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Author Topic: On well pumps, plasma TVs, and QRM  (Read 4032 times)
KJ6ZOL
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Posts: 314




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« on: April 26, 2013, 01:19:26 PM »

The ARRL Regulatory and Advocacy page can be hilarious at times. But this month, I'm scratching my head. Apparently a guy in Florida was fined because his WELL PUMP, not him but the pump, was putting out emissions on 1800 khz, in 160m.

http://www.arrl.org/news/florida-man-cited-for-causing-harmful-interference-to-radio-amateurs

In addition, several people were issued warnings for interference from, among other things, plasma TVs and "unknown electronic devices", contained here:

http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-announces-enforcement-actions-for-january-march-2013

Note that somebody's marijuana grow lights were causing QRM. BUSTED!

Anyway, aren't devices such as well pumps, electric fences, plasma TVs, and even grow lights SUPPOSED to be Part 15 Certified, meaning that the manufacturer has to swear under penalty of perjury that they won't interfere with amateur radio? Given that all this stuff is now made in China, is this another case of the Chinese lying through their teeth, like the CFL bulbs that weren't really UL listed and that caused fires?

Furthermore, isn't it unreasonable to expect Joe Schmoe, who has likely never heard of amateur radio or even the FCC, to procure unknown equipment from unknown sources to remedy interference that should not be there, according to the lying Chinese? And, if he fails, he will be fined $25k and/or his second born child, courtesy of the govt? If Schmoe wasn't a member of a sovereign citizen group already, he'll join one after Uncle Sam gets through with him!

Really now, siccing the full weight of FedGov on some poor sap who just wants to watch his Steelers game doesn't reflect well on us as amateurs IMO. Yes, it's illegal, but that shiny new Mitsubishi TV is SUPPOSED to be free from interference! Of course it's not, and good luck tracking down the maker, which is likely Shenzhen Longyap Dingdