Nearby Power Lines
#1
Hi all,

New Forum member here thinking of building a station in Worcester, UK. (There's a nice hole in the grid that needs filling! :-)

HOWEVER... My house is around 100 meters or so from overhead power lines. Have a look at British post code WR5 3TD on Google Earth. ( http://is.gd/GDyHvW )

Look carefully, and you can see the lines and a shadow of the closest pylon alongside the main road to the West of us.

I am wondering if anyone else has any similar situation and what interference they have/have not experienced. I did email Tobias, who responded as follows:

"...we don't know whether it will work. It depends on the current and voltage through the line, your antennas, gain settings and so on. It might work, but only with some lower sensitivity. You can also ask in our forum whether other users have experiences in this."

So, that is what I am doing. Does anyone have any views as to whether this will be a problem or not?

Many thanks, all.
Steve Bell.

       
(2014-07-14, 16:00)Steve_Bell Wrote: Hi all,

New Forum member here thinking of building a station in Worcester, UK. (There's a nice hole in the grid that needs filling! :-)

HOWEVER... My house is around 100 meters or so from overhead power lines. Have a look at British post code WR5 3TD on Google Earth. ( http://is.gd/GDyHvW )

Look carefully, and you can see the lines and a shadow of the closest pylon alongside the main road to the West of us.

I am wondering if anyone else has any similar situation and what interference they have/have not experienced. I did email Tobias, who responded as follows:

"...we don't know whether it will work. It depends on the current and voltage through the line, your antennas, gain settings and so on. It might work, but only with some lower sensitivity. You can also ask in our forum whether other users have experiences in this."

So, that is what I am doing. Does anyone have any views as to whether this will be a problem or not?

Many thanks, all.
Steve Bell.

Here's a better picture showing the location of my house and the lines.
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#2
Hello,

As Tobias said, it is difficult to tell you if the station will work.

My station (733) is about 60m far from a powerline and it works fine (for me, maybe that the team would say not). I think that the voltage is 15kV (I can give that more accurately next week).

Maybe you can tell us more about that powerline. There should be some information on the pylon.
Clément
Stations: 680, 733, 1440
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#3
Steve's powerline looks like a 110kV (or maybe more) intercity powerline. Heavy isolators between the lines and the electricity pylon.

Looks not really good. It's try and error.

Thomas
First station in Namibia (Southern Africa), look at #1305 !
Stations: 1006, 1305
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#4
Could make a quick check by using an AM radio, and tuning off station, several places in the band... see if power line noise comes in... just make sure it's the HV lines causing it, not something else nearby...
                   TwinHollies WeatherCenter  Frankfort KY, USA
  Americas Operators at Sferics.us
        Stations: 689, 1439
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#5
(2014-07-14, 17:24)Cutty Wrote: Could make a quick check by using an AM radio, and tuning off station, several places in the band... see if power line noise comes in... just make sure it's the HV lines causing it, not something else nearby...

I shall do that - and have a look at the pylon or enquire from the electricity company as to the voltage.

Thank you all for your help - I shall report back! :-)

Steve.
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#6
(2014-07-14, 21:00)Steve_Bell Wrote:
(2014-07-14, 17:24)Cutty Wrote: Could make a quick check by using an AM radio, and tuning off station, several places in the band... see if power line noise comes in... just make sure it's the HV lines causing it, not something else nearby...

I shall do that - and have a look at the pylon or enquire from the electricity company as to the voltage.

Thank you all for your help - I shall report back! :-)

Steve.

Steve,
I have a pylon line within 100m of me running in parallel with one of my antennae. I think that it may be 250kV. I am getting very reasonable results.

Chris
Stations: 777, 887
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#7
For this type of problem (near high voltage power lines) what's the best system: H-Field or E-Field?
Stations: 1045
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#8
(2014-07-14, 23:36)MeteoCercal Wrote: For this type of problem (near high voltage power lines) what's the best system: H-Field or E-Field?
Depends on what the interference is... If it's mostly magnetic, then E field might be better. If it's electric discharge (arcing, corona etc) than perhaps neither. The filtering in E field is excellent for 50-60Hz and its harmonics, so it might be better in some cases. Shielded H field might have an advantage in other situations. If you're extremely close, you may be out of luck... No, "extremely" for me might be 25meters... for you it might be 100 meters.
Keep in mind, no one can say what the influence will be. There are too many variables. It took me two months to find the one sweet spot in my garage, out of the entire dwelling, that the H field would work with good effect, consistently. Most operators have to find the best 'siting' for there systems. You will also find that the environment will change seasonally, and during different types of weather. especially if you try to operate the system for 'long distances' rather than finding that 'happy zone'... of gains, thresholds, location, etc.
                   TwinHollies WeatherCenter  Frankfort KY, USA
  Americas Operators at Sferics.us
        Stations: 689, 1439
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#9
Thanks for sharing your opinion and knowledge.
I took this topic to try to further clarify which system would be better in these situations.
Fortunately the location of my installation is virtually interference free. The nearest high voltage power lines are more than 2km away. There are no factories or industrial plants in the area, and the houses of the nearest neighbors are between 30 and 60 meters away.
I run an E-Field system, with relatively low gains, but only because I think here in Europe there are no great advantage to the network in having the system tuned to detect long distance strikes.
Stations: 1045
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#10
(2014-07-15, 00:58)MeteoCercal Wrote: Thanks for sharing your opinion and knowledge.
I took this topic to try to further clarify which system would be better in these situations.
Fortunately the location of my installation is virtually interference free. The nearest high voltage power lines are more than 2km away. There are no factories or industrial plants in the area, and the houses of the nearest neighbors are between 30 and 60 meters away.
I run an E-Field system, with relatively low gains, but only because I think here in Europe there are no great advantage to the network in having the system tuned to detect long distance strikes.
And that is good thinking.... we're all going to have to begin that attitude as the net grows, especially over here in the USA...

