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Author Topic: Please Help!!!! RFI My Neighbor Surround Sound System  (Read 24555 times)

Posts: 1208

« Reply #30 on: June 13, 2011, 06:19:05 PM »

Conditions were strange on some of the interference. The rig was very clean and all grounding was excellent. It was drought conditions and the telephone drops were long and less than 6 inches under the surface. After a heavy rain helped for a while, I kept the lawns of the phone drops watered. Problem significantly reduced.

Cell phone is GSM and with one bar on display it always automatically sends at full power. This can interfere with wired phones, and anything that doesn't have very good filtering whenever a call first comes in. This has happened with four or five different brands of cell phone. Interference distance is generally less than five feet though.


Posts: 529

« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2011, 07:54:36 AM »

The RF spectrum is not "their space"...

Their "Space" is the right to expect undue interference. Also, while it has never been challenged, as a home owner you also own the "air" above your property. Granted you cannot keep RF out but a neighbor is not suppose to KNOWINGLY cause interference with you. 

That is true.  "Undue interference".  Licensed operation, with a station meeting technical specifications, is not "undue interference".

If the OP is running a dirty station, putting out lots of harmonics, then it would be "undue interference".  Operating faulty consumer electronics gear, and getting interference is not.

No, they need to just put filtering in place on their gear, to reject unwanted RF that can cause undesired operation.

No always that simple and why should they bear expense and effort to deal with a arrogant ham next door that may say it is your problem not mine.

It is always that simple.  Consumer electronics MUST deal with interference from licensed transmitters.  It is up to the OEM to design CE's that reject unwanted interference.

If you lived next to an AM broadcast station, and you were getting RF interference in your home, would you expect the broadcast station to turn their power down?

You miss point here, guy did not knowingly buy a house next to a radio station and likely would not of got current house if he had a crystal ball that told of future RFI problems. Also home owner can take a hit on his property value at resale because of they must disclose any problems with house due to disclosure laws and they could get sued if the fail to mention than a irate ham neighbor causes RFI problems. And this disclosure can reduce homes market value and give grounds to seek compensation. There are several possible "grounds" for action against a irate ham so beware.

You do not need to disclose RFI problems, because they are not an issue with the structure, but rather an issue with the CE's being used in the structure.  A home stereo system is not part of the property.

And neither would the FCC.  The FCC will instruct the consumer to look at their device, at the Part 15 disclaimer.

I would not even attempt to "speak" for what FCC might say or do here. Do you work for them?

I don't need to "speak for the FCC".  They do so quite well on their own:
    Note: This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a Class B digital device, pursuant to part 15 of the FCC Rules. These limits are designed to provide reasonable protection against harmful interference in a residential installation. This equipment generates, uses and can radiate radio frequency energy and, if not installed and used in accordance with the instructions, may cause harmful interference to radio communications. However, there is no guarantee that interference will not occur in a particular installation. If this equipment does cause harmful interference to radio or television reception, which can be determined by turning the equipment off and on, the user is encouraged to try to correct the interference by one or more of the following measures:

Reorient or relocate the receiving antenna.
Increase the separation between the equipment and receiver.
Connect the equipment into an outlet on a circuit different from that to which the receiver is connected.
Consult the dealer or an experienced radio/TV technician for help.
Modifications not expressly approved by the manufacturer could void the user's authority to operated the equipment under FCC rules.

This device complies with part 15 of the FCC Rules. Operation is subject to the following two conditions:

This device may not cause harmful interference, and
this device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation.

It says right there how to resolve it, and what to expect.  If the consumer chooses, they may cease operation of the device.

Operating within your license restraints is not being an "inconsiderate neighbor".  It's doing what is allowed per your license.  Of course, I also add the contingent phrase,"If your station is clean, and within regs".  And the regs also requires a RF field strength evaluation to be done if one is running high power.

Knowingly causing interference and not mitigating it is being a very inconsiderate neighbor and possibly illegal. Maybe this is the difference between old school and new school hams. I follow old school and need no lawyers or smoke and mirrors to try to justify my operation or willingly cause interference while the new school seems to promote that if you have the money to buy the amps and lawyers that it may be your "right" to interfere with others and it is their problem to deal with it.  Personally  would not want to go to court over new school theory because I doubt a jury would side with your right to interfere or reduce someone else property value because of your actions.

It's not knowingly causing interference.  The CE is not rejecting unwanted RF from interfering with it's operations.  If it's inconsiderate or not is debatable.  It's legality, is not.  Are you a lawyer?  I think not.  Because, if you were, you would easily see the shaky ground a statement like that is; seeing as the disclaimer on the CE clearly states if there is interference, it's the fault of the device.

Again, it's not willful interference.  It's a defective CE design (Again, assuming a clean station).

Posts: 83


« Reply #32 on: June 24, 2011, 08:48:10 PM »

I found this excerpt from a recent F.C.C. enforcement letter to be quite interesting:

"The general rule is that consumer electronics are protected only by manufacturer design from receiving any unwanted radio signals and home electronics have no priority over any radio or broadcast service."

