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                                   Before the

                       Federal Communications Commission

                             Washington, D.C. 20554

     In the Matter of              )     File Number: EB-06-LA-345  
     Compatible Electronics Inc.   )   NAL/Acct. No.: 200732900010  
     Silverado, CA                 )               FRN: 0009767906  


                                                       Released: May 23, 2007

   By the District Director, Los Angeles Office, Western Region, Enforcement


    1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL"), we find
       that Compatible Electronics Inc. ("Compatible"), in Silverado,
       California, apparently willfully and repeatedly violated Section 301
       of the Communications Act of 1934 ("Act") for operating a radio
       transmitter without a license. We conclude, pursuant to Section 503(b)
       of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended ("Act"), that Compatible
       is apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of ten thousand
       dollars ($10,000).


    2. On December 22, 2006 the Enforcement Bureau's Los Angeles Office
       received a request for assistance from the Air Force Rescue
       Coordination Center ("AFRCC") regarding interference to the 406 MHz
       Search and Rescue Satellite ("SARSAT") System. Investigation by the
       Los Angeles Office revealed that the interference was caused by the
       intentional activation of an unregistered, emergency locator
       transmitter ("ELT") at Compatible's open field testing laboratory near
       Mission Viejo California.  After the ELT was turned off, a Los Angeles
       agent admonished personnel from Compatible and Compatible's customer,
       the manufacturer of the ELT in question, that ELTs tested in the
       United States must be operated in accordance with the Commission's

    3. On December 26, 2006, a Los Angeles agent contacted, via a three-way
       conference call, the manager of Compatible, and a representative from
       Compatible's customer, and explained that the Commission's rules had
       no provisions for open air operation of an ELT on 406.025 MHz.

    4. On March 1, 2007, the Commission sent a Letter of Inquiry ("LOI") to
       Compatible regarding its activation of ELTs in December of 2006 and
       asking Compatible how it complied with the Commission's Rules when
       testing ELTs. In its response to the LOI, Compatible stated that it
       "performs tests related to electromagnetic compatibility of
       pre-production equipment to assist the electronics industry to meet
       the compliance requirements of regulatory agencies in the US and
       worldwide. [Compatible is] contracted by local companies to perform
       testing on their products to determine compliance with FCC, FAA . . .
       regulations." Compatible stated that it does not have a license to
       operate an ELT test station nor does it have an experimental radio
       station license for 406 MHz. Compatible also stated that the tests
       were performed at its facility and were being conducted for its
       customer. Compatible further stated that while its customer was
       operating the ELT, Compatible was making received signal measurements
       of the ELT on 121.5 MHz and 243 MHz. Compatible acknowledged, however,
       that the ELT was operating on 121.5, 243 and 406 MHz and that the
       December 22, 2006, tests had not been coordinated with the FAA
       Regional Spectrum Management Office. Compatible also stated that
       additional testing on 406 MHz took place, with permission from its
       customer, on December 29, 2006, and that testing on 121.5 and 243 MHz
       was performed on December 26 and 29, 2006, and January 5, 10, 19 and
       22, 2007. Finally, Compatible also stated that it was testing on 121.5
       MHz and 243 MHz at an open area test site as required by Section
       2.1511(a) of the Rules.


    5. Section 503(b) of the Act provides that any person who willfully or
       repeatedly fails to comply substantially with the terms and conditions
       of any license, or willfully or repeatedly fails to comply with any of
       the provisions of the Act or of any rule, regulation or order issued
       by the Commission thereunder, shall be liable for a forfeiture
       penalty. The term "willful" as used in Section 503(b) has been
       interpreted to mean simply that the acts or omissions are committed
       knowingly. The term "repeated" means the commission or omission of
       such act more than once or for more than one day.

