The Issue of Power-Line Noise
A Smarter Approach
I. Introduction (By Mike Gruber, ARRL Laboratory)
Although the problem has been around since the dawn of radio communications and broadcasting, power-line noise is on the rise. The proliferation of electrical and electronic devices that are potential victims of power-line noise, coupled with today's increased dependence on mobile and wireless communications, have each contributed to this increase. Dealing with a power-line noise complaint does not have to be time consuming or expensive -- and it's the law! A little knowledge can go a long way toward avoiding a fine from the FCC.
Power-line noise can interfere with radio communications and broadcasting. Essentially, the power-lines or associated hardware improperly generate unwanted radio signals that override or compete with desired radio signals. Power-line noise can impact radio and television reception -- including cable TV head-end pick-up and Internet service. Disruption of radio communications, such as amateur radio, can also occur. Loss of critical communications, such as police, fire, military and other similar users of the radio spectrum can result in even more serious consequences.
Let's now take a look at power-line noise, and how to best handle a complaint in a timely and economic fashion.
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