15 Nov 2012

Winning the noise battle a step at a time

This evening I've been trying to track down various noise sources that have been making reception on MF and the lower HF bands all but impossible in recent weeks. I'm pleased to report a couple of successes.

My first "trap" was the 12V Netgear AD6612 AC-DC adaptor that feeds my Virgin Media internet superhub. This little terror was producing an S6-8 noise floor on many of the lower ham bands. I tried ferrite chokes in the leads but to no avail. Fortunately I had an old Linksys 12V supply with the same sort of rating and 12V plug. Swapping the PSUs over and, guess what, the lower HF bands were much quieter once again.

At 470-500kHz though I still had an S8 noise floor, so there was another candidate noise generator around. Switching everything off in the house the noise floor dropped, so it was in the house. In the end I tracked this down to a Salus mains powered controller that receives wireless signals from the central heating roomstat. Turning this off and, guess what, 470-500kHz goes much quieter too! This unit is quite close to my antenna wire and must have a noisy SMPSU inside. Luckily we tend not to have the central heating on in the evening so all I have to do is turn off the Salus wall unit controlling the central heating boiler and I can, I think, go back to better reception on the MF bands in the evenings.

In 30 minutes I've reduced the noise floor in my home considerably from LF to at least 10MHz. This goes to prove that with a little bit of detective work we can do a lot to overcome many of the noise issues plaguing us these days. Both the Virgin Media superhub and the Salus unit are new (less than 6 months old) so this also explains why the noise issue was not such a problem last autumn and winter.

If you have a noise problem then I recommend you do some detective work and very good luck.

1 comment:

M6ODC said...

Fantastic news that you've managed to track it down. I'm currently searching for my source of constant S8-S9 noise across all bands and think if I can't find it I might invest in a MFJ noise cancellor.

73 Glenn de M6ODC