Re: Local Power Lines and DXing

Rémy Friess

Hi everyone out there,

Powerlines, appliances etc... do indeed generate a lot of QRM and can be a nuisance, but sometimes powerlines can also be pretty useful for the hobby.

I live in the east of France and I drive around a lot in the area and I found out that on the motorway, right where a 220 000 volt power line crosses the way, the FM DX picture changes completely.

The power line runs SE-NW, roughly in a direction from Freiburg (south-west Germany) to Luxembourg.

Every time I drive near that line, the local station on 106.6 MHz gets wiped out by a station from Germany, an another local station on 93.3 MHz is also blown away by one in Luxembourg (300 kms away). In both cases the distant signal is very stable. The RDS data are even present on the display of the car radio.

It seems the powerline acts like a duct, and the signals propagate along it. Also, and this might explain the thing partly, it consists of 6 cables with a 3 metre interval (1λ)  between them.

Unfortunately I can't park the car underneath the line to explore the whole FM band, but I'm pretty sure the are some more DX stations to be found that way.

When that corona lockdown nonsense is over I'll try and find a place in the countryside near the line and use my Tecsun PL-380 to see what I can get.

73, Rémy.

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