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uk.telecom.broadband (UK broadband) (uk.telecom.broadband) Discussion of broadband services, technology and equipment as provided in the UK. Discussions of specific services based on ADSL, cable modems or other broadband technology are also on-topic. Advertising is not allowed.

Bit off topic: - Electricity meters



 
 
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  #1  
Old November 18th 06, 04:07 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Digby
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Posts: 14
Default Bit off topic: - Electricity meters

On Sat, 18 Nov 2006 15:36:29 -0000, James wrote:

I've been trying to pindown the source of some interference on my ADSL
connection [RFI]. It appears to be coming from my meter cupboard, very
strong signal, a kind of rhythmic pulse, every 1 second. I can pick it
up on MW radio at various frequencies. It seems to be centred on the
actual meter, economy 7 type with 2 readings.

Who do I actually contact about getting it replaced/checked? British
Gas who I pay my bills to, or NEDL who operate the electric around
here. I could do with getting it changed to a standard meter anyway as
we don't have night storage heaters anymore.

Thanks


Contact British Gas as they will also need to change your tariff. You
should find that your daytime electricity is cheaper.
  #2  
Old November 18th 06, 04:24 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Roger Mills
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Posts: 368
Default Bit off topic: - Electricity meters

In an earlier contribution to this discussion,
Digby wrote:

On Sat, 18 Nov 2006 15:36:29 -0000, James wrote:

I've been trying to pindown the source of some interference on my
ADSL connection [RFI]. It appears to be coming from my meter
cupboard, very strong signal, a kind of rhythmic pulse, every 1
second. I can pick it up on MW radio at various frequencies. It
seems to be centred on the actual meter, economy 7 type with 2
readings.

Who do I actually contact about getting it replaced/checked? British
Gas who I pay my bills to, or NEDL who operate the electric around
here. I could do with getting it changed to a standard meter anyway
as we don't have night storage heaters anymore.

Thanks


Contact British Gas as they will also need to change your tariff. You
should find that your daytime electricity is cheaper.


True. Not sure that they will automatically get the meter changed, though -
they might just ignore the off-peak part.

To the OP: What effect is this 'interference' having on your BB connection?
Is there any way you can test the connection with all mains power switched
off? [You'd either need a generator, or a battery powered laptop - in which
case you'd need to power a router (if used) from a battery or inverter].
--
Cheers,
Roger
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  #3  
Old November 18th 06, 06:53 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
[email protected]
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Posts: 529
Default Bit off topic: - Electricity meters


On 18-Nov-2006, James wrote:

If i switch off the mains
switch at the master circuit breaker to remove all the house hold
appliances, I can still hear this noise on the radio, it is very strong
and is coming from the meter cupboard, if I put the radio next to the
telephone incoming pair this same signal is very strong.


It may be coming from outside the house, the meter and phone line
are just radiating it, in which case changing the meter would not
alter the situation. It would be unusual for the signal to extend
throughout the RF spectrum up to GHz although the phone pair
noise may be killing your BB s/n ratio.
Quite often the local MV ringmain that feeds the sub-stations
runs for considerable distance parallel to the ducts carrying the
local phone cables. The feed to sodium and mercury street lights
generates quite a bit of RF noise, so do you have the problem
during the day, or at particular times?
If it comes and goes I'd suspect an exterior source, meters don't
repair themselves or for that matter generally generate RF
interference.
With a medium/long wave tranny, with directional ferrite aerial,
tuned between stations, you could go outside and see what
it picks up, if there is a strong similar signal the directional
ferrite rod aerial, triangulated from more than one location
might give you a rough location of the source.
  #4  
Old November 18th 06, 08:58 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 529
Default Bit off topic: - Electricity meters


On 18-Nov-2006, James wrote:

An external source was my conclusion, ie. it is being radiated via
internal wiring, however I cannot pickup this noise outside after
moving just a 2 or 3 foot away from the house, triangulating the noise
always leads me back to the meter cupboard..


