Author Topic: Higher interference mode thresholds available!  (Read 6330 times)

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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #50 on: June 27, 2014, 09:39:10 AM »
....and after a reset, the higher settings will NEVER be set by the server if you go immediately into interference mode!
Exactly!!!

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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #51 on: June 27, 2014, 10:09:51 AM »
If the system resets, then it reverts. It then will not return to 'increased' thresholds until next server communication, which may be up to, what, 7-10 minutes?
'Burst' mode doesn't reset the controller, and therefore, doesn't reset the thresholds. Also if you have any numbers in the setting box for "system daily reboot' you can count on reverting to default at least once daily!  That field should be 'blank" !

Mike, I've seen it revert after an extended "interference mode" event, without system reboot.  Perhaps it was due to the non-burst IM level being triggered.

Also, you should see if Tobi or Egon can reprogram that axle factory to fire up only when there's no lightning.
Well, after extended interference mode, my system will generally reset, and revert... then I wait for a server communication, unless I go immediately into interference. Reset it, or reboot it, it reverts. 
Now, I suppose the logic is that if you've gone long interference at higher count threshold,  then we'll make sure you don't keep sending junk, at least until you get below 'minimum' threshold...  do something ... find the issue...

Axles?  Gotta have 'em to keep rollin'... What's cool about it, I took the time to locate the source last year, found it exactly due south, and know exactly what to change, and by how much. H field, Amp1 channel A, from 10x10 to 8x5 or 8x4 if they're running more than 1 welder line on the north side. All I need do is confirm its H Amp1 Channel A, and a couple of clicks in settings, then go on about life.  Once in awhile, check to see if it's still there, If not, bring it back up. Heck, can predict if it's going to run by driving by the factory and observing the parking lot at shift change... "probability of Weld Strikes tonight? 80% after 6pm with intermittent discharges until 8am"...

Now, a failing vapor street light is a different issue... about all I need do now, is ring up the utility co, they see the incoming phone number and immediately dispatch a new bulb and a crew... don't even have to talk to 'em anymore... :twisted:

Neighbors' plasma TV's and bad heat pumps and HVAC are a bit more difficult... however....

None of this stuff bothers E field, at least so far. 'Bout the only way to throw that bugger into interference is crank up the gain 'till signals overwhelm it.... my environments pretty E noise clean.
So for my location, I love the higher thresholds, and for the most part, an issue is predictable, or easily mediated. Now, it took time and patience to reach that stage... each of us has to do it to some degree, especially when sources mask each other, and there is no single reason for an issue that might appear single source.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2014, 10:11:49 AM by Cutty Sark Sailor »

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Offline Jumpin Joe

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #52 on: June 27, 2014, 10:18:37 AM »

"Heck, can predict if it's going to run by driving by the factory and observing the parking lot at shift change... "probability of Weld Strikes tonight? 80% after 6pm with intermittent discharges until 8am"...



I think you need to put a "Loggie" on the lot!!!!    :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Offline W3DRM

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #53 on: June 27, 2014, 11:11:06 AM »

"Heck, can predict if it's going to run by driving by the factory and observing the parking lot at shift change... "probability of Weld Strikes tonight? 80% after 6pm with intermittent discharges until 8am"...



I think you need to put a "Loggie" on the lot!!!!    :lol: :lol: :lol:

Wow, lots of good info in this thread!

Mike - As for your welding noise, perhaps they do have some kind of a weekly/monthly schedule for axle welding. Have you tried to log the date & time of these events? They might be periodic in a way that would allow you to know when you're going to get hit with the noise bursts. Just a thought...
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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #54 on: June 27, 2014, 11:12:49 AM »

"Heck, can predict if it's going to run by driving by the factory and observing the parking lot at shift change... "probability of Weld Strikes tonight? 80% after 6pm with intermittent discharges until 8am"...



I think you need to put a "Loggie" on the lot!!!!    :lol: :lol: :lol:
EXCELLENT IDEA... without doing any math, though... would need a whole bunch of extenders.
wait for it... wait for it..

What about an H FIELD AMP to detect the welders?  Hmmm.... .

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Offline W3DRM

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #55 on: June 27, 2014, 11:18:58 AM »
Or, you could get friendly with some of the workers there and see if they can tell you anything about their work schedules and when welding is done...
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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #56 on: June 27, 2014, 11:23:40 AM »

"Heck, can predict if it's going to run by driving by the factory and observing the parking lot at shift change... "probability of Weld Strikes tonight? 80% after 6pm with intermittent discharges until 8am"...



