Click here for Adobe Acrobat version


This document was converted from Microsoft Word.

Content from the original version of the document such as
headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, graphics, and page numbers
will not show up in this text version.

All text attributes such as bold, italic, underlining, etc. from the
original document will not show up in this text version.

Features of the original document layout such as
columns, tables, line and letter spacing, pagination, and margins
will not be preserved in the text version.

If you need the complete document, download the
Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat version.



   February 28, 2011

   (Name withheld)

   (Address withheld)

   (Address withheld)

   RE:  Radio frequency interference


   Dear Mr. & Mrs. (name withheld):

   The Federal Communications Commission notified you by letter dated
   September 3, 2009, that it had received complaints of harmful radio
   interference possibly caused by an electrical device in your home. This
   interference has been reported by an operator in the Amateur Radio
   Service. The complainant is:

   (Name withheld)

   (Address withheld)

   (Address withheld)

   The Commission has the responsibility to require that such problems be
   rectified within a reasonable time if the interference is caused by faulty
   consumer equipment. Under Commission rules, certain types of equipment are
   classified as "unintentional emitters." These devices generate radio
   frequency energy but do not intentionally radiate it. Examples include
   computers, radio receivers and television sets. Other types of devices are
   classified as "incidental emitters." These devices do not intentionally
   generate any radio-frequency energy, but that may create such energy as an
   incidental part of their intended operation. Common examples include
   aquarium heaters, certain portable telephones, alarm control panels,
   fluorescent light ballasts, doorbell control circuits and so forth. Some
   unintentional emitters are imported and do not comply with Commission
   certification standards, and thereby result in interference to other radio
   services. If the device is an approved one, it should have a silver FCC
   label on the unit showing a certification number. Even an approved device,
   however, can only be operated legally if it is not causing harmful
   interference to a licensed radio service.

   The complainant has attempted unsuccessfully to resolve this problem and
   as a result the matter has been referred to our office. The Commission
   prefers that those responsible for the proper operation of equipment
   assume their responsibilities fairly. This means that you should resolve
   the interference caused by the device and make necessary corrections
   within a reasonable time. The September 3, 2009, letter specifically
   stated, however, that if it became necessary for the Commission to
   facilitate a resolution, the Commission might investigate possible rule
   violations and address appropriate remedies, including monetary

   You did respond to this office on October 8, 2010. In your response you
   focused on the door bell transformer as a possible source for the
   interference claiming that you had installed a new doorbell in order to
   alleviate the interference. My letter to you did not specify the exact
   source of the interference, but rather suggested that it could be any
   number of electronic devices currently being used within the residence. As
   indicated above, even an approved and properly installed device may only
   be operated legally if it is not causing harmful interference to a
   licensed radio service. According to Mr. (name withheld), the noise still

   You also questioned why Mr. (name withheld) identified your residence as
   the source of the noise. Mr. (name withheld) provided the Commission with
   a written explanation of the methodology he used in determining the source
   of the interference. After reviewing his explanation, the Commission is
   satisfied that he used accepted industry standards for locating the source
   of the noise. If however, you still have doubts as to your residence being
   the source of the noise, I suggest that you and Mr. (name withheld) set up
   a mutually acceptable time and you turn off the main breaker to your home
   and have Mr. (name withheld) listen on his amateur radio during the time
   that your power is off. If the noise stops while your power is off, the
   source of the noise is most likely an electrical device in your home. If
   it continues, the source is not your home. This simple test will resolve
   in both of your minds whether or not your residence is indeed the source
   of the interference.

   If this simple test confirms that your residence is the source of the
   noise, I suggest that you and Mr. (name withheld) again set up a mutually
   acceptable time and you allow him to use his equipment to determine the
   exact source. Once the source of the interference has been located, you
   have 30 days from that date to resolve the interference to Mr. (name
   withheld) amateur station and report back to this office. Please direct
   your response to the following address: 1270 Fairfield Road, Gettysburg,
   Pennsylvania 17325.

   If you have any questions about this matter, please contact me at


   Laura L. Smith, Esq.

   Special Counsel

   Enforcement Bureau

   cc: Denver Field Office

   Western Regional Director

   Fines normally range from $7,500 to $10,000.