    6. Section 301 of the Act states that no person shall use or operate any
       apparatus for the transmission of energy, or communications or signals
       by radio within the United States except under and in accordance with
       the Act and with a license granted under the provisions of the Act.
       Section 3(33) of the Act defines "communications by radio" as "the
       transmission by radio of writing, signs, signals, pictures, and sounds
       of all kinds, including all instrumentalities, facilities, apparatus,
       and services (among other thing the receipt, forwarding, and delivery
       of communications) incidental to such transmission." Section 87.473(b)
       of the Commission's Rules requires that "[l]icenses for ELT test
       stations will be granted only to applicants to train personnel in the
       operation and location of ELTs, or for testing related to the
       manufacturer or design of ELTs."  Section 87.475(d) of the Rules
       states the frequencies available for ELT test stations are 121.600,
       121.650, 121.700, 121.750, 121.800, 121.850, and 121.900 MHz and also
       states that ELT test station licensees must "[n]ot cause harmful
       interference to voice communications on these frequencies or any
       harmonically related frequency," and must "[c]oordinate with the
       appropriate FAA Regional Spectrum Management Office prior to the
       activation of each transmitter."

    7. A false ELT activation has the potential to severely impact the search
       and rescue network, resulting in responder resources being wasted and
       misdirected. According to the United States Coast Guard ("USCG"), air
       searches for false ELT activations cost the USCG thousands of dollars
       per search hour. Additional costs are incurred by rescue coordination
       centers, support personnel, and ground search and rescue responders.
       False activations also can cause harmful interference to the Search
       and Rescue Satellite system and to airplanes and vessels in the
       vicinity of the signal. Additionally, a false activation may conceal
       or prevent timely response to a legitimate distress signal.

    8. On December 22, 2006, the AFRCC notified the FCC Los Angeles Office of
       interference to its SARSAT operations on 406 MHz. A Los Angeles agent
       confirmed that the interfering signal was caused by the activation of
       an ELT on 406.025 MHz at Compatible's testing facility. Compatible has
       produced no license authorizing its testing of an ELT on 406.025 MHz
       in an open field. While Compatible stated in its response to the LOI
       that it did not operate the ELT in question, it provided services and
       facilities incidental to the transmission of communications by radio
       occurring on 406.025 MHz on December 22, 2006. Specifically,
       Compatible provided the testing facility in which the operation took
       place. Consequently, Compatible apparently participated in the
       unauthorized operation. Additionally, while Compatible has no ELT
       testing station license, it has admitted to using its facility to test
       ELTs on 121.5, 243 and 406 MHz, on multiple days between December 22,
       2006, and January 22, 2007.

    9. Compatible states that its open site testing was conducted as required
       by Section 2.1511(a) of the Rules. We disagree. First, we note that
       Section 2.1511 is part of the Commission's Rules which detail the
       procedure for testing Class A, B, and S Emergency Position Indicating
       Radiobeacons ("EPIRBs"). Second, Section 2.1511(a) specifically
       references Section 2.1507 of the Rules which limits such testing on
       frequency pairs from 121.600/243.200 MHz to 121.900/243.800 MHz,
       subject to the conditions that the testing shall not cause harmful
       interference to authorized communications on those frequencies and
       that the testing shall be coordinated with the nearest FCC district
       office. Compatible not only failed to coordinate its tests with the
       Los Angeles Office, the nearest FCC district office, but the tests
       results submitted along with Compatible's response to the LOI reveal
       that Compatible performed its tests on 121.5 MHz and 243 MHz, and not
       on the frequencies mandated by either Section 2.1507 or Section
       87.475(d), in a 30 meter open area test site.

   10. Compatible was aware that it did not have an authorization to conduct
       ELT testing on any frequency, therefore, its violation was willful.
       Compatible's unauthorized, unlicensed operation of ELTs occurred on
       more than one day, therefore, its violation was repeated. Based on the
       evidence before us, we find that Compatible apparently willfully and
       repeatedly violated Section 301 of the Act of the Rules by testing and
       operating ELTs without the appropriate authorization from the

   11. Pursuant to The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment
       of Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines,
       ("Forfeiture Policy Statement"), and Section 1.80 of the Rules, the
       base forfeiture amount for operating without a license is $10,000. In
       assessing the monetary forfeiture amount, we must also take into
       account the statutory factors set forth in Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the
       Act, which include the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of
       the violations, and with respect to the violator, the degree of
       culpability, and history of prior offenses, ability to pay, and other
       such matters as justice may require. Applying the Forfeiture Policy
       Statement, Section 1.80, and the statutory factors to the instant
       case, we conclude that Compatible apparently liable for a $10,000


   12. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
       Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.311,
       0.314 and 1.80 of the Commission's Rules, Compatible Electronics Inc.
       amount of ten  thousand dollars ($10,000) for violations of Section
       301 of the Communications Act.