I think you need to put a "Loggie" on the lot!!!!    :lol: :lol: :lol:

Wow, lots of good info in this thread!

Mike - As for your welding noise, perhaps they do have some kind of a weekly/monthly schedule for axle welding. Have you tried to log the date & time of these events? They might be periodic in a way that would allow you to know when you're going to get hit with the noise bursts. Just a thought...
Good thought, except it depends on their daily orders, ... besides, it's easy to live with now... which is part of my emphasis when I keep saying that operators, especially new ones, need to explore and understand their electromagnetic environment, from season to season, day to night, and when they do, they'll be more efficient, and that's a huge step toward sending quality data.
Furthermore, if I went away for a few days, knowing my environment, I'd just set the gains at 8x4 on H1A and 8X8 on H1B, and go enjoy myself.

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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #57 on: June 29, 2014, 07:04:34 PM »
What is a rudimentary ground???



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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #58 on: June 29, 2014, 07:16:24 PM »
What is a rudimentary ground???

Connected to household power earth ground.  Nothing fancy, just an earth reference to the controller ground lug (which up until now was floating).
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Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #59 on: June 29, 2014, 07:44:43 PM »
I've found over 45 years of career and experience... the best true ground normally will be found at the shield of a cable TV at the entrance to your home. Period. Residential grounds,. utility ground... maybe... maybe not... CATV folks don't want their crap buggered.  Best Ground Going, normally.

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Offline DaleReid

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #60 on: June 29, 2014, 08:30:43 PM »
Mike,
Its sort of like whether the cable installer initially took the time to ground properly or not.

The older homes, with ATT or MaBell doing installs, had wonderful grounds.  Usually the power company did a bang up job of grounding outside before powering an entrance panel.

Maybe so maybe not with the recent cable company installs I've seen. 

Mine cable cable's ground, which brings in internet, is jumpered over to the telephone ground.  Go figure. But I'm sure it saved someone three minutes and ten bucks, so they could have coffee on the way to their next job.



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Offline xcom

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #61 on: June 29, 2014, 10:52:35 PM »
I've found over 45 years of career and experience... the best true ground normally will be found at the shield of a cable TV at the entrance to your home. Period. Residential grounds,. utility ground... maybe... maybe not... CATV folks don't want their crap buggered.  Best Ground Going, normally.

Lucky you.

4 years ago a lightning hit came in through the cable (Coax) line and fried everything connected to my network.
The same happened to all of my neighbors and their stuff.

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Offline dfroula

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #62 on: June 29, 2014, 11:39:34 PM »
A US residential power installation, using 220VAC divided into two phases for 110VAC, NEEDS a proper ground to work properly. 15 years ago in my last house, the service panel lost its ground reference due to a loose connection in the meter housing. My voltages across the two phases swung around wildly, depending on the load on that phase. I lost a good deal of electronic equipment at the time because of the surges. Light bulbs got very bright on some circuits and dimmed to nothing on others. Very weird experience.

Whether the service panel ground is also a good RF ground is another matter. In my house, the service panel has braided copper strap in a conduit going to the copper cold water pipe on the city side of the water meter. That ground has proven to be a pretty good RF ground as well, at least at VLF.

Every few years I pull the main breaker and perform some maintenance on the ground clamp connecting the service panel to that water pipe. It can corrode over time and cause problems.

Don
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Offline W3DRM

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #63 on: June 30, 2014, 12:57:20 PM »
Nice -- over 12,000 detected strokes per hour peak this afternoon at one point.

That's mostly because I added a rudimentary ground.  But I was also experimenting earlier with a first crack at a linear regulated power supply -- the traces were really nice :)  But inadequate heat sinking was pushing the regulator temperature too close to the operating limit, and adding a fan seemed to add some E-field noise.

Now, I just need the remaining parts to arrive from Mouser to build my production power supply, and install in the attic.

Care to share your linear designs with the group? Might be something we'd all like to think about doing...
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Offline W3DRM

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #64 on: June 30, 2014, 01:05:28 PM »
I should have read through the rest of the thread before posting my reply above.

Anyway, here are a few links regarding UFER grounding. That is what I have here in my house. It was built in 2005 and local codes require UFER grounding. I suspect it's mainly due to our desert environment here along with only a few inches of precipitation on an annual basis.
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Offline dfroula

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #65 on: June 30, 2014, 01:33:25 PM »
You know, I thought about this, and what I stated is not quite what happened.

