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The Time I Received an FCC Pink Slip

Alan C. Brennglass (K2ACB) on February 21, 2001
View comments about this article!

I was first licensed back in 1962 with the call sign WN2DZW.  It was a novice license and I was 14 years old and in high school.

My first rig was a used Heathkit DX 20 transmitter and Hallicrafters SX110 receiver which I bought from a member of my high school's radio club.  I had a 40 meter dipole on the roof of the apartment building in which I lived in New York City. 

In those days the novice license was not renewable and limited to one year.A novice transmitter had to be crystal controlled and you could run no more than 75 watts.The novice was limited to cw and could only operate on certain portions of the 80 meter,40 meter and 15 meter band. 

I enjoyed going on the 15 meter band and calling CQ DX with my DX20.With only 50 watts, two crystals and a dipole I worked quite a few countries.  I sent qsls to every station I worked.  I received replies from several DX stations to which I sent QSL'S that they had never worked my station. 

It came to my attention that a fellow student in my high school radio club may have as a prank bootleged legitimate DX calls on several occasions when I called CQ DX.  This fellow had a general class license and a transmitter with a vfo. 

One day I heard this fellow on the air .Thinking that he had possibly bootlegged a legitimate DX call, to a QSO I just completed, I used his call sign and called him a lid over the air.  To those who are not informed the word lid is not a nice word in the radio amateur vernacular.  Unbeknownst to me, this fellow called the local FCC office and complained about my actions.  

The next day a young FCC engineer by the name of Dave Popkin rang my bell,showed me his credentials and asked to see my station.  He told me a complaint had been made against me by my fellow high school radio club member.  I was very apprehensive and explained to him the situation.  I showed him my station and he asked to see my log book.  He saw that I did not put down any CQ'S in my log when I did not work anyone.  That was a violation at the time.  He also saw that my Hallicrafters SX110 receiver did not have a crystal calibrator to determine the band edges. That was also a violation. He took my log book. I eventually got it back almost a year later. 

In all fairness to Dave Popkin, after he left my qth, he paid a visit to my fellow high school radio club member who made the complaint against me. He found out that this fellow had a homemade amplifier and could not adequately measure his power. He cited him for a violation too. Shortly after I had the visit from Dave Popkin, I received my formal violation notice (pink slip) from the FCC.

I answered it promptly and said that I would correct the violations. I would henceforth put all my CQ's in my logbooks and get a crystal calibrator for my SX110 receiver. I also reached an accommodation with my fellow high school radio club member.  He never bothered me again and I never called him a lid. Looking back after all these years it is ironic that I received a notice of violation from the FCC for not putting CQ in my log book or having a crystal calibrator in my receiver.  

Today it is not even mandatory that one keep a log book.  I am not even sure you need a crystal calibrator in your receiver. From time to time I see Dave Popkin ,now W2CC, at hamfests.  He left the FCC long ago.  I remind him of the time he paid a visit to a young novice for infractions that are irrelevant today.  He chuckles about this. That was a different era in amateur radio.

Perhaps enforcement of the rules was more strict than today? But that was the first and hopefully last time I received a notice of violation (pink slip)from the FCC.

It made a lasting impression on a young novice.

Member Comments:
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The Time I Received an FCC Pink Slip  
by RobertKoernerExAE7G on February 21, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the story.

It is unfortunate that the FCC either can't, or won't maintain the same level of action when complaints are received.

I thought it was ironic that the recent QST article about CBers on 10 meters referenced 28.535, where there seems to be daily trucker activety. For some reason, no hams in the USA can find out what town these regular denizen of 28.535, live in. And, the FCC doesn't have the resources to try and track them down.

I believe if more hams spent a little time on 28.535 looking for these regulars, we'd have enough information for the FCC to arrive at their terminal with the 2001 pink slip for illegal operation.

The Time I Received an FCC Pink Slip  
by 1257 on February 21, 2001 Mail this to a friend!

Sure is a shame that the fcc. does not hunt cber's down like they did you.I am a new ham and I am interfered with cber's running 500 + watts almost everyday. It is also said that it is easier to get illegal cb things than it is to get a ham ticket. The internet is full of sights selling cb amps 50 to 30000 watts, radios with 200+ channels,noise toys,power mics,mod kits,channel kits,etc.
The Time I Received an FCC Pink Slip  
by VA3FCM on February 22, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Up here in the Great White North we have a hard time getting our regulatory authority to go after local "ticks" (malicious interferers). The reason? Ticks operate in the evening when the office is closed! Go figure!

