Part 6 of ham radio and condo life and unwanted RFI.

My son and me Back in the day without HOA, condo's an complicated city living.
Good afternoon and it's time to post the final segment regarding ham radio and the condo life. Today I will be looking at the grief living in the city, close neighbors and poor quality control on electronics. You don't have to live in a condo to experience any of the above mentioned issues but condo dwellers may not be able to setup a separate listening antenna, rejig their antenna or change the antenna. Living in a condo has it's ups and downs........other than the elevator that is! No snow to shovel and no lawn to cut and sometimes some decent height to mention a few things but there is very limited antenna real estate and very close neighbors who's LED bulbs, Plasma tv's and other electronic gizmo's that may be are very close to you and your antenna. If you are having an issue with noise first it's very important to find out whether it's man made or natural. The ARRL has a great page on just this were they offer up recorded examples of RFI.
Once you have identified the RFI the trick now is to figure out where it's coming from, it is from your neighbor or from your own QTH? In my townhouse I had a crazy issue with a plasma TV and the great news was it was coming from our own TV. When you have RFI and it's your own that is easier to deal with than when from others around you. Lets have a look at some devices out there that can help out with RFI. The first item that comes to mind is made by MFJ and it's the MFJ-1026 noise canceller. It comes with an internal antenna (the antenna that picks up the noise) The best way to see how this unit works is to provide you with a link to my YouTube page were I posted a video regarding the MFJ-1026   If you have an Elecraft K3 radio I posted a second video using the MFJ-1026 plus the noise reduction on the K3 and I imagine this can work with most modern transceivers Welcome back and I hope you enjoyed the videos and I do believe there are more out there if you care to Google them. 
In the condo I am in now as you know I have the MFJ mag loop and a mag loop has a great way of  nulling out noise. I had a comment on one of my ham radio condo posts from a gentlemen using a loop as a receive antenna and a separate but noisy transmit antenna.
Another product out there that I personally have not tried but a reader of my blog brought to my attention is the  CMC-130S-3k from My Antennas. 
It's a Common Mode Choke, RF Choke and RF Isolator all in one go to the link and have a look there is also a video of the unit in action.
Well there you have it some ideas on how to reduce or illuminate issues that may be giving you some grief in regards to close quarters ham radio. This is the final segment of Ham radio and the condo life. I hope you have enjoyed it and found some useful information.
Mike Weir, VE3WDM, is a regular contributor to and writes from Ontario, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

8 Responses to “Part 6 of ham radio and condo life and unwanted RFI.”

  • Bill KI7HYI:

    What would constitute wanted RFI?

  • henry k2bah:

    any suggestions on 6 meter antennas for condoning
    what works best for six re: noise and tvi

    perhaps a vertical ant?

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning Bill, very good point I never thought about that.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning Henry and thanks for stopping by, I will have to leave that to my readers to see what they come up with. I have never been involved with 6 meters and have not idea regarding antennas.
    Sorry I was no help with this.

  • Eric Russell KD2ONY:

    As I have just joined this list I do not know whether this issue has been addressed before.
    My condo association has a very restrictive HOA, especially regarding any modifications to “common” areas. I decided that I wanted to install a grounding spike for my second floor shack. Rather than wait for them to say no, I wrote up a brief proposal, emphasizing that Ham Radio is considered public service and that my beloved KC2HLA is also a ham. The ARRL website gave me several legal references and precedents regarding antennae and grounding which I incorporated.
    It took two months and a bit of negotiation but they agreed to allow our setup.
    Take no crap and take no prisoners. Be proactive and don’t let them get away with no.
    PS, we are also members of our county CERT radio team and expect to join ARES.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good afternoon Eric very nice to hear from you and thanks for taking the time to comment, across the boarder the RAC or Radio Amateurs of Canada does not seem to have the same clout as the ARRL does. Most if not all HOA’s I have been in it’s their way of the hi-way. There is next to no support from RAC with regards to HOA situations unless you have deep pockets and want to take things to court.
    Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.

  • Gary - KBØKDX:

    I really enjoyed this 6-part series on Ham Radio and the Condo Life. I picked up a few good ideas and would like to thank everyone who submitted their comments!

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good afternoon Gary, thanks very much for your encouraging words. I too would like to thank all those who took the time to pass along their experiences.

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