What was lost in the meter housing was the neutral connection back to the center-tapped power distribution transformer. The neutral connection is also connected to the service panel ground. When the neutral connection was lost, all return current was forced to pass through ground, creating a high-resistance path and the power balance issues that I mentioned.

Losing both the ground and neutral both probably would have completely interrupted power, as neither 110VAC phase would have had a path back to the center tap of the distribution transformer. Losing just the ground, power would have been unaffected, but it would create a significant safety hazard.


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A US residential power installation, using 220VAC divided into two phases for 110VAC, NEEDS a proper ground to work properly. 15 years ago in my last house, the service panel lost its ground reference due to a loose connection in the meter housing. My voltages across the two phases swung around wildly, depending on the load on that phase. I lost a good deal of electronic equipment at the time because of the surges. Light bulbs got very bright on some circuits and dimmed to nothing on others. Very weird experience.

Whether the service panel ground is also a good RF ground is another matter. In my house, the service panel has braided copper strap in a conduit going to the copper cold water pipe on the city side of the water meter. That ground has proven to be a pretty good RF ground as well, at least at VLF.

Every few years I pull the main breaker and perform some maintenance on the ground clamp connecting the service panel to that water pipe. It can corrode over time and cause problems.

Don
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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #66 on: June 30, 2014, 01:40:06 PM »
I thought you catch that, Don... !  :-P  That's why I like the Cable ground... the folks here run a ground at least every third pole... rarely do we have any local outages, but sometimes it does take the main head out!

As you said, neutral and ground are not the same thing at all... and the instructions specifically, and one time, I suppose they still do, stated specifically NOT to connect to mains ground!

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Offline dfroula

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #67 on: June 30, 2014, 01:59:33 PM »
Yep...brain cells fading.

Thunking some more, I realize that losing both ground AND neutral would also be Very Bad, as two devices on separate legs will create a 220VAC series connection through the devices. Depending upon the load on each leg, power would be wildly imbalanced. Even worse, The current is just "looking" for a ground path - like through the cable TV ground (!) or, worse yet, a gas main (!!!).

Grounding the B. system to the third grounding terminal at the outlet is likely OK, as it carries no current, normally, and is there as a safety ground. In my case, the separate ground wire from each outlet is bonded to the neutral bus in the service panel, which is connected both to the transformer neutral and the water pipe ground.

There could be ground currents flowing between the service panel neutral/ground bus bars and the house ground, depending if there is a potential difference between the distribution transformer ground and the grounding point of the service panel. I guess this could introduce potential noise.

A separate grounding rod is starting to sound more attractive.

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« Last Edit: June 30, 2014, 02:03:44 PM by dfroula »

Offline dfroula

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #68 on: June 30, 2014, 02:50:59 PM »
Back on-topic, regarding the new interference thresholds......

This is driving me slightly nuts! I'm still looking for that perfect "set and forget" gain setup. I don't think I'll find it..... :mad:

The hysteresis is so extreme on the settings, they will happily allow you some extreme rates...until you tip over the edge. Then, you drop back to the basic, low interference threshold settings....for a very long time!

The only cure, as I mentioned, is simply to set the gains for a aggregate rate that will keep you out of interference under even the most stringent interference thresholds, then stick with it and enjoy the short-lived margin of high signal rates as a storm approaches.

Unfortunately, I'm not so patient.  I succumb to the temptation to boost those gains to take advantage of the highest thresholds that you are granted after a short period of compliance. Them WHAM, a storm locks you back into interference mode.....for a long time.

With my old setup and location, auto-noise adjust helped me some. Now I have almost no sustained noise issues, so "auto-adjust to noise" doesn't help me stay out of interference anymore. Running with auto-noise adjust is essentially like running in straight manual mode.

My own fault, I know. But those darned Blitzortung guys are holding out the stick and carrot, just to snatch it away again after a few nibbles.  :grin: I think they are trying to educate us.

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« Last Edit: June 30, 2014, 02:55:39 PM by dfroula »

Offline dfroula

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #69 on: June 30, 2014, 02:54:17 PM »
Like in my previous home, where some dimwit hadn't bothered to run a neutral wire to a ceiling fan and just used the hard conduit as a return path. Nice. Interesting charred marks on some of the thinwall conduit couplings.

D.

Yep...brain cells fading.

