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It came to my attention (thanks to user SDsolar — sorry I rejected your tag wiki edit; I didn't see that it was documenting the actually existing situation) that we have the tag as well as the tag (synonym "interference"), and that the former was being used in the sense of the latter.

We shouldn't have multiple tags with the same meaning, but it seems to me that there is a difference worth keeping here:

  • is generally about grounding, shielding, fixing electronics, etc — sources of and measures to eliminate avoidable noise.
  • On the other hand, some questions are about modeling/understanding atmospheric noise, thermal noise, etc, which is a topic which is very different from fixing RFI.

I think the right thing to do here is come up with a good name and description for the second concept which will discourage people using it to mean RFI, but I'm open to the suggestion that we keep . The goal in general is there aren't two different tags such that people will use one or the other arbitrarily for the same topic.

(I've just now retagged questions that are clearly just "fixing RFI" from to .)

Does anyone have a suggestion for an adequately specific statement of the scope of this tag (and a matching name)?

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    $\begingroup$ I agree with your perspective and recommendation. Thanks for the good work. $\endgroup$ – Glenn W9IQ Jul 10 '17 at 22:08
  • $\begingroup$ How about using environmental-noise $\endgroup$ – user9867 Jul 18 '17 at 5:51
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    $\begingroup$ @GypsySpellweaver That would exclude, for example, the noise temperature or noise figure of equipment which I would like to include. (But perhaps I'm too anchored on the existing "noise" name and there would be useful tags with different grouping.) $\endgroup$ – Kevin Reid AG6YO Jul 18 '17 at 14:22
  • $\begingroup$ No drama. You make a good point. btw, I had a choice of editing the text of the Q or A (I forget which) or using the same word they used. I chose the latter. Which would you have done? -- I do agree that noise can be different from just radio noise, as you just posted. $\endgroup$ – SDsolar Aug 27 '17 at 4:20
  • $\begingroup$ @SDsolar Sorry, I don't understand what you're asking. This question is about tagging, not the content of posts. $\endgroup$ – Kevin Reid AG6YO Aug 27 '17 at 4:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Kevin: Just that it was the reason I created that tag. The post was about rfi and I didn't want to change what they wrote so instead made up a tag. I wasn't sure what to do in that situation. In retrospect I should have just tagged it rfi because noise is a much wider topic. $\endgroup$ – SDsolar Aug 27 '17 at 4:28
  • $\begingroup$ @SDsolar If I understand you correctly: there is no reason tags need to use the same words as the body of the question. $\endgroup$ – Kevin Reid AG6YO Aug 27 '17 at 4:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Kevin, OK. It could have helped to clarify it instead. Got it. Good discussion about this. $\endgroup$ – SDsolar Aug 27 '17 at 4:33
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Although some of us understand those concepts, many hams simply have no idea what the noise they're hearing is. For example, some don't understand the different sounds between constant lightning, power line noise, switching power supplies, electric fences, etc. Unfortunately, that's just a fact. Some may not even know what "RFI" means.

For these reasons, I suggest that the "Noise" tag include any noise --in the very broadest sense of the word-- that is interfering with the desired received signal.

Other (not so broad) related tags should stay, or new ones created and defined where necessary.

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A suggested description for the noise tag:

Relates to noise generated by circuits (Johnson-Nyquist noise) involving the Boltzmann constant, atmospheric noise primarily due to lightning, and cosmic/galactic noise from sources such as the sun, meteorites, quasars, and comets.

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