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Author Topic: Lack of FCC enforcement  (Read 6929 times)
AB4D
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« on: September 20, 2011, 03:36:17 PM »

In searching the net for a decent amateur radio mobile HF amplifier beyond the SGC and Tokyo Hi-Power, I was appalled by the vast number of obvious non type accepted amplifiers offered for sale over the internet.  It seems to me, the FCC would find it very easy to just go after some of these places for violating the communications act.  I just find it strange that the FCC isn't more proactive.

These are just a few that came up on a simple Google search.

http://noname216.com/

http://www.davemade.mobi/

http://www.xforceamps.com/

http://fatboyamp.com/   

http://www.wizardbuilt.com/

73
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KG4NEL
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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2011, 04:51:33 PM »

In searching the net for a decent amateur radio mobile HF amplifier beyond the SGC and Tokyo Hi-Power, I was appalled by the vast number of obvious non type accepted amplifiers offered for sale over the internet.  It seems to me, the FCC would find it very easy to just go after some of these places for violating the communications act.  I just find it strange that the FCC isn't more proactive.

These are just a few that came up on a simple Google search.

http://noname216.com/

http://www.davemade.mobi/

http://www.xforceamps.com/

http://fatboyamp.com/   

http://www.wizardbuilt.com/

73

With their funding, just not a priority unless a retailer gets particularly egregious about selling them: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-11-984A1.pdf

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AB4D
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2011, 05:41:32 PM »

With their funding, just not a priority unless a retailer gets particularly egregious about selling them: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-11-984A1.pdf

I suppose. However, these places aren't just selling them. From what I gather from reading some of these sites, these are the guys who actually manufacture these amplifiers.  I would think that being in the business of manufacturing would carry much stiffer fines, more than enough to offset any costs of enforcement.  Go figure.
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G3RZP
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2011, 02:02:09 AM »

When the FCC issue the enforcement notices and actaully collect the money, who gets it? Is it the FCC - in which case they should be VERY active - or is it the US Treasury, in which case why should the FCC do their collecting for them? Or do the FCC keep it and then get their budget reduced next year by the amount they got?

If the Treasury went to the FCC and said 'You collect the fines, you get 50c in the $ to keep and it doesn't affect your budget for next year', you might well see enforcement. Even more if it was 75c in the $!
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AB2T
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« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2011, 03:07:55 AM »

The FCC gave up years ago trying to enforce the CB 5w AM/12w pep SSB "limits" as most all hams know.  I always thought that the abolition of code testing in 2007 would turn many CBers legit.  Isn't 1500w pep on SSB enough?  If not, tell them to go to Canada where 2250w pep is legal with a full license!  Then again, I don't want to spark a flame war about CBers entering amateur radio.  Many legit, upstanding hams were once CBers, lest we forget.

Actually, a number of the 11m amps aren't badly constructed, at least from the looks of it.  Gotta give 'em something.  Then again, how many of them are sending out harmonics with improperly driven finals?  We'll never know unless a ham buys one and tests it. 

73, Jordan

 
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W2MV
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2011, 11:13:11 AM »

Listening in the 10 M CW band today I heard a couple of "good buddies" transmitting on AM. There is a problem.
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KB1TXK
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2011, 11:58:48 AM »


A 4800w CB amp? Really?  How ironic that people spend as much money gussying up their noob CBs when they could just be getting their license and spending the same amount on radio equipment that doesn't suck...and in the end making far better contacts (and far fewer enemies).  

I'm not anti-CB...I'm anti-stupid.  Spending that much money on crap equipment is stupid...especially when the RIGHT tools for the job are at your fingertips!!!

saldk;fja;ldkgj'[pauj'aehg'!!!111
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N2EY
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« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2011, 02:04:09 PM »

When the FCC issue the enforcement notices and actaully collect the money, who gets it? Is it the FCC - in which case they should be VERY active - or is it the US Treasury, in which case why should the FCC do their collecting for them? Or do the FCC keep it and then get their budget reduced next year by the amount they got?

If the Treasury went to the FCC and said 'You collect the fines, you get 50c in the $ to keep and it doesn't affect your budget for next year', you might well see enforcement. Even more if it was 75c in the $!

Fines and seizures all go to the General Fund. FCC doesn't get a penny, directly or indirectly. Same for spectrum auctions.

Pretty much common practice, to avoid conflict of interest.

The police officer who issues a driver a speeding ticket doesn't get a piece of the fine, either.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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AB4D
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« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2011, 02:19:59 PM »

When the FCC issue the enforcement notices and actaully collect the money, who gets it? Is it the FCC - in which case they should be VERY active - or is it the US Treasury, in which case why should the FCC do their collecting for them? Or do the FCC keep it and then get their budget reduced next year by the amount they got?

If the Treasury went to the FCC and said 'You collect the fines, you get 50c in the $ to keep and it doesn't affect your budget for next year', you might well see enforcement. Even more if it was 75c in the $!

Fines and seizures all go to the General Fund. FCC doesn't get a penny, directly or indirectly. Same for spectrum auctions.

Pretty much common practice, to avoid conflict of interest.

The police officer who issues a driver a speeding ticket doesn't get a piece of the fine, either.

