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DARC Questions BPL/PLT Emission Measurement Method


While complaints of BPL interference have become rare in the US, the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC), Germany’s national Amateur Radio society, continues to battle the issue. The DARC recently raised questions regarding the measurement protocol that federal authorities used to test devices used for power line telecommunication (PLT), as BPL is known in Europe. The DARC Scientific Research Associate Thilo Kootz, DL9KCE, said it appears the Federal Network Agency conducted some of its PLT emission measurements while the devices were in stand-by mode, with no data being transferred.

“The agency concluded that the device met all standard requirements,“ Kootz said, “but our preliminary findings showed that emissions from a similar unit were approximately 100 times above the limit.” The DARC had to use the Freedom of Information Act to obtain a copy of the measurement protocols the federal agency employed, he said, which leave several questions unanswered. Kootz called it “a questionable procedure” to measure the PLT device while it was at idle.

“A lawnmower that’s not running does not violate the noise ordinance,” he said. “Such a measurement technique offers carte blanche for thousands of other devices that should not be permitted to come to market.”

The DARC said radio amateurs have had negative experiences with PLT devices, the use of which, it said, can cause massive interference to radio reception and affect other wireless services as well.




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