Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Power lines, KSTP, and DSL filters

We've been living in our current house for a little over two years now. The house is nice, but it's less than a block from some really big power lines. Not the normal residential kind, but the big industrial, 1.21 Gigawatt, make-the-air-buzz-when-it's-raning kind, like this:

Other than the fear of aquiring gradual brain cancer, this was a non-issue. Until we picked up the phone. When you used any land-line phone in the house, regardless of the brand of phone (believe me, we tried many) or the carrier (we tried of few of those as well), you could always hear a local talk AM radio station, loud and clear.

I tried everything I could think of to fix the problem. I even installed new phone wiring between my Vonage box in the basement (Vonage is our phone company du jour) and the phone base unit in the kitchen upstairs. I orginally did this with new standard 4-conductor telephone wire; didn't help a bit. A few days ago I redid the entire run using plenum-grade CAT-5e cable, figuring that the non-twisted telephone wire was picking up lots of interference. That help, a little.

About 6 months ago my neighbor told me he had the same problem and solved it by installing a DSL filter between the phone jack and his phone. By chance I remembered that about a month ago and picked one up, but sort of forgot about it. Well, just tonight after feeling the frustration of my not-so-successful wire replacement project, I remembered the filter I bought, and decided to give it a shot.

It worked!

And here's the little bugger that did the trick.

Being somewhat of a die-hard cable internet subscriber, I guess I've gained a new respect for DSL. :)

1 comment:

DSL filters said...

A telephone filter to try if your still having problems would be the Suttle Radio Interference Filter
Modular radio interference filter, eliminates AM/FM and CB radio interference caused by nearby transmission.