Could still be coming from outside, once the cables go underground
the RF is shielded but there can still be inductive pickup, particularly
if say the phone 100 or whatever pairs runs along a main road in
a parallel duct a foot from a MV ringmain.
There are increasing numbers of domestic devices with switch-mode
power supplies, as well as fluorescent and low-energy bulbs that
extinguish and re-ignite the discharge as the mains goes through
the zero of the cycle.
I take it you have switched everything off except the router and
computer, and the noise persists, without changing in level, then switched
the computer and router off whilst checking with the tranny?.
Some computer problems have originated from a piece of the computers
equipment itself, like a duff monitor, or ancillary devices switch-mode
PSU.
If it were the meter I'd expect the level of interference to change
with load. But then there isn't anything in conventional meters
that would generate interference.
  #6  
Old November 19th 06, 12:38 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Mark McIntyre
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Posts: 1,835
Default Bit off topic: - Electricity meters

On Sat, 18 Nov 2006 21:42:10 -0000, in uk.telecom.broadband , James
wrote:

In article , the-
says...

How can they charge if it's faulty? Surely the meter is the property of the
electricity company (BG or whoever).


Good question, no idea.


You heard that wrong, there's a 65 quid charge callout if its *not*
faulty (ie you wasted their time).

--
Mark McIntyre
  #8  
Old November 19th 06, 09:07 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
SteveB
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Posts: 42
Default Bit off topic: - Electricity meters

"James" wrote in message
. ..
In article ,
says...

I take it you have switched everything off except the router and
computer, and the noise persists, without changing in level, then
switched
the computer and router off whilst checking with the tranny?.


Absolutely, noise is present on tranny without anything at all switched
on. Noise is still present with only router/pc on but I would say it
appears a bit stronger, it might seem daft but when something
electrical is powered on it seems to amplify the noise i.e it gets
stronger.

I've been to my neighbours either side of me and asked them to switch
their mains off, with no result, noise still there.

I can only think it's coming in on the mains cable and jumping onto the
incoming pair, they are not that far apart, I might see about getting
the master incoming pair/NTE5 socket moved upstairs a bit further away
from the incoming mains. Get the dropwire straight in upstairs and not
down then up There again if they are running parallel in the street
it won't help much I guess.

--
Regards
James


If you're right about the telephone cable picking up RF noise from the
meter, then yours is one of the few cases where a BT RF3 common mode filter
may help. This is inserted in the telephone line to help stop the cable
picking up external interference without reducing the ADSL signal. The
problem is that the line needs to be cut to do it and may only help if the
cut is in the right place, my guess would be near the meter. I was given
one by a friendly BT engineer who just happened to have one in his toolbox,
it only helped my setup marginally but my line problems go a bit deeper than
yours....

Another possible fix if it hasn't already been done is to remove the orange
ring wire in your master socket. If it actually gets connected to your
phones etc then it unbalances the twisted pair somewhat and makes them more
susceptible to RF pickup. The ring wire is generally not needed in typical
systems. Another fix may be to screen your telephone cable near the meter,
connecting the screen to a good earth. Silver foil would do to see if it's
going to help. You can get self adhesive copper foil from electronic
component suppliers to wrap round or perhaps some roof flashing.

P.S. I wouldn't totally discount your own equipment as you obviously have
to have the router powered. Router power supplies of all types generate a
varying amount (can be huge) of RF noise which is injected up its cable to
the router and if there's some way you can try the router out powered from a
battery it would eliminate that as a cause. Careful though as some are
powered by a low voltage AC, the rectifiers etc are inside the router, but
thinking about it (I'm an electronics engineer), it would still work and the
polarity wouldn't matter in this (AC only) case .


  #9  
Old November 19th 06, 09:50 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Tony
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Posts: 57
Default Bit off topic: - Electricity meters

SteveB wrote on Sun, 19 Nov 2006 at
09:07:09:
Another possible fix if it hasn't already been done is to remove the
orange ring wire in your master socket. If it actually gets connected
to your phones etc then it unbalances the twisted pair somewhat and
makes them more susceptible to RF pickup. The ring wire is generally
not needed in typical systems.


Minor comment: the ring wire can inject unbalanced noise at the master
socket even if the other end of the ring wire isn't connected to any
phones; it's like a long-wire medium-wave aerial connected straight onto
the ADSL signal path.

James, you mentioned earlier "I've been through all the usual tricks" -
does that include experimenting with the router connected directly to
the test socket behind the NTE5 faceplate (via filter unit if necessary,
just to present the correct socket)?
e.g. http://www.dslzoneuk.net/socket.php.
If so, that experiment disconnects the ring wire (and all other
extension wiring), and shows the best that you can do with the present
BT wiring etc. Does your 8dB noise increase still occur in that
experiment?

--
Tony
 




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