For several years now, the noise level on 50MHz has been high at home, sometimes as high as S7 to S8. As you'll have noticed, it doesn't stop me working people, but it certainly doesn't make it any easier! You just have to wait for them to be loud.
I'd had various suspicions about the sources of noise; the BT Home Hub, some of the boys' myriad of game playing devices, my amplified speakers, the display on one of my PCs... I've noticed a difference in noise level from all of these devices. To be honest, I'd just shrugged my shoulders and accepted it. It was bad enough that if you were listening on 50MHz CW/SSB as you drive up our road, you would hear the noise level come up!
Well, anyway, yesterday we had no power at home. The electricity company turned off the supply so that they could work on the overhead lines. Intriguingly, when power came back yesterday evening, the 50MHz band was much quieter!
Now, it could just be that the device causing the problem hadn't been switched back on, but in *our* house, most things had been restarted or switched on again. My suspicion now is that the main source of noise was probably somewhere on the local power distribution network (we have a pole with power cables on our property) and the noise was being radiated along the lines. All the other devices I'd had my eye on probably *did* cause noise, but not to the same extent.... As I think about it, this is probably right, as I seem to remember the noise level climbing as I passed a couple of other power distribution poles around the village.
The electricity company have turned off a different portion of the village today - let's hope that it doesn't get noisy again!