73 de va3fcm
The Time I Received an FCC Pink Slip  
by K3FT on February 22, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Story brought back 'fond memories' How many of you crystal control folks (that's pre 1975 for you younger licensee's HI!) remember the 'dreaded 2nd harmonic' citation?

You decide to operate 80M in the Novice band. You plug in the crystal for 3715 kHz. (The band, back then, for Novices went from 3700-3750 kHz) and you tune up the transmitter. For you newer folks, that means peaking the drive, dipping and loading the plate circuit, and tuning things until the rated input (or legal Novice Class license input power of 75W) was reached. Then away you go.. blithely calling CQ!
However.. after a lot of tries.. NO ANSWERS! This is strange becuase you KNOW the system works form previous QSO's made the day before! So you stop and quit.

Time passes. YOu forget about it and everything works OK later on in the week. Sometime later.. the letter from the FCC monitoring station arrives telling you that you were heard, S3, in Grand Island Nebraska (from Baltimore MD) stating, in clinical bureaucratic legalese, 'Monitored transmission consisiting of CQ CQ CQ de WN3LQV WN3LQV WN3LQV K' on 7430 kHz at S3 level. Nothing noted on fundamental frequency.' I still have it in my files and I look at it occasionally to remind myself 'that they are out there!'

73 Chuck K3FT
Funny story from the FCC side of the desk  
by K3FT on February 22, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
From 1983-1985 I was employed as an FCC Watch Officer at both the Washington, D.C. and Laurel MD field office performing monitoring duties from DC through Light. Being a ham and having a VERY warm spot in my heart for hams, I used to make a special effort to 'look after' the Amateur Bands trying to help clean up the messes, interference and other problems that were rampant.

Because of that I also used to hear lots of things that were technically violations but it was obvious it was unintentional and nonmalicious - such as 2nd harmonic radiation like I was cited for. I used to informally contact people and let them know they had a problem and offer fixes (if I had info to offer) rather than cite them. It may not have been completely acording to 'Hoyle', but as a Watch Officer we had a great deal of lattitude in many cases as to what level of enforcement we took based on what the infraction was.

Anyway. I was working the Sunday 8AM - 4PM watch.It was Thanksgiving and the bands were REALLY quiet. I decided to go listen to the 7.4-7.5 MHz. range since 2nd harmonics were a problem in the 80M Novice bands. (This was in the days when xtal controlled, manually tuned transmitters were still used)

Sure enough, I heard a fairly strong 'CQ CQ' in the middle of the 7.4 Mhz band. Lo and behold it was a WN8 calling CQ. I went to the fundamental and nothing. OK. I looked him up in our database and got his name, addrress, and phone number. I thought.. 'It's Thanksgiving, it's unintentional, and I'd really like to help him out, so I'll call him and let him know he has a problem!'.

I call his house. The phone is answered by is wife. I say 'Hello, this is Mr. Reville with the Federal Communications Commission Monitoring Station in Laurel Maryland. May I speak with Mr. XXXX, please?" His wife said, "He's on the radio right now and he's busy." I said, "Yes, Ma'am. I know. That's why I'm calling. I'd like to speak with him please." She said she'd get him and then put down the phone.

Meanwhile the guy is still calling CQ with a good solid 2nd harmonic signal strength. Suddenly, in the middle of a CQ the signal disappears abruptly. After a few seconds the phone is picked and a I hear a male voice, hesitantly and somewhat softly say , "Hellllllllllo?...." I identified myself again and explain to him that I was monitoring his transmission and wanted to let him know he was on the wrong band. I suggested that he recheck his frequency using his local receiver to make sure he was on the fundamental and not the second harmonic frequency. There was a VERY VERY long and pregnant pause before he resumed talking to me. (I wonder if his wife had to do laundry for him after that phone call? HI)

He was, as you can expect, somewhat skeptical as to who I was until I described to him my location, the exact frequency he was on, what his exact transmissions were, and I played back the tape recording I had made. He then got REALLY excited and told me he was going to scrap the transmitter and was I going to give him a 'pink ticket'.