BTW... we have an extensive thread many North American folks use,.... http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=20439.0
which talks a lot about interference... other discussions are randomly spread throughout the 'Blitzortung' board there on WxForum.net...
Everybody's welcome,.... can't speak for language difficulties, but there are good folks there....

Mike
                   TwinHollies WeatherCenter  Frankfort KY, USA
  Americas Operators at Sferics.us
        Stations: 689, 1439
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#11
(2014-07-15, 01:05)Cutty Wrote: BTW... we have an extensive thread many North American folks use,.... http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=20439.0
which talks a lot about interference... other discussions are randomly spread throughout the 'Blitzortung' board there on WxForum.net...
Everybody's welcome,.... can't speak for language difficulties, but there are good folks there....

Thanks for the invitation.
I follow WXForum since I started to take interest in this matter. I learned and still continue to learn a lot there...
I can even say that all the available information in WXForum, was crucial for me to have joined the Blitzortung.
The documentation about the construction of the kits is excellent.
Since a few days ago I became a member! Wink
I know you are a very active member there.
Stations: 1045
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#12
All excellent information, thank you all. I have a lot to learn! :-)
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#13
High Voltage Power Lines are by definition not noisy - because it is a loss and loss is money.
Power Companys is interested in keeping their power in their wires and do almost anything to secure it.
The magnetic field around the wires decreases rapidly.

Power lines between houses is something else, for there you have connected all sorts of junk. Tongue

The corona can be a problem, so I would choose H-Field (Loop Antenna).


Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
   
Stations: 584, 585, 1570
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#14
Openstreetmap says 132kV. As Richo said, corona effects can be problematic, but they almost not present at this low voltage.


Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
   
Stations: 538, 672, 1534, 1555, 1696, 1712
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#15
(2014-07-15, 16:48)RichoAnd Wrote: The corona can be a problem, so I would choose H-Field (Loop Antenna).

That in itself is good advice -thank you.

The map is interesting.

On the pylon nearest us, we do have one "buzzy" point during wet weather. You can hear it from our house when it's quiet. Is this normal (I have never checked to see if other pylons make the same noise). Should I tell the local electricity company - one of their managers is my neighbor and he must have head it also - he is nearer than I am. Smile
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#16
At one point, I had the opportunity to do some work on broadband over power line system measurements, and power line noise was a pretty big factor even up into the HF/VHF range. For E-field, at lower voltages (the MV lines you see in residential areas), bad insulators can produce all sorts of nonlinear effects (there's a certain type, widely used, that's particularly notorious for this and responsible for a lot of the ambient power line noise). But even at higher voltages, insulators can go bad. You'll never know until you try.
Stations: 1013
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#17
This article details efforts some have made to tap into the E-field or H-field surrounding high-voltage transmission lines for "free" power.

http://www.industrytap.com/electromagnet...theft/1805

The power companies can detect significant leakage and will investigate. It just shows that significant power is radiated from high-voltage lines, although it is primarily at 50/60 Hz, unless insulator arcing is causing signals to be radiated in higher RF ranges, like the old spark gap transmitters used by wireless CW Morse code operators before tube oscillators were invented.

50/60 Hz radiation should be handled by the filtering in the Blitzortung amplifiers. However, spark-generated RF is usually very broadband and can create intense radio receiver interference. I've had occasion to call the power company on several occasions to correct arcing insulators that were causing significant noise in the amateur radio shortwave bands. The FCC in the US requires the power companies to correct such interference. I have always received a prompt response to complaints, usually followed up with a detailed engineering report of the trouble found.

Regards,

Don
WD9DMP
Stations: 681
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#18
I agree with Don.
300m away from me is a 440kV high-voltage line 988 and the receiver works well. I also think that the problem is a problem in some insulator. However, interference can pull the line and the insulator may be several miles away. Very well it can be found using the thermal imager.
Stations: 550, 988
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#19
Hi All,
I'm reading though all this useful info before deciding to join up. Unfortunately, if I did join, it wouldn't benefit the network much as I'm based in the SE of Essex (not far from Southend). 40 miles from Ipswitch, 37 miles from Folkestone and 48 miles from Crawley to name the three nearest installations.
However, I have a strong interest in weather and would like to give this a go as it would to enhance my monitoring at home where I already have a weather station updating to the web (cg617.me.uk/Weather).

Has anyone got any knowledge of how solar panels interfere or impact the monitoring. I have a 4KWp installation on my roof, using 16 small 'edge' inverters rather than 1 big one. (Also updating to the web - cg617.me.uk/SolarView1.php)

One final question while I'm here (I'm still reading through the other forum that has been suggested earlier in this thread). Is there a TABLE of antennas? with pro's and con's, costs etc.
If there isn't I might try to compile one from the surfing I'm doing and then ask you guys to validate it.

regards
Chris
cg617.me.uk
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#20
I wanted to add another data point to this: my house is about 170 meters from a main quad-circuit EHV right-of-way (I assume 345 kV, based on the type of towers). I have no problems with either E- or H-field operation.

Edit: apparently, at least one circuit (probably the double-line one) is 230 kV per OpenStreetMap. I was close Smile I think I'll verify that myself at some point. I wonder if a "tongue test" would work?
Stations: 1013
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