The RFI Troubleshooting Guide RFI Troubleshooting Guide – ARRL New England Division now has a list of the power company contacts for hams to report power line noise-related issues. Hams are encouraged to contact New England Division RFI Teams prior to doing so to make the team aware of the issue, so that they can follow up if necessary. Noise thought to be coming from power company hardware may actually be from another service on a power pole, like a leaking television cable, so try and gather as much information, with the help of the RFI team if needed, to understand the source of the noise. We expect to need to update the maps and contact information from time to time as service areas and company relationships change over time. If you see that we need to change some information, please let us know at email@example.com.
Mike, K1NPT, in Rhode Island, has tunneled through to New Hampshire (Jay K1EHZ) and Maine, (Bill, NG1P) extending the Mesh connectivity in New England to three states. The process has enabled these New England Mesh network operators to gain experience with connecting multiple Mesh systems together. The connected systems will also permit the system owners to gain experience with bandwidth and latency issues as well as cross system functionality. The New England Director and his staff congratulate Bill, Mike and Jay on their achievement and look forward to bringing more states “on-line.”
More information on the status of Mesh Networking in New England is found at: nediv.arrl.org/spectrum-protection-use.
Assistant Director Rob Leiden, K1UI, writes:
A list of potential RFI sources is being maintained and will be updated as information becomes available as part of the New England Division RFI Troubleshooting Guide web page. Any source determined to be emitting radio frequency interference should be forwarded to the RFI Team for your area, including audio and spectrum files if possible. Audio and RF spectrum files will also be included as they become available.
Bruce, WA3SWJ, reports that ranges of 20 miles over Cape Cod Bay between the mid and outer Cape have been achieved with sufficient throughput to pass video. 5.8 GHz Ubiquity transceivers were used for the test. The test was an important milestone for the Cape ARES group led by Frank WQ1O, the Cape DEC, Bruce and Lem, W1LEM. More information about MESH networking in New England and progress towards interconnecting them into a New England-wide network is available on the Spectrum Protection and Utilization web page.
After successfully performing the first tunneling between New England MESH systems (Maine and New Hampshire,) Bill and Jay have developed a proposal to enable other MESH systems in New England to connect to each other via the commercial internet and experiment further. This will better position the Division to connect using RF vs. the internet and create a true Division-wide intranet that would allow high speed communication even when the commercial systems are unavailable locally. Any comments should be directed to Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jay at email@example.com.
- A demonstration of the web-based RFI hunting process additions including remediation and training pages
- RFI team formation progress
- Mesh network coordination and integration issues including tunneling between different networks.
- Creation of a new iogroup for Mesh networking information exchange and coordination
It was agreed that two working groups would be formed, a new one, nemesh, for Mesh network coordination and the existing iogroup, spectrum-protection-and-use for RFI team work. Meetings would be held each month, alternating between the two teams.
Bill Richardson, NG1P, in Maine and Jay Taft, K1EHZ in New Hampshire, successfully “tunneled” through the internet to connect their 5 GHz Mesh networks on April 27, 2022. This achievement is an important first step towards the interconnection of New England Mesh networks over RF links. Their work demonstrates that it is possible to define an address space across various Mesh networks that will allow them to be interconnected by tunneling between two points. The next actions include finding the right RF “backhaul” devices and frequencies, siting the locations for tunneling nodes, including power and maintenance needs and coordinating the tunneling addresses. A great deal of work remains but the New England Division has taken a step closer to its goal thanks to Bill and Jay.
The New England Division Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) Troubleshooting Guide and Section RFI Teams continue to expand. The web pages now include even more RFI information for hams.
The spectrum-protection-and-use iogroup continues to develop the web-based process. A team training page, an RFI remediation techniques page and a page listing known RFI sources have been added. A page that will allow clicking on a New England map to find power utility contacts is being constructed. Five of seven New England sections have RFI Teams and the rest are actively recruiting. A starter set of RFI Team equipment has been obtained. Initial use is planned for later this month. The EMA team is already involved in a case with team- owned equipment.
A forum at the New England / Hudson Division Hamxposition in August in Marlborough, MA will feature both the cooperation between Eversource and the New England Division and the process for getting hams help in resolving their RFI issues.
The New England Division RFI Troubleshooting Guide is a resource for all radio amateurs in the New England Division and part of a process in place to help hams in the Division with their RFI issues. The seven New England sections are recruiting RFI Team members to assist Division hams who work through the Guide and need additional help to resolve their RFI issues. The teams will help to interface with the ARRL Lab and utilities, build credibility with both and build up a body of information that can be used as a reference.
The noise floor on our bands has risen dramatically in recent years due to the proliferation of many RF-generating technologies: solar energy systems, LED’s, especially grow lights and municipal lighting systems, internet-connected devices, cable leakage, power system component failures and many more. The creation of this RFI Troubleshooting Guide and the RFI Teams are an effort to improve the quality of our spectrum and our ability to mobilize in response to threats to that spectrum.
As we ramp up the RFI Teams and the use of the RFI Troubleshooting Guide, we welcome your suggestions to improve the process.
The group held its second meeting at 7 P.M. on Friday, March 18, 2022. The agenda included:
- Tools for RFI hunting
- A demonstration of the web-based RFI hunting process
- The EMC Committee Meeting on 3/8
- RFI team formation
- Mesh network coordination and integration issues including additional networks identified to the group.