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It is possible that the power company has began to install BPL devices in your area. (Broadband over Power Line).
They are doing that here extensively. Fortunately they have coordinated with me and are keeping their units far away from my operating frequencies so that harmonics and such wont be a problem either direction…to them or to me.
However I have also noticed that these unusual white canisters that have the appearance of mini-radar domes being set up close to the ground (about 3 feet) on short poles with power and control boxes tied into them. Placed about every 4 blocks, and a main line running up the utility pole..assuming that is the AC juice to power the devices.
I got curious and decided to take my trusty Motorola RD2012 analyzer, which has DC power capability, and scan the spectrum from 300Khz through 80Mhz to see what was what.
Sure enough, these strange mini-radar domes are putting out signals every 50Khz across the spectrum between 300Khz and 80Mhz. Drive up to the devices, the signal strength increases, drive away from them, they drop.
Not sure what these are as BPL units are mounted on the utility poles themselves and tied into the high side of the AC distribution system, not the “service” or low voltage side.
These might be some sort of new relay units for the new RF meters that replaced the old meters on everyone’s utility drop. Given the price of gas these days…it makes sense to have devices out in the field collecting energy usage data for billing instead of having someone drive around from neighborhood to neighborhood scanning these meters. Not sure that is what they are..but very well could be.
It may be these things that are causing this sudden hum issue your experiencing. Take a look around the neighborhoods, particularly at utility poles at the alley’s and near the corners of every block. If you see these large coffee can sized, white domes attached to one of the utility poles, that may be what the problem is.
From my understanding, those things operate under the Part 15 regulations as well. That means that their devices, as well as yours, are not protected from interference. There are two choices to resolve the issue. Ask the power company to change frequencies..which most likely they will not, or you will have to change frequency.
Remember, all Part 15 devices do not get the regulatory protection to interference. So there is not much wiggle room for solutions in this except to plea with the power company and coordinate with them to avoid interference to their stuff and yours.
I am not saying it is those devices that are the culprit for sure..but highly probably that they are.