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RFI TROUBLESHOOTING SAFETY
By Gerald Waldon
Level One Inspection Services
and
Mike Martin...RFI Services



"I recently had the opportunity to read your RFI "Tips and Tricks" article. I was very impressed by the majority of the content; however there are a few points I would like to make relating to power line noise:
I have worked as a Line Technician (Lineman) for 18 years, and in the past six years I've taken on the roll as RFI mitigator for a major utility company. I have seen a great many sources of RFI both internally and externally generated. I have also seen a great deal of other utility companies who are ill equipped to handle claims of RFI. I believe that in this day and age of wireless communication Radio Noise pollution concerns us all, these are concerns which should not be ignored. To ignore any concerns regarding RFI is to ignore responsibility.
RFI Investigations can be costly if companies are using untrained personnel, and outdated equipment. As is the case with all business, profitability is key to survival. Companies don't want to waste time, and money searching for something that can be so elusive--this is simply not cost effective. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are unnecessarily spent on maintenance due to poor practices.

Tampering with other's property is a major liability, and in this case, tampering with high voltage equipmentcan cost lives. To suggest "shaking guy wires," and "Mule kicking" utility structures in an attempt to isolate an RFI source could be catastrophic! To give you an example:Bell type insulators are held in place using pins. If one of these should be loose, or barely holding the conductor, and someone should shake or kick the structure,,, a 7200 volt power line could simply fall to the ground, possibly causing injury or death to anyone who might come in contact with it. I have seen broken switch insulators, which could be shaken to fall as well. Guy wires are often times non-insulated. There is a definite potential path to ground through a steel guy wire. If by some chance this wire is shaken loose, or whipped into primary (14.4KV-4.16KV) or even secondary voltage lines (480V-120V), well, I think you see my point!

I would ask that you please revise this article so that we are not risking life and limb. Structural tampering of high voltage lines and equipment should be left to trained personnel, People who fully understand the equipment involved, as well as the risks.

(ARTICLE WAS REVISED THANKS TO GERALD)

I have seen a growing need for more trained personnel within the electrical Industry, and that being the case; I have formed a new company.
Level One Inspection Services focus's a strong emphasis on training, and utilizing the proper equipment in the isolation of power line generated RFI. We offer an audio/visual inspection (dual inspection) designed to isolate problematic power equipment prior to failure. We hope to provide a proactive, higher level of experience on behalf of your local electric companies.

Please feel free to look us up on the web at:
www.leveloneonline.com As this is a new company, much of the site is currently under construction, however I encourage you to visit as often as you would like, and to pass this information along to fellow members. We would welcome posting your site link on our site as well."

Sincerely,
Gerald Waldon
Owner/Operator
Level One Inspection Services
Madison Branch
Gerald AT leveloneonline.com

MORE ABOUT TROUBLESHOOTING RFI ON POWER LINES AND THE DANGERS TO YOU!
By Mike Martin



From Mike Martin, RFI Services:
(
From a recent email and slightly edited
)

I have for many years been training power companies and other utility personnel to locate power line noise sources.
I have explained the dangers of contacting guy wires and anything else attached to the utility poles due to the possibility of coming into contact with energized equipment. This occurs when energized equipment comes into contact with hardware not normally energized.
This can also occur when energized equipment is very close to ungrounded equipment.

Guy wires, although they appear to be grounded, are typically not.
The anchor to guy connection is not a sufficient connection to be considered a ground.

This became very apparent in 2004. At a power company in MD, an engineer accidentally touched a guy while looking up and stepping backwards. The fire dept. received a call to respond to a brush fire.
It wasn't a brush fire!!! Sometimes the apparent danger isn't at the pole you are near, but possibly several poles away.In your tips & tricks page you recommend touching guys and tapping poles as a means of detecting the source pole.  I have located hundreds of power line noise sources that if pulled or sometimes even tapped could have been the next step to a catastrophic result.
I was taught this method of detection as well.
I changed my methods after a J lag fell from the pole I had tapped. It came down and pierced my hardhat. The light came on in my head and I realized why they had a hardhat policy.
I thought it would be smarter to stop hitting the poles and I wouldn't need the uncomfortable hardhat. They didn't agree with not wearing a hardhat, but they did appreciate the idea of not hitting the poles.

Check out the link at the top of my web page titled "T&D Magazine Article". I think you might like it. (It takes you to a very interesting ARRL article)..Thank you for taking the time and applying the effort to help inform us on the subject of RFI. If I can assist you in any way please feel free to call.


Best wishes
Mike Martin
RFI Services...... Check out Our Web Site
at
www.rfiservices.com for more RFI information.
Cell 240-508-3760
Nextel Direct 164*21*29180
Fax 410-741-5153
mike AT rfiservices.com

EDITORS NOTE:

Mike Martin owns and operates the RFI locating & consulting firm called
RFI Services. He's been locating interference sources and training Power & Telecom companies full time for over 20 years and solves an average of 500 interference complaints a year. He takes advantage of the opportunity to test all RFI locating equipment and makes recommendations to the manufacturers for improvements. Mike has received acknowledgments in many publications including: AC Power Interference Handbook * AC Power Interference Manual * Power Line Interference, A Practical Handbook * T&D Magazine and *The American Radio Relay League Journal
Mike is multi-licensed by the FCC and considered to be the most experienced Interference Investigator in the country.

Mike's website has lots more information pertaining to RFI with some very good audio and video samples of RFI power line noise. Check it out now!
BE SAFE....NOT SORRY!

BACK TO RFI ARTICLE





  


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