old house, but, it was separated from the radio by several feet and both the radio and the computer were connected (hardwire) to a DSL router. Currently have the Flex hooked up direct to the PC. But, I moved the pc a few feet away and got a switch and two Cat6 cables and hooked the radio and the computer up to the switch. That helped quite a bit. (still cannot use the Bose speakers with the original wall wart) Currently, 80 meters still has some interference, every 100Khz. The power supply in the computer is a ThermalTake 600 watt supply. It may be time to replace it.
I don't have a laptop that is new enough to run SmartSDR. So, I thought I'd run it from my Windows tablet. (Walmart cheapy) Problem is, I had to buy a USB to RJ-45 ethernet adapter and hook it up to a USB hub for the tablet. ( the tablet uses mini-USB connectors, so I needed the hub to connect to standard USB devices) I never could get SmartSDR to find the radio on the tablet thru the hub and USB to RJ-45. So, testing with all power off and direct to the radio with the tablet is out.
I plan to get hold of the refrigerator manufacturer (Kenmore) and inquire about all the interference it puts out. Hopefully, I can get things under control. 40 and up is fine right now. So, maybe, if all else fails, once I get my outside antenna up, I can still cover quite a bit.
Again, thanks for all the suggestions and tips.
james
WD5GWY
 
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Norm - W7CK

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That's interesting.  I replaced 2 ThermalTake power supplies in the last 12 months.  I really liked the modular design, but they just didn't last.  I did a quick search a while back and couldn't find many problems posted regarding them.  The failures could have been poor quality electric power, spikes etc., who knows.  I can't remember what I replaced them with, I'd have to open up one of the cases and take a look.  Sure glad you narrowed it down.
(Edited)
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James Whiteway

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UPDATE:
Found the BIG source for the interference and fixed it today. It was the ThermalTake power supply in my home built PC. Replaced it with a Corsair CX 850 M, and now things look like this:


Wayyyyyyyyy better! Now, to get the outside antenna up and going. (and probably hear my neighbors noisy electronics as well!)
Thanks everyone for all the helpful hints and tips.
james
WD5GWY
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Walt - KZ1F

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Don't ferrite beads help? I recall the picture Al put up where it looked like he purchased an entire production run of them and Howard's comment as to 'one can never have too many ferrite beads'.
(Edited)
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James Whiteway

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I tried the beads with no change. I did not have problems from this pc before we moved. But, it was a bit further from the radio than it is now. The new power supply cleared the problem up. I can hold an AM radio against it and no noticable noise. Whereas before, it would screech like crazy. I figure the power supply may have been failing.
James
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Walt - KZ1F

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AM radio? What's that? ;-)
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Mark - WS7M

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Interference is a funny thing. When I first got my 6300 I had pretty clean bands. A few squirrellys here and there but nothing major.

I really have not changed much and now 40m, one of my fav bands looks like a real mess and I have some big peaks showing up on 20 and 15 and 10 looks much like your image above. It is strange because not much really changed in my system setup. Same stuff really. But now I got lots of noise and stuff.

Next week I plan to put my 6500 on battery, run a long network cable to my laptop. Then kills the breakers in the house and turn things on one-by-one until I see the noise. Hopefully I see it, then once I know the breaker it is one I'm going to go hunting.

I have some long coax and I think I will build a small hand held antenna a hopefully go on a sniff hunt and find some stuff. It just takes time to do all of this and killing the breakers means lots of going and resetting clocks and stuff.

My biggest fear is a kill all the breakers and 40m still looks like trash. My issue is that I am not supposed to have antennas so going to my neighbors and saying, hey I'm picking up your trashy electronics on my ham setup might not go over very well.

Yet another good reason to remote my station somewhere where I have a good location!
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James Whiteway

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Yep, if you're in an HOA (luckily I'm not) and they have restrictions for outdoor antennas, you may be out of luck trying to get neighbors to let you help them clean up their noisy environment!
 I'm hoping that once the outside antenna is up, I will have a minimum of interference from the neighbors electronics. We just moved here and are just now starting to get acquainted with with the neighbors around us. Most seem nice enough. There are a couple of hams in a neighborhood a few blocks from us. One is using a vertical and the other a dipole fed with open wire ladderline.
Haven't had the chance to meet either one yet.
  There's another ham with a crank up tower about a mile from us with a small beam and vertical on it. But, it's completely unguyed and leans towards Georgia! I'm hoping my neighbors won't think I'm planning on putting something like that up!
Good luck on finding your interference.
james
WD5GWY
 
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Mark - WS7M

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Just wait till they see the sections for your 500' tower being delivered! You'll be popular!!! :-)
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James Whiteway

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:-)
A buddy of mine says I need a 200' tilt over!