   13. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 1.80 of the
       Commission's Rules within thirty days of the release date of this
       Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, Compatible Electronics
       Inc. SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL
       FILE a written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the
       proposed forfeiture.

   14. Payment of the forfeiture must be made by check or similar instrument,
       payable to the order of the Federal Communications Commission.  The
       payment must include the NAL/Acct. No. and FRN No. referenced above.
       Payment by check or money order may be mailed to Federal
       Communications Commission, P.O. Box 358340, Pittsburgh, PA
       15251-8340.  Payment by overnight mail may be sent to Mellon
       Bank /LB 358340, 500 Ross Street, Room 1540670, Pittsburgh, PA
       15251.   Payment by wire transfer may be made to ABA Number 043000261,
       receiving bank Mellon Bank, and account number 911-6106.

   15. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal Communications
       Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Western Region, Los Angeles Office,
       18000 Studebaker Rd., Suite 660, Cerritos, CA 90703 and must include
       the NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the caption.

   16. The Commission will not consider reducing or canceling a forfeiture in
       response to a claim of inability to pay unless the petitioner submits:
       (1) federal tax returns for the most recent three-year period; (2)
       financial statements prepared according to generally accepted
       accounting practices ("GAAP"); or (3) some other reliable and
       objective documentation that accurately reflects the petitioner's
       current financial status. Any claim of inability to pay must
       specifically identify the basis for the claim by reference to the
       financial documentation submitted.

   17. Requests for payment of the full amount of this Notice of Apparent
       Liability for Forfeiture under an installment plan should be sent to:
       Associate Managing Director - Financial Operations, Room 1A625, 445
       12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.

   18. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Notice of Apparent Liability
       for Forfeiture shall be sent by Certified Mail, Return Receipt
       Requested, and regular mail, to Compatible Electronics Inc.


   Catherine Deaton

   District Director

   Los Angeles Office

   Western Region

   Enforcement Bureau

   47 U.S.C. S 301.

   47 U.S.C. S 503(b).

   ELTs operating on 406.0 - 406.1 MHz must be registered with the National
   Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. See 47 C.F.R. S 87.199.

   See 47 C.F.R. S 87.197 (ELT testing must avoid outside radiation. Bench
   and ground tests conducted outside of an RF-shielded enclosure must be
   conducted with the ELT terminated into a dummy load.) and 47 C.F.R. S
   87.475(d) (The frequencies available for assignment to ELT test stations
   are 121.600, 121.650, 121.700, 121.750, 121.800, 121.850, and 121.900

   47 C.F.R. S 2.1511(a).

   Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S 312(f)(1), which applies to
   violations for which forfeitures are assessed under Section 503(b) of the
   Act, provides that "[t]he term 'willful', when used with reference to the
   commission or omission of any act, means the conscious and deliberate
   commission or omission of such act, irrespective of any intent to violate
   any provision of this Act or any rule or regulation of the Commission
   authorized by this Act...." See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6
   FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).

   Section 312(f)(2) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S 312(f)(2), which also applies to
   violations for which forfeitures are assessed under Section 503(b) of the
   Act, provides that "[t]he term 'repeated', when used with reference to the
   commission or omission of any act, means the commission or omission of
   such act more than once or, if such commission or omission is continuous,
   for more than one day."

   47 U.S.C. S 153(33).

   47 C.F.R. S 87.473(b).

   47 C.F.R. S 87.475(d).

   Grant Lam, Forfeiture Order, DA 07-1472, 2007 WL 967181 (rel. March 30,

   47 C.F.R. S 2.1507. The permitted frequency pairs are 121.600/243.200 MHz,
   121.650/243.300 MHz, 121.700/243.400 MHz, 121.750/243.500 MHz,
   121.800/243.600 MHz, 121.850/243.700 MHz, and 121.900/243.800 MHz.

   12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999); 47 C.F.R.

   47 U.S.C. S 503(b)(2)(E).

   47 U.S.C. SS 301, 503(b); 47 C.F.R. SS 0.111, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80.

   See 47 C.F.R. S 1.1914.

   (...continued from previous page)


   Federal Communications Commission


   Federal Communications Commission