Who do you call? - TV reception noise

60wag

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Boulder, CO
 
 
 
The hot weather is here and my TV reception is screwed up again. This problem has been going on for several years. Every time it gets hot outside, something in my neighbor turns on and creates some nasty RF noise that kills my TV reception. I’m assuming its an air conditioner as it cycles on and off at about 1 minute cycles. Later in the evening, after the sun has set and the outside air temp drops, the noise disappears. I’ve got a rooftop antenna that normally gets great reception. I’m not interested in cable or satellite – I’d rather put the money in my Cruiser :)

I have a small 12V powered TV that I can operate in the Cruiser. It gets the same noise as the TVs in the house so I don’t think the problem is in the antenna or noise coming in through the AC line.

Last year I contacted the FCC to see if they could help me. Their reply was” We don’t get involved in these sort of problems.” Well, nice to see a federal agency servicing their customers. They seemed to be quite interested in shutting down a local pirate radio station though. I guess I don’t have enough political or financial clout to get help from them.

I tried one of the local TV news stations that has a consumer help dept. I hoped that they might like to do a story on someone who can’t watch their station because broadcast interference. No luck, never heard back from them.

I figure there are two ways to fix it. Either find out who is causing the noise and convince them to replace or fix their AC or to filter the noise out on my end. Filtering it should be the easier of the two but I don’t know much about antenna filters. Are there any antenna/broadcast wizards out there? Any resources to rec? All of the old school TV repair shops in town have disappeared. I tried a Monster Cable antenna/AC combo line conditioner box ($100) that the droid at Circuit City swore would fix it. No luck.

The noise is most severe on channel 2 but is bad on up through the rest of VHF. UHF is better but still is hard to watch. It’s mostly horizontal white static lines that also interfere with the sound.

If I can’t filter it, I’d like to at least know who is causing the noise. An experiment that I have yet to try is to drive around the neighbor with the portable television to see if I can determine how big an area is affected and where the noise is the worst. Is there any easy way to make the mast antenna on the portable tv directional to help find the source of the noise?

Before anyone jumps in with, “this thread is useless without pictures”, I’ll try to post one this evening, assuming the owners of the noisy AC are home.
 
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Mt. Pleasant, SC
60wag, what you need is a power conditioner that "cleans" the sine wave coming into your house. I prefer Furman products. http://www.furmansound.com/products/consumer/power_station/power_station_series.php The PST-8 and above have "linear filtering."
Here is also a very informative thread from AVSForum that helped me out a bunch:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?threadid=277384
Stay away from Monster products. It's overpriced crap. You pay for the name and not quality.
You might also see if it's a ground loop. Here:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?threadid=322698
It's in the Audio section, but a ground loop can cause either video or audio distortion.
It also might be an antenna in the area combined with the atmoshperic conditions. Any towers in the area?
 

treerootCO

Where are my keys?!
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Straight frim the internet :D :

Mr. Russell J. Miller of the Colorado School of Mines and director of the Center
for Space Mining in Boulder, Colorado, is working on studies to determine the
feasibility of putting space bases and cities underground. Informants have told us that underground facilities utilize transport tubes to shuttle workers to and from work. This is more than a subway. These tube trains use high technology.

This is a list of known or suspected U.S. Underground Bases

Colorado

1. Near Boulder, Co. in the mountains
Function unknown
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2003
Messages
1,557
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If ya don't know, I ain't tellin'
 
 
treerootCO said:
Straight frim the internet :D :

Mr. Russell J. Miller of the Colorado School of Mines and director of the Center
for Space Mining in Boulder, Colorado, is working on studies to determine the
feasibility of putting space bases and cities underground. Informants have told us that underground facilities utilize transport tubes to shuttle workers to and from work. This is more than a subway. These tube trains use high technology.

This is a list of known or suspected U.S. Underground Bases

Colorado

1. Near Boulder, Co. in the mountains
Function unknown
LOL, have you switched your brand of wacky tabacky or something? :rolleyes: :D
 

nakman

addict.
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Broomfield, Colorado
 
 
 
You don't have cable or satellite? I thought I was the only one... I run the cheapo powered radio shack antennas, but never really have a problem with interference. Channel 2 always comes in like crap though, next worse is 7, but the rest are all super crispy. Do you also get MTV2 on 55?

To address the issue, have you tried running a powered antenna through a UPS?
 

60wag

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Jun 25, 2003
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Boulder, CO
 
 
 
No, no cable or sattelite. The kicker is the rooftop antenna works great, most of the time. Clear sharp pictures Fall into Spring. Then the first warm day hits and some moron neighbor has to flick on the AC as soon as hits 78F. Hey, if its 90F, great turn it on but come on 78F is pretty wimpy. The damn thing cyles on, off, on, off, on, off, until I get sick of it and switch off the tube. Maybe its Comcast's way of assimilating new customers.

Anyhow, I've been doing some more net digging and have found the official FCC document written to addrees any all comsumer problems. Its pretty lame, better than nothing but clearly hasn't been updated in 5-10 years. It does get into filters a bit. I'm thinking some type of band pass filter might help. I'm going to contact some of the filter manufacturers (if they're still in business) and see what they say. If the filter only lets through VHF and UHF, maybe it'll knock out the noise. I doubt a notch filter would do it because it appears to span nearly all the channels so its broadband noise, right?

Lovetractor - I don't think a line conditoner will help me because the battery powered tv suffers the same problem. Although, I think I've got an extra UPS at work with a battery in it. Just for yucks I'll plug it in to see if there is any difference.
 
Joined
Mar 30, 2005
Messages
473
Location
Mt. Pleasant, SC
Looks very much like this. See this page. Picture 6 and corresponding description. Looks identical:
http://www.kyes.com/antenna/interference/tvibook.html
Not very detailed solutions though.
That's wierd if this interference is being transmitted through the power lines from one house to another. Sure it's not coming from your end? Your refrigerator?
EDIT:Too many :beer: . My eyes can read that your car telly is experiencing the same interference, but my brain refuses to acknowledge. :doh: It's probably not your fridge. :D It still travels through the air/ground though.
 

treerootCO

Where are my keys?!
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Jun 2, 2004
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Wheat Ridge CO
 
 
I'm telling you it's the darn aliens :D

ok, from the link above it mentions ferrite cores. I have a ton laying around and I can get them to you if you want to try them.

"If you believe that you are picking up interference through connecting cables or the antenna lead, you may wish to wrap several turns of the cable through a snap- together ferrite core."

The ferrite cores are the white things in the picture :) They are somtimes called toroids but that is technically the shape of the magnet.
 
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