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FCC Cites Washington Resident for Causing Interference on Amateur Frequencies

04/24/2014

The FCC has cited a Woodinville, Washington, resident for operating an “incidental radiator” — apparently some sort of lighting device — that has been causing harmful interference on Amateur Radio frequencies. The Commission has ordered Thomas Edward Rogers to “take steps to eliminate all harmful interference” or risk substantial fines and seizure of equipment. The Enforcement Bureau action came in the wake of repeated complaints last year of interference to Amateur Radio operations. To date, Rogers has not responded to several communications from the Commission.

“Commission agents have made multiple unsuccessful attempts in writing and via phone calls to contact Mr Rogers regarding unauthorized and unlicensed radio frequency emissions emanating from his property,” the FCC said in a Citation and Order released April 24. The Commission directed Rogers to “cease operation of the incidental radiators immediately, until the interference is resolved.”

Last year, agents from the Enforcement Bureau’s Seattle Office twice visited Rogers’ neighborhood and confirmed through direction-finding techniques and the use of a spectrum analyzer that “signals on frequencies between 7 and 8 MHz were emanating from Mr Rogers’ residence,” the FCC recounted. The C&O said Rogers failed to reply to an “RFI Letter” and a subsequent Warning Letter, and the interference complaints continued.

The FCC said Rogers is violating Part 15 rules that prohibit the operation of an unlicensed intentional, unintentional, or incidental radiator that causes harmful interference to a licensed radio service. Rogers was ordered to respond in writing within 30 days stating that he has ceased operating the incidental radiators and tell the Commission what he has done to eliminate all harmful interference. The FCC warned Rogers that he faces “severe penalties, including fines of up to $16,000 per day,” if he fails to take action to resolve the interference issue.

In March, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler tapped Travis LeBlanc as acting Chief of the Enforcement Bureau, and ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, said the Bureau already appears to have become more responsive.

“The Seattle Office’s prompt investigation of an amateur’s complaint in May 2013 set the wheels in motion leading to this Citation,” Sumner said. “Today’s announcement provides further evidence that with the recent change in leadership of the Enforcement Bureau, there’s a new sheriff in town.”

 

 



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