Category Archives: Interference

QRM.guru a new resource for amateurs from RASA

News Release

This is an innovative web delivered resource that allows amateurs to investigate, identify and hopefully resolve the most common issues that affect the hobby, that is increasing Interference.

Chris VK3QB one of the developers of this resource said, “For the first time and in one place, QRM.guru provides a coordinated set of resources and self-help for amateurs to find out about QRM issues and techniques in resolving them.”

The site is accessed by getting on line to QRM.guru/ and clicking “start here” along the top.

QRM.guru is a project of RASA and has been designed as a free resource for all, in the spirit that is Amateur Radio.

Please send questions or feedback to feedback@qrm.guru.

US Coast Guard Warns of LED Lighting Interference to Marine Radios, AIS Reception

The US Coast Guard says it’s received reports from crews, ship owners, inspectors, and other mariners regarding poor reception on VHF radiotelephone, digital selective calling (DSC), and automatic identification systems (AIS) when in the vicinity of LED lighting systems. This could include interior and exterior lighting, navigation lights, searchlights, and floodlights found on vessels of all sizes.

“Radio frequency interference caused by these LED lamps [was] found to create potential safety hazards,” the Coast Guard said in an August 15 Marine Safety Alert. “For example, the maritime rescue coordination center in one port was unable to contact a ship involved in a traffic separation scheme incident by VHF radio. That ship also experienced very poor AIS reception. Other ships in different ports have experienced degradation of the VHF receivers, including AIS, caused by their LED navigation lights. LED lighting installed near VHF antennas has also shown to compound the reception.”

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FCC Administrative Law Judge Terminates Long-Standing Amateur License Renewal Case

In a July 9 Order, FCC Administrative Law Judge Richard L. Sippel has ended the decade-old license renewal proceeding involving William Crowell, W6WBJ (ex-N6AYJ), of Diamond Springs, California, upon a motion by Enforcement Bureau Chief Rosemary C. Harold. Termination of the proceeding and the dismissal of Crowell’s license renewal application followed his refusal to appear for a hearing in Washington, DC, to consider his license renewal and other issues in an enforcement proceeding that dates back 15 years or more.

“Crowell’s decision not to appear at the hearing has the same practical effect as if he had initially failed, pursuant to Section 1.221(c) of the Rules, to file a written notice of appearance or otherwise signal his intent to participate in the hearing on his pending renewal application, i.e., he has waived his right to prosecute that application,” Harold said in the Enforcement Bureau’s June 12 motion to dismiss Crowell’s license renewal application.

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What’s the buzz? Pot-growing lights vex ham radio operators

By MARINA VILLENEUVE, ASSOCIATED PRESS AUGUSTA, Maine — Feb 28, 2017, 9:38 AM ET

Retired Coast Guard officer Roger Johnson sometimes notices a harsh buzz when he turns on his amateur radio, and he blames high-powered lighting used to grow pot.

Amateur radio operators say the legalization of marijuana is creating a chronic nuisance thanks to interference caused by electrical ballasts that regulate indoor lamps used to grow pot. The American Radio Relay League wants the Federal Communications Commission to take a stand against devices that give off much more interference than federal law allows in homes.

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Alaska’s HAARP Facility Once Again Open for Business

The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) in Gakona, Alaska, will soon undertake its first scientific research campaigns since the facility was taken over by the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Geophysical Institute 18 months ago. Among the investigators is UAF Researcher Chris Fallen, KL3WX, who will be working under a National Science Foundation grant, “RAPID: Spatiotemporal Evolution of Radio-Induced Aurora.” Fallen says the HAARP transmissions will take place within the facility’s transmitter tuning range of 2.7 to 10 MHz and should be audible outside of Alaska and may even produce visible effects within the state.

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“Mysterious Foghorn” is Chinese Over-the-Horizon Burst Radar

A waveform of the Chinese OTH radar “foghorn.” [Courtesy of Wolf Hadel, DK2OM]
The International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 (IARU-R1) Monitoring System (IARUMS) newsletter reports a mysterious “foghorn” — a Chinese over-the-horizon (OTH) burst radar — is operating in Amateur Radio bands.

“We observed the mysterious foghorn on 7, 10, and 14 MHz,” the newsletter recounted. “This is a Chinese OTH radar, which is often jumping, and sounding like a foghorn.” The signal is frequency modulation on pulse (FMOP) with 66.66 sweeps-per-second bursts.

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Alleged Long-Time Pirate Liable for $23,000 Fine

by Susan Ashworth

A long-standing investigation into the goings-on of an alleged pirate radio officer has come to an expensive conclusion.

On Dec. 5, the Federal Communications Commission imposed a $23,000 fine on Daniel Delise from Astoria, N.Y. for allegedly operating an unlicensed amateur radio station at unauthorized power levels as well as for falsely transmitting an officer-in-distress call.

Regional groups like the Broadcast Employees Amateur Radio Society (BEARS) in New York City have closely watched the case. When the first Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) was first issued against Delise by the FCC in September of this year, BEARS President Howard Price said in an article on the group’s website that “our long regional nightmare is over.”

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New Russian Arctic Over-the-Horizon Radars Set for 2017 Startup

According to media accounts, more long-range, new over-the-horizon (OTH) radars that can identify aerial and sea targets hundreds of miles away are scheduled to begin operation next year in the Russian Arctic. It’s doubtful, however, that the news heralds the return of interference on the level of that generated by the so-called “Russian Woodpecker” OTH radar, which plagued Amateur Radio HF bands in the 1970s and 1980s.

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Broadcasters, Jammers Wreak Havoc on Amateur Radio Frequencies

The battle continues between Radio Eritrea (Voice of the Broad Masses) and Radio Ethiopia, which is said to be jamming the Eritrean broadcaster with broadband white noise. The problem for radio amateurs is that the battle is taking place in the 40 meter phone band — 7.145 and 7.175 MHz — with the jamming signal reported by the IARU Region 1 Monitoring System (IARUMS) to be 20 kHz wide on each channel. The on-air conflict has been going on for years; Ethiopia constructed new transmitting sites in 2008 and is said to use two or three of them for jamming purposes. The interfering signals can be heard in North America after dark. According to IARUMS Region 1 Coordinator Wolf Hadel, DK2OM, Radio Eritrea is airing separate programs on each frequency. He said in the IARUMS September newsletter that telecommunications regulators in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland have been informed, so they could file official complaints. Continue reading Broadcasters, Jammers Wreak Havoc on Amateur Radio Frequencies

AT&T’s New “AirGig” Not Your Father’s BPL

bpl-imageRecalling the earlier efforts of the FCC and telecommunications and utility interests to roll out “Broadband over Powerline” (BPL), the Amateur Radio community has been buzzing with questions about AT&T’s just-announced “AirGig” BPL plan to make broadband available via apparently similar technology. ARRL’s earlier anti-BPL campaign, and market forces, eventually led to the demise of the prior BPL initiative. ARRL Laboratory Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, who spearheaded the earlier effort to quantify BPL’s threat to Amateur Radio’s HF spectrum and remains the resident expert on the subject, said this newest BPL incarnation should not pose an interference issue for radio amateurs.

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