FlightAware Discussions

Interference from Power lines & Train Overhead Wires?

Does anyone have experience with this? Do you think it may affect your ADSB reception?

I do not think so,

I live next to large power towers, transmission lines and capture 200 nm to 250 nm aircraft. I don’t use a filter.

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The new international filter and a higher antenna position seemed to have worked. Now getting 200-250 mi range. Massive difference.

All the houses in my street are fed by overhead power cables and there’s a railway line less than 100m from here.

I don’t notice any problems with QRM from them.

Phrase of the day.
I was thinking about arcing of the pantograph on a train, but I suspect that due to the wide-band nature of sparkgap transmitters it would not interfere at any great range.

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That would be quite limited to when a drain comes by.
Also you mostly have arcing there if the conductor has quite a bit of ice on it.

that great worked

See you

Of course, it’s quite possible that I am getting interference from them and not noticing it but I think it’s unlikely.

Power frequency (50, 60 Hz) is that far away from the ADS-B one (1090000 Hz) that there is no way it can influence anything.

Plus power lines are not radiating antennas, even if they are wires. Basically they are shunted with lots of capacitors that shunt down any high frequency components (cables connected to them, lightning arresters, heck, even normal isolators will act like capacitors in HF domain.

As a side note, I’ve noticed that bluetooth across multiple devices, all drops at the same time occasionally when trains go past. I think there’s some interference somewhere.

Do the trains have free WiFi? WiFi is darn close to BT…

I would think it is more likely broad band noise due to arcing from the electrical pickup. Effectively a spark transmitter.

When humidity is high, there is a discharge over insulator surface, called corona discharge. This creates audible chattering sound, as well as broad band RF noise.


That’s more like over 200kV, not at train voltages. Some countries have very low train traction voltages.

Where I am the trains are 1500V DC. However there are other power lines that buzz and some have large capacitors on them.

Buzz is indeed corona discharge. That is a wide band noise, you need filtering.

There is another thread on this topic.

High voltage line disturbance?