Bloomsday & I’m in a Martello Tower

Published Categorized as disco, dublin13, radio

funny old day. out Friday night on a gig, 40th in Cellbridge, home late up late. soon as I woke the AM noise issue hit me again.. I got dressed yanked the sw radio out of the mains and went mobile again , a good 50 meters from the front of the house in the back garden the signal was as bad as ever. S9 sprogging the radio like mad. Big peak on 612Khz with harmonics on 512 712 then 1224 2448 doubling all the way up to 9.6Mhz

I knew it was airbourne and not mains but I fired a quick email the the ESB over BLP.. I rang the brother and he said kill the mains in the house and see.. good idea must try that later i said.

Headed up to the Radio museum in Howth for the first time! wonderful little gem hidden away there (btw it beats the radio museum in Sundays Well Cork, the Howth museum is a living museum!). Met Joe & Eamon up there, old Hams I know via my community work over the years, they introduced me to the curator and all the other hams there for the day, they were operating a special station for International Museums Weekend, the station call sign is EI0MAR, I was never a Ham, more the spam of radio in my pirate SW days but we all got/get along!

I raised my issue on 612Khz with the 6 hams up there in Howth, they gave various theories but also suggested that I kill the mains and see that it goes away then bring up parts of the house one by one, i bit like code breaking or debugging bad scripts. [i will blog some more about the EI0MAR Museum.. after I visit it without my girl group entourage that were more interested in the playground than the radio wires]

So i got home and decided ok I have proved the new UPS is not to blame so I will pull the mains and see the UPS work and see if the noise goes. If it doesn’t go this is going to be worse, as it is far more difficult to rectify (literally) a neighbours problem equipment than it is my own. So I take the sw radio to the garage and climb up and pull the big 35A trip on the house.

SwooshhhhhwooootizzzzZz zap nothing. the bad jammer signal is gone! woot! so what the foxtrot is it! trial and error begins… soon after i find that it is the age old doopy now an ubuntu desktop for the dr. who fan among us. Its PSU even when not drawing power but simply plugged in, is whacking out a major 90 meter radius sprog of bad RF all over the band. I found it!!, and I know what to do next.

The hams in Howth were dismissive of my BPL theory but the dread and fear of it was evident. I believe my SWL issues would be as bad if not worse if BPL reaches our shores. BTW another question I was asked was if the signal had polarisation and it did at SE-NW the signal could almost be silenced..

Thanks to all who gave advise; the Hams of the IRTS in North Dublin and Irelands youngest person to pass the B licence exam but not take up the licence thats the brother who I was mistaken for today among the old hams. I spend my life being mistaken as him, but the only comfort in that is that he spends his life been mistaken as me, and I have a larger public profile! Twins!

from the Museum website it says

The Martello watchtower was completed in 1805 when a Napoleonic invasion of Ireland seemed imminent.
The first working submarine telegraph from Great Britain came ashore on the beach just below the tower
in 1854. The tower then became a cable station.

In 1903, the famous American wireless pioneer Lee de Forrest used the tower to demonstrate his wireless
telegraphy system to engineers of the British Post Office. Two years later the Marconi Company
conducted ship to shore wireless experiments with the HMS Monarch as she sailed to various locations in
the Irish Sea.

In a museum pamphlet it goes on to say that Lee de Forrest was doomed as British MPs had shares in the Marconi Company. Some things never change. A British PM and a Italian Broadcast Media Mogul up to their necks in it.