Laughing, I calmed him down and assured him that I was NOT going to cite him and I was REALLY the FCC and that I was not pulling his leg. I told him not to scrap the transmitter, just make sure he checked the fundamental frequency in the future. I told him I KNEW it was unintentional and that I wanted to help him keep out of truble in the future. He thanked me profusely and hung up.

He may not believe me and thinks it is a practical joke.. but yes.. there WERE FCC field folks who REALLY are from the Government and WERE there to help you!

Of course.. if you were violating a rule that needed a cite OR you gave the poor old FCC guy an unneeded hard time.. well.. let's just say Part 97 can be an awfully heavy tome to come crashing down on your head for being a hardbutt.


Ask me about the guy in southern usa we busted for running 25 KILOWATTS DC OUTPUT POWER on 75 meters. Yes, you read correctly. The output power of his amplifier was measured, KEYDOWN, at TWENTYFIVE THOUSAND WATTS DC OUTPUT POWER ...that's OUTPUT. When he ran SSB it was 50KW PEP OUTPUT. MOre than WBAL AM radio runs INPUT!. He was S7 in Anchorage alaska at 7pm in the evevning.

RE: Funny story from the FCC side of the desk  
by KC4TXR on February 22, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
OK, I'll bite... what about the guy running 25KW?
RE: Funny story from the FCC side of the desk  
by WB2WIK on February 22, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
How do you run 25 kilowatts "DC" output power? Is that, like 25,000 volts at 1 ampere? Who can hear that? Or maybe it was only 25 volts at 1000 amps? Hmmm...

Ok, I'll stop busting chops. Assume you meant, "25 kilowatts output power," period. Right?

RE: Funny story from the FCC side of the desk  
by KB9YOJ on February 22, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I heard a story of a ham and commerical radio operator reconfiguring an AM station to operate on the ham bands. Was that the guy you are talking about? I wanna know!!

RE: Funny story from the FCC side of the desk  
Anonymous post on February 22, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
That ham operator would'nt Happen to have been KE5XA would it.
RE: Funny story from the FCC side of the desk  
by RobertKoernerExAE7G on February 22, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I bet the power supply was impressive! and the xformer from the power company!

Reminds me of this ham in Boston in the 80s that used to bust every pile up. He suddenly was never heard again. Rumor was that the FCC discovered he was running a 10KW amp; don't remember if that was in or out; think it was out since Henry sells an 8 or 9K amp.
RE: Funny story from the FCC side of the desk  
by G6SHZ on February 22, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
It would be interesting to see someone over here in California trying to run even more than 500W these days. At the last count that would cost you around $25 per hour to pay PG&E for the electricity HI

The local news reported that PG&E were paying out of state providers $1200 a MegaWatt compared to the $25 they had budgeted for.

Steve <-- thinking of moving to Nevada
RE: Funny story from the FCC side of the desk  
by AB7RG on February 23, 2001 Mail this to a friend!

Never mind the power supply... What I want to know is how much that guy's electric bill was! I wonder if he dimmed the lights in his neighbor's house when he keyed down with 25kW?

Okay, give us the whole story, everyone wants to hear it!

73 Clinton AB7RG/9

RE: Funny story from the FCC side of the desk  
Anonymous post on February 23, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Hey ... wait a minute ... Thanksgiving doesent fall on Sunday. Are you pulling our chain ?
RE: Funny story from the FCC side of the desk  
by K3FT on February 23, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Ok.. Ok.. I've gotten about 10-15 EMAIL's all asking about the '25KW guy'. Well, here's the story. It's abit long, but I think you'll like it!) It occured in the middle of 1984.

(as the 'Dragnet' TV show used to say.. "The story you are about hear is true... Only the names (CALLS) have been omitted to protect the guilty!" and to keep me out of a libel suit! HI!)

Many of you recall the abominable conditions (QRM) between 3850-3890 kHz that was rampant back in the mid-80s' Yes, I know.. it's still there.. but back then it was REALLYYY bad! Several groups claimed total ownership of a frequency. They would wait till it was clear and then they'd all gang up and get on the frequency and that was that. No breakers.. no interlopers.. just their own personal frequency for a roundtable which tended to cover all topics from A-Z. The FCC received myriads of complaints from ARRL, individual Amateurs, Clubs, private citizens, Congressmen, etc. We KNEW who they were, we KNEW where they lived, We KNEW what they were doing, but most of them knew 'just how far to creep towards the edge' to keep from getting cited, although every once in a while.. they'd slip.. then WHAMMO! off went the cites and the fines. Mostly for splatter, failure to ID, some tried to get cute with music, etc.