Curiously, this came out of an FCC investigation into a consumer complaint about RFI to an appliance from a CB operator who was apparently running illegal power. The excerpt is from the first paragraph of the enforcement letter at the link below.

The message of that statement is quite clear and very powerful: It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to assure quality design in their products, and F.C.C. licensed services are not subservient to consumer appliances.

Licensed amateurs have earned and are granted operating privileges within assigned portions of the spectrum. If some appliance, in the presence of a correctly installed and operated amateur transmitter, starts receiving signals it's not designed to receive, then the appliance is malfunctioning and needs to be fixed. Unfortunately, the REAL problem is most likely that the manufacturer of the appliance took a lot of shortcuts in the design and production of their toaster/television/phone/home theater system or whatever.

The first question I would ask someone who is experiencing interference from a properly operating amateur station is, "Have you contacted the manufacturer of the device that is having the problem?" The flawed assumption that all of these issues are the fault of the amateur operator is a popular but incorrect notion. Your amateur license does not authorize you to modify, repair, or otherwise adjust your neighbors' appliances. It also does not require you to reach into your pocket and start buying an endless supply of filters and ferrite to compensate for poor design and manufacturing by domestic and offshore manufacturers.

KC2UGV already brought this up very appropriately in his comments above, but it's worth repeating. I'll bet the receiver in that home theater system has a PART 15 sticker on it. The PART 15 message also should be present in the owner's manual. It's another very powerful statement that is intended to clarify interference issues, so be sure to ask your neighbor if they've bothered to read it:



Aside from giving advice or conducting transmission tests for a neighbor as they take measures to clean their stuff up, I think it's a serious mistake to get overly involved with their problem, especially with the dubious quality of the stuff that is sitting on the shelves of every Walmart and "big box" store in the country. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be civil about the situation, but you are not responsible for everything your neighbors bring into their homes.


« Last Edit: June 25, 2011, 10:32:19 AM by W1AEX » Logged


Posts: 146

« Reply #33 on: July 16, 2011, 06:56:14 PM »

Personally  would not want to go to court over new school theory because I doubt a jury would side with your right to interfere or reduce someone else property value because of your actions.

What jury?  This is a federal issue, not a local or even a state issue.  Yes, in this country you can sue anyone, but that doesn't mean that the judge has jurisdiction.  As others have already posted, this is covered by Part 15.  Read it.  Even better, buy a copy of "The ARRL RFI Book".  It's money well spent and helps explain the role of the licensed operator in a case of RFI.  But, Part 15 interference is not RFI in the classic case.  It is generally a problem of design and manufacturing.  

A friend of mine was having problems shutting down his neighbor's ATT U-Verse.  I had previously spent quite some time with the ATT people and we developed a method for *ATT* to modify their drop to avoid interference.  My friend advised his neighbor to contact ATT.  The neighbor ignored him, and one night came over and demanded he stop shutting down his TV.  My friend's wife had the quote of the day when she said: "Why should my husband stop enjoying his hobby so that you can enjoy yours?"  Of course that doesn't even begin to address the issue of a ham having a license to purse his hobby, whereas the consumer just expects instant gratification.  The neighbor called ATT and the problem was resolved.

Posts: 37

« Reply #34 on: July 20, 2011, 05:15:32 AM »

The logic of W8JX comes from some type of personal fantasy world of do good "ism" which is pro non-ham.  His logic is not rooted in the federal law under which we as FCC licensed stations operate.  Welcome to my block button W8JX.  I can't see you anymore - peek a boo.  Smiley

Posts: 441


« Reply #35 on: July 31, 2011, 11:46:51 AM »

The logic of W8JX comes from some type of personal fantasy world of do good "ism" which is pro non-ham.  His logic is not rooted in the federal law under which we as FCC licensed stations operate.  Welcome to my block button W8JX.  I can't see you anymore - peek a boo.  Smiley

+1 for that. I'm so happy eham has this feature!


Posts: 6252

« Reply #36 on: August 01, 2011, 04:45:07 AM »

The logic of W8JX comes from some type of personal fantasy world of do good "ism" which is pro non-ham.  His logic is not rooted in the federal law under which we as FCC licensed stations operate.  Welcome to my block button W8JX.  I can't see you anymore - peek a boo.  Smiley

+1 for that. I'm so happy eham has this feature!

+2, for a while now.  Of course, you miss the comedy of someone who ought to know he's wrong doing a two-step to try to prove he's right--but you can get along without it.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2011, 04:48:04 AM by K1CJS » Logged

Posts: 5

« Reply #37 on: August 08, 2011, 05:19:02 PM »

My Onkyo suround sound system picks up my audio but only on the subwoofer.  and only  when Im on 75m.    Since the subwoofer is only  of value on movie dvds, I shut it off for tv use.

Lazy way out.
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