Thunking some more, I realize that losing both ground AND neutral would also be Very Bad, as two devices on separate legs will create a 220VAC series connection through the devices. Depending upon the load on each leg, power would be wildly imbalanced. Even worse, The current is just "looking" for a ground path - like through the cable TV ground (!) or, worse yet, a gas main (!!!).

Grounding the B. system to the third grounding terminal at the outlet is likely OK, as it carries no current, normally, and is there as a safety ground. In my case, the separate ground wire from each outlet is bonded to the neutral bus in the service panel, which is connected both to the transformer neutral and the water pipe ground.

There could be ground currents flowing between the service panel neutral/ground bus bars and the house ground, depending if there is a potential difference between the distribution transformer ground and the grounding point of the service panel. I guess this could introduce potential noise.

A separate grounding rod is starting to sound more attractive.

Don
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I agree with this.

Regardless, what I described was a very temporary arrangement, by way of determining the effect on signals received.  I don't recommend it nor is it still being employed.  And if one is unsure of one's power supply configuration in the first place, it may represent a hazard.  I hope that's clear.

Offline Cutty Sark Sailor

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #70 on: June 30, 2014, 03:16:37 PM »
Back on-topic, regarding the new interference thresholds......

This is driving me slightly nuts! I'm still looking for that perfect "set and forget" gain setup. I don't think I'll find it..... :mad:

The hysteresis is so extreme on the settings, they will happily allow you some extreme rates...until you tip over the edge. Then, you drop back to the basic, low interference threshold settings....for a very long time!

The only cure, as I mentioned, is simply to set the gains for a aggregate rate that will keep you out of interference under even the most stringent interference thresholds, then stick with it and enjoy the short-lived margin of high signal rates as a storm approaches.

Unfortunately, I'm not so patient.  I succumb to the temptation to boost those gains to take advantage of the highest thresholds that you are granted after a short period of compliance. Them WHAM, a storm locks you back into interference mode.....for a long time.

With my old setup and location, auto-noise adjust helped me some. Now I have almost no sustained noise issues, so "auto-adjust to noise" doesn't help me stay out of interference anymore. Running with auto-noise adjust is essentially like running in straight manual mode.

My own fault, I know. But those darned Blitzortung guys are holding out the stick and carrot, just to snatch it away again after a few nibbles.  :grin: I think they are trying to educate us.

Don
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Yep... educate us and push server to limits. No joke.
Don, honestly, I work better with the original 'normal' settings I've established... you and I both know that we were registering strikes far far away, back when we only needed a couple or three stations to register... What the new thresholds do, especially adding E field..., is essentially operate with the same settings, but detect more strokes, and weaker strokes.... So my gains generally are staying at previous levels.
It does offer 'more distant' stations a chance to join in the fun, since they can come up a point or two on gain without going interference.. but for us centrally located stations I think offers more of what I suggest above...
Tip... remember that E field CH C is mostly same data as H field signals... with a sharper cutoff >50Khz... if hitting interference, you could reduce that... one reason the preset gain is lower for EC. I wouldn't necessarily reduce HA or HB, I'd go with EC instead, for now. It also will respond to 'weaker' signals than H field, but the main info that Egon's looking for can be carried with EA and EB... for those running Dual... Stations running H or E only have to find their own hunting ground...
Asking us ain't gonna do it... they have to do what we did... find the average, set, learn how to respond if the situation changes....at least for now.

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Offline dfroula

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #71 on: June 30, 2014, 03:29:31 PM »
Yep, I agree with all of that.

Hardest thing is to wait out a storm so that one can evaluate when things return to normal on their own, with the proper settings. It is also tempting to set gains low, reboot, wait for the higher thresholds, and boost the gains up again to get some counts in during the storm.  ](*,)


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I found that E-field channel C trick as well. It helps to balance the performance of the two amps. The developers helped us there, as the final unadjustable gain stage of the E-field Channel C is lower than that of A and B.

Man, those guys are sure smart!  :grin:

Don
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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #72 on: June 30, 2014, 03:35:55 PM »
Also remember you're the guy who dropped strong hints (translation: kicked my butt) last year about 'riding gains'.  :twisted:

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Offline dfroula

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #73 on: June 30, 2014, 03:38:00 PM »
Oops....

Just call me Easy Rider  8-)

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Re: Higher interference mode thresholds available!
« Reply #74 on: June 30, 2014, 03:42:57 PM »
Oops....

Just call me Easy Rider  8-)
Fire all of your guns at once
 And explode into space

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