Of course, like all groups who KNOW what they are doing and ENJOY taunting the masses, they received their (un)fair share of QRM and disruptive attacks from 'other unlicensed or unidentified stations'. When this happened, all of the Watch Officers noticed one thing. The signal levels of almost all the major players would 'magically' increase in level far above what they normally would be expected to be. This would last until the external interference has gone away and then the signal levels would 'magically' return to a normal level.

The suspicisions, of course, of all us Watch Officers was the majority of them were using 'excessive power' above and beyond the legally allowed INPUT power of 1KW DC input power. (To a previous poster who questioned my usage of DC output power, please understand that the usages back then were to refer to any input/output RF power level that was unmodulated by anything as 'DC' input/output power as opposed to PEP power levels. Plus the law back then required measurments of input power in DC (unmodulated) measured in watts.)

You ask.. "How did we know what was 'normally expected to be' and what was 'abnormal' power levels indicating that overpower might be involved. Well, we knew where they were from HFDF and close in work. Since they ID'd we could check them easily. We knew, from monitoring and some field observations what antennas they were running. We knew their HAAT and other terrain features from topo maps (Like I said.. this was a long running investigation by the Enforcement branch. We were.. honestly.. SERIOUISLY interested in putting these bad guys off the air!) We knew from transcripts and monitoring what kinds of gear they ran and what kinds of amps they said they were running. They didn't hide their station configuration - they used to brag about it, in fact. Made our jobs easier and made confirmation easier on site.

The engineers did the math using all this data and figured out what the average signal level range (dB above the agreed upon reference level we all set our equipment at) each of the target stations SHOULD be reading. This range took into account expected path loss, referenced to common output levels of 600-750 watts using standard amp efficiencies and the like. (As I said.. we were SERIOUS about building a good, airtight, solid case and getting these guys! We needed good solid evidence to go with a search warrant and inspect the stations!)

We monitored their signals using spectrum analyzers and 'scopes which allowed us to look at their signals in real time. We could measure their peak signal levels above ambient band noise, signals above the rest of the operators, signal levels above our reference, etc. We noted that the main offenders were xx above the reference when they started. When the QRM came up the they SUDDENLY increased anywhere from 10-40dB above that level, indicating that external power amplifiers had been kicked in and were operating. Ok.. Now you get the picture.

The case went like this. We noted that there was ONE specific station who seemed to exhibit the largest signal level increase when QRM provoked him. This station were targeted for on-site inspection based on the premise that if we nailed the most visible and arrogant offender for overpower, we had a better chance of him ACTUALLY being overpowered, having equipment that would support the charge, AND the publicity would send a chill down the spines of the rest of the gang and hopefully calm things down. The 'head shed' decided it was time, based on accumulated evidence, to devote the 'net resources to specifically target and gather evidence to allow the on-site engineers to do their job and get the US Atty to issue a search warrant. (THe FCC has no search or police powers to do so either at that time or to this day)

The entire 'net - 13 monitoring stations - stretching from Anchorage, AK, to Puerto Rico, to Maine, to Fla and all other points inside the continental US were tasked to monitor these guys every night from approx 630PM Eastern until about 11PM Eastern.

We all calibrated our spec analyzers to a common reference value. We had recorders running for audio transcripts. We had our DF headings. We were primed. Since most of us were hams we REALLY wanted these schnooks nailed.. big time. It bugged us too. So we were personally interested in making the best case possible and doing the best job. We were motivated! We did our jobs ethically and will regards to all the laws of evidence gathering.. but we had a personal stake in clocking these guys, but good! As I said.. motivated we were!

