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Interesting stories from USENET
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Joined: 18 Jan 2002
Posts: 3063
Location: Radio Land

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Copy-pasted from usenet....

I wasn't going to bring up all the weird things I've seen (I used to
have a high-profile job dealing with lots of towers in the US)...

I recall one episode where a music teacher was teaching students on
her piano.
She called in complaining she could hear music coming out of her
piano. (Duh!??)
(At first, I couldn't figure out what she was talking about until it
dawned on me she had a digital piano!) Of course, she was in a
blanketing contour and the audio she was hearing was coming from an FM
on the tower. I don't think the station ever resolved the problem.
She was late reporting it, and they were under no legal obligation.
(This was from an FM upgrade in power)

Another guy swore up and down our tower was causing interference to
his TV reception. (The tower was completly empty - no tenants - no
antennas!!) I asked him to send me a video of the interference.
After which, I suggested he call the local power company and get the
pole transformer replaced! (That fixed it.) I understand this is a
big problem with low-band hams, like broadband over power lines
promises to be...?.

And then you have the truly weird ones...
A paging operator calls me up and says they can't receive a GPS signal
at the tower.
(Which is unusual to say the least. ...weird because there's clear
view of the sky and this particular complaint had "never" came in
before. (Trust me, we heard 'em all.) And besides, you could pretty
much guarantee the GPS satellites were working!) But the tech swore
it was "us".

Sure enough, a low-power TV station on an adjacent tower had removed
their 2nd harmonic filter. I forget exactly which channel, 47 I
think? (We didn't own the station.)

Reinstall filter, slap engineer on wrist, "Don't do that again!".
Problem solved.

Next time, I'll tell you about the kitchen sink (actually a metal
frame base slop sink) at an AM station that was causing interference
200 miles away! We were really lucky to find that one. Had been
going on intermittently for years. I didn't find it myself, but I
understood the problem was so unbelievable (and yet definitely
repeatable), that the whole sink was unbolted, packed up and shipped
off to the engineer in charge at the affected FCC monitoring point.
True story.

So "Yeah", if someone tells me they have a "Hospital Approved" cell
phone, I'll listen.
If a bit skeptical. -mpm

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Marko - PCS Electronics
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Mon May 14, 2007 1:00 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
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