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Friday, October 2, 2015

Old Spark (But Thankfully Not Forever)


For the last couple of weeks I have been plagued by noise on the HF bands.  In spite of being in a very built-up area of Northern Virginia,  I usually have low noise levels.  But for the last couple of weeks I've had intermittent but frequent arcing noise.  It sounded like classic power line arcing. 

My 17 meter Moxon antenna provided a clue as to where it was coming from:  As I spun the antenna around, the noise was always a lot stronger to the North-North West.

On Wednesday morning on the way to work I noticed that the fire department and the power utility were working frantically on a pole about a mile from our house.  It had obviously been on fire -- it was still smoking when we went past.

When I got home I was pleasantly surprised to find the arcing noise gone.  It took me a few minutes to make the connection -- yes, the smoking power pole was to my North-North West. 

OBVIOUSLY THE RADIO GODS CAME TO MY ASSISTANCE!

This was a good demonstration of the fine front-to-back characteristic of the Moxon antenna.  And a reminder of what radio signals sounded like in the days of spark. 

  

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