Ok.. Each night an onsite engineer located inside a monitoring van with gear parked near the homes of the targets. They were set to contact the local PD when the time came to execute the warrants. The guys came on, like clockwork, every night as they normally had. However.. THIS TIME..even with the QRM we noted NO excessive levels beyond what you'd expect from a good 1KW amp and a decent antenna. After a week we began to get concerned that they were wise or had been tipped off. Well.. along came Sunday.. THE DAY!.. They were all on the air talking. Along came some REALLY loud QRM. Suddenly... as we watched.. the target station's RF level went up so far it exceeded my spectrum analyzers top end setting. I had to crank in another 40dB of attenuation to bring it down.Where it had been 30 dB above the reference - about right for his KW and dipole - It was 70 dB.. yes.. you heard me right.. 70 dB ABOVE the reference and a good 40 dB above the highest level of anyone else. (Talk about an adrenaline rush!)

This continued. The guy in Anchorage said.. "I DON'T BELIEVE IT! HE'S S7 here! He went from barely S1 to S7!" (Remember this is 75M at about 630PM in the evening in the summertime!) 'The guy at our Texas station complained he had to crank in 40 dB of attenutation to bring the guy back onto the scale. I mentioned I had to crank in 30db to get him back and he was 70 dB above the reference. That was all we needed. We had probable cause, corroborating evidence, and a reason to execute the warrant. The engineer called the PD, the PD came.. and 'KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK!" Entry was made and the guy 'suddenly went QRT and went off the air' (Wonder why? HEH). The other stations all began to chatter as to 'What happened to Wxxxxx?" "He was there and now he's gone!". (Our internal wireline 'net was full of typing indicating our enjoyment as to the fact that the target had been really surprized and the screens of our interlinked 'net all had a lot of comments and 'Hi HI' on the screens as we enjoyed the thoughts of the guys reaction when the FCC and the PD showed up! I still smile about it! HEH)

About 1/2 hour later a new voice appeared on the air, annouced the callsign of the station that we had excecuted the search warrant on, and proceeded to say (AHHH THE SWEET SOUNDS OF SUCCESS!!") 'This is the Federal Communications Commission. Station Wxxxxx is now going off the air. Test transmissions will be made for the purposes of verification of power output and other station operating parameters. This is the Federal Communications Commission closing station Wxxxxx".

You could have heard a pin drop on the frequency. Heh heh heh.. sounded like a solar flare had gone through 75 on that frequency. Then it started.. The conjecture.. the comments.. the surprise. and of course.. a lot of unidentified transmissions with people saying '' YEAH! GOTCHA!" "SERVES YOU RIGHT!" "ABOUT TIME!" "WAY TO GO FCC!" "KICK BUTT!" etc. etc.. not legal.. but you can appreciate we liked hearing it.

A few minutes later our net got a message on the screen that says 'FCC Engineer xxx making power output tests. Please take spec analyzer readings for case file. make sure time, freq, level and reference noted along with your station location and idenfication. Put in case file when done. Thanks & 73" signed xxxx FCC'

Signals came on air. Lower readings. Annouced as verbally 'FCC TEST this is Wxxxx. Test level one'. Unmodulated carrier for about 1 minute or so. We took measurments. Signal went away. Next test.. little higher but not more than a good 1KW amp would do. Same spiel. Next test was at the level observed during the QRM which provided the probable cause to inspect the station. The speil happened and ended with 'THIS IS THE FCC. TEST COMPLETE. STATION SECURED. THIS IS Wxxxxx signing off and clear". We heard no more.

Summary.. week later.. results came in. The guy was using a DRAKE L4B as a -DRIVER- stage for a multistage custom built output power amplifier. The guy had paid to have it built and it would run 25KW DC OUTPUT POWER - That's 25,000 watts, key down, unmodulated, OUTPUT power. The Drake, at 2KW DC output power driven 'balls to the wall', would drive it to 25KW DC output power.

the actual output power, on SSB was approx 50,000W PEP output power. (My comment on the net was that it made WBAL-AM radio which was a 50KW AM station jealous!)

The onsite engineer reported it this way. "We inspected the station. Observed a custom built power amplifier. Observed xxx amateur transceiver driving a Drake Co. L4B drinving this amplifier. Tested station in three configurations. Straight through transciver, no amplification. Transceiver with Drake amplifer only, transceiver with Drake feeding custom amplifier..