73 de Jim, N2EY

Most of what you said is fairly accurate.  However,  I have read where some certain things like a percentage of cash seized during drug busts do go back to law enforcement for enhancing equipment.  Too bad the FCC enforcement division does not get at least a percentage of the forfeitures and fines.  I believe we would see an improvement in enforcement.

73
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ONAIR
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« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2011, 09:05:30 PM »

When the FCC issue the enforcement notices and actaully collect the money, who gets it? Is it the FCC - in which case they should be VERY active - or is it the US Treasury, in which case why should the FCC do their collecting for them? Or do the FCC keep it and then get their budget reduced next year by the amount they got?

If the Treasury went to the FCC and said 'You collect the fines, you get 50c in the $ to keep and it doesn't affect your budget for next year', you might well see enforcement. Even more if it was 75c in the $!
  There is only one real solution to eradicate this problem.  The government should instruct hams to locate these culprits, and then keep 50 to 100% of all the fines that ensue.  This could get rid of the offenders, and allow many hams to buy new equipment!
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K1ZJH
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« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2011, 09:29:17 PM »

What is really strange is the FCC hit a guy with a $10,000 fine for assembling Stran 100mW AM transmitter
kits for others.  These weren't certified under part 15 regs for intentional radiators, but they were well within
the legal requirements.  FCC enforcement is hit or miss. It usually takes a lot of complaints to get them moving
on violators.

Pete
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G3RZP
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« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2011, 12:55:13 AM »

If the fines go to the general fund, there's no wonder the FCC can't afford enforcement. It's pretty obvious. But the stupidity of government  is amazing. Back in the very late 1950's, the Irish governemnt set up a special unit in the income tax to go for big tax evaders. It collected something like 1.5 million Irish punts the first year, and then it was shut down to save 100,000 punts in costs!

All down to peculiar accounting processes. If the governments were held to account in the same way as industry, they would be in prison for life. The European Commission has had its accounts qualified every year for the last nine years, and nothing is ever done about it - a company would be closed down.
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KG6AF
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« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2011, 07:37:21 AM »

If the fines go to the general fund, there's no wonder the FCC can't afford enforcement. It's pretty obvious. But the stupidity of government  is amazing.
I'm not sure I want regulatory agencies that raise their own revenues by handing out fines.  It's just too tempting to start handing out fines for no particularly good reason just to raise money.  Then it takes years to expose the abuse and crack down on the offending agency.  And then people complain about how stupid government was to fail to anticipate such a problem in the first place.

It reminds me a bit of the constituent who, as the story goes, objected to the salaries in Washington, and asked his Congressman, "Couldn't you guys just live on bribes?"  Well, yes they could, and there are always some who do.  But it's not the kind of thing you want to encourage by making it legal.
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N4NYY
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« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2011, 07:38:31 AM »

Quote
Most of what you said is fairly accurate.  However,  I have read where some certain things like a percentage of cash seized during drug busts do go back to law enforcement for enhancing equipment.  Too bad the FCC enforcement division does not get at least a percentage of the forfeitures and fines.  I believe we would see an improvement in enforcement.

That is a whole different ballgame. Please don't try to lump CB amps in the same category as drugs, etc.

Unless the CB amps are inflicting problems on the ham bands that directly affect you, or interfering with you, then don't worry about it. It is not your problem. Leave the enforcement to the enforcers. If the interference is illegal use, and is directly impacting you, then file a complaint and go up the chain of command.

I can't speak for you because I don't know you, but we have some local hams here that that think they are cops and can harass people. The ham license does not give hams the right to any enforcement. They have to do it like anyone else. File a complaint.

And if you are not encouraged by FCC enforcement, or lack there of, then it is because of funding and manpower. So join the rest of the other gov't depts without proper funding and manpower.

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N2EY
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« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2011, 08:05:08 AM »

Unless the CB amps are inflicting problems on the ham bands that directly affect you, or interfering with you, then don't worry about it. It is not your problem.

I disagree!

If a non-amateur-radio transmitter causes interference to other services (say, TV), and amateurs are blamed for it, it *is* our problem.

The reason for the regulations about amplifiers covering 12 and 10 meters, which go back to 1978, isn't because of anything hams did. It's because of what non-hams did. Which makes it our problem.

There are other examples.

Leave the enforcement to the enforcers.

I agree 100%.


If the interference is illegal use, and is directly impacting you, then file a complaint and go up the chain of command.

Always remember that enforcement is highly complaint-driven. The squeaky wheel and all that.

And be sure the interference is really being caused by a dirty transmitter at the other end, not an overloaded receiver at your end. Otherwise you can look like a real doofus.

Many low- and mid-range ham rigs don't have really good dynamic range front-end performance, particularly with the AGC on and the front end running wide open. A high-powered transmitter afew hundred feet away can cause all sorts of havoc in such a receiver, even if it's clean. Be sure before you accuse.

And if you are not encouraged by FCC enforcement, or lack there of, then it is because of funding and manpower. So join the rest of the other gov't depts without proper funding and manpower.

Exactly. FCC is chronically underfunded, and has been for the past 30+ years. Ham radio is only a tiny part of what they have to do.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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