Measured using calibrated Bird Company thruline wattmeter. Transceiver output measured at 100W. Transceiver with Drake amplifier measured at 2500W DC output power from Drake amplifier. (Overpower condition noted). Using largest slug on hand, inserted 10KW slug in Bird thruline and measured output power of amplifier. Keyed up amplifier. Pegged Bird wattmeter. Computations of input power determined requirement for larger slug up to 25KW. None on hand. Left PD on site to watch site while returned to office for 50KW slug used for broadcast station inspections. Returned and measured DC output power of amplifier. Measured keydown, no modulation DC output power at 25KW." His parting comment as an unofficil one to the net/.

They fined the guy 10G, instituted revocation hearings (politics got it reduced to suspended and a fine! BOOOO!) and confiscated the equipment.

The gear was installed like a broadcast station. He lived in an area with enough real estate that he sufference NO Local QRN or RFI. The engineer said that he had had the place grounded like you would have expected in a high quality, high class operation.

Yes, the story is true. Yes I was part of it (and proud to be part of it!) No I'm not going to reveal the callsigns because as far as I know the guys have reformed and are back on the air behaving themselves.

Yes.. it did quiet down 75 for a while and Yes.. we all enjoyed ourselves immensely!

That's the story.


Chuck K3FT
(for those who care.. I worked at Laurel 'LR')
RE: Funny story from the FCC side of the desk  
by K3FT on February 23, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Thanksgiving.. you are right. Sorry about that. You have to recall, long time ago. The incident is very familiar. It was Thanksgiving.. it was THursday Morning. Apolgize for the boo boo. Yes, it happened. Thanks for correcting me. I honestly errored.

red faced


RE: Funny story from the FCC side of the desk  
by RobertKoernerExAE7G on February 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the full story.

Quite impressive that anyone would buy and build a station like that for 75 meter rag chewing?!

So, how do we get these truckers that regularly use ten meters? The most obvious are the 28.080 and 28.535 people.

RE: Funny story from the FCC side of the desk  
by K8DXX on February 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
What a great story! Just another example why most hams appreciate the efforts of the FCC.

73 and keep up the good work! GO RILEY!

Bill / K8DXX
RE: Funny story from the FCC side of the desk  
by K8DXX on February 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
What a great story! Just another example why most hams appreciate the efforts of the FCC.

73 and keep up the good work! GO RILEY!

Bill / K8DXX
25KW - a postscript  
by K3FT on February 26, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Postscript. The guy's penalties were reduced (decided by 'higher ups') to a fine and a suspension. They confiscated the equipment. We further participated in popping a few of the other 'baddies' for overpower. Unbeknowndst to us on the 'net, the local field office had decided to pursue their own enforcement it in concert with our efforts. (They didn't tell us,but that's ok. We didn't need to know, anyway) They popped a couple others for overpower, and one or two for other technical violations (bandwidth, supressed carrier). It DID make a BIG difference on that part of 75M for a while.

As to the technical issues, I have sketchy info. All I know, from informal conversations with other Watch Officers and our office Engineer, was that the guy had had his radio room designed to handle QRQ. He had professional installation, grounding, and power feeds all desigened to handle the load he was doing. <Since the op did so with obvious premeditated intent, it amazed us as to HOW they could justify reducing his penalties and forfitures from 10G per day and jail time.. but politics.. go figure! ;-( >

Anyway. He had 3-phase lines installed to run the amplifier. He had put up solid feedline to a 1/4 wave ground mounted vertical made of Rohn 25G mounted outside his home. (Oh.. the local field strength! This was LONG before RF Hazards became an item). He had multiple radials installed, just like a broadcast station. He lived on a large enough property that local field strength did not affect his neighbors. He was single therefore no one else to complain in household.

The motive? Never did hear a definitive answer. Only thing we knew was basedon his comments on the air. As I noted in my previous message, this group wanted to 'own' the frequency. They wanted to talk when they wanted, to whom they wanted, and as long as they wanted. They wanted to vanquish ANY QRM and be able to communicate. They wanted to be 'top dogs on the frequency and vanquish any pipsqueak QRM'. In short, they wanted to feed their ego's. That was what they bragged about and that seems to be the driver. You have to understand, in the mid 80's, Amateur enforcement for 'non safety of life' issues was REALLY low on the totem pole of interest to the 'higher ups'. So the lack of enforcement embolded the schnooks to think they had free rein on the air. This supported this group when they thought they could do what they wanted and not worry about the FCC.

Some guys will spend the time, money, and energy to acheive a goal.. This guy wanted to prove a point and had the drive, bux, and interest to do so. Rational? Not to me.. but then.. I can understand the mindset.

Well, now.. (as Paul Harvey says).. you know THE REST OF THE STORY!

There are others.. but those are the two that stick out in my mind. One was a helping one the other showed the 'big stick'.


Chuck K3FT

The Time I Received an FCC Pink Slip  
by KG6BXW on March 4, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
it's to bad that the FCC doesn't care about us to much what do we need some huge main scale emergsy before they start to take action?!? im a new ham 15 in high school it will be hard to say what they will do to us next:-(
More stories from the "FCC side of the desk&q  
by K3FT on March 5, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Some have written EMAILS about FCC things. While I can't speak for 'today's FCC', I can tell you that anecdotal evidence shows that Riley's efforts HAVE made a difference. There will always be the baddies, but since the FCC has shown that it can, and will, bite back, the baddies are less inclined to pull the trigger as much.

The truckers on 10M? Sad to say.. it will fall to us to provide a lot of legwork. One way you can help the FCC bust these turkeys is to help them with identification. I got this from talking to some FCC folks, informally, about this and other things.

First, don't get involved, But keep notes on information they use. Comments about locations, gear, travel plans, handles, signal characteristics, etc.. Basic information gathering. Recordings can help and are always useful. Just make sure you accurately note the date, time, channel/frequency, etc so it can be tied to the information.

One thing I've noted about case work, over the years.. unless the baddies are REALLY serious about hiding themselves, casual comments gathered over time provides a wealth of data on who, what, when,where why, patterns, etc.

I know.. it's work.. but then again.. it's worth it. Get together with your buddies who have beams and do some basic triangulation to verify approx location. The FCC doesn't want triangulations within 1 square mile (althoug if you have that capability.. go for it! HI) but the more data you provide that helps them focus the efforts.. the more effecftive they will be.

Work through the ARRL Amateur Auxiliary too. Believe it or not. .they have a direct pipeline to the FCC and can help if enough case information is provided.

If you happen to actually see or observe these folks (from afar, not getting involved) and you can attach pictures of the alleged violator that's fine too. The key is build evidence and information to allow FCC to do their jobs. (note.. nothiong proven so don't go using terms like'guilty', 'etc. Keep you out of trouble. Be objective in your reports. As Joe Friday on Dragnet used to say 'JUST THE FACTS, M'AM'.

Keep it simple, keep it honest, keep it easy. It does work and it takes time.

If you are interested in other evidence gathering techniques that we used and how to assemble a report, let me know. I'll be happy to provide it.

BTW>. I used wrong Q signal in last message. It's QRO not QRQ.. My proofreading missed it!

Chuck K3FT

Evidence gathering can be easy to do.. it's the time involved in doing it that's tough.
The Time I Received an FCC Pink Slip  
Anonymous post on March 20, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Those FCC pink slips are no longer pink color paper. They are Green now.
The Time I Received an FCC Pink Slip  
by KD7AWG on August 3, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I first met Dave Popkin in 1960 at an ARRL convention. At that time the FCC gave ham tests at ARRL conventions. I remember Dave (WA2CCF) as a young kid with a Jerry Lewis crew cut.

Hams, at that time, held FCC personnel in awe; even if they were only a clerk.

You did not want the FCC to come to your house in those days. I do remember, back in the days of 2M AM, of a novice (novices could use 2M phone w/ xtal control) whose license had expired (novices were issued for one year and were non-renewable)deciding to use another local ham's call who lived on the other side of a large park.

This guy was caught red handed. The FCC came to his apartment and the guy said it was not him. His transmitter was very warm to the touch when the FCC arrived, as we were told. He never went on to get a Technician or General class license. People gave him odd looks at the radio club meetings, and then he dropped out alltogether. We made latin phonetics for his call the translated into "highest crazy one" and joked about him on the air.

If you think all the hanky panky and bull goes on today you are wrong.

The Callbook started publishing the CLASS of license (mid 1960's?), along with the call, name and address of the license holder.

We laughed when we found out that the guy with the big three element beam on a tower that we worked on 20 M sideband was a Tech. (Techs had no priviliges below 6 Meters).

We positively rolled on the floor with laughter when we found out that the head manager(with a 1X3 call)of a very large ham supply store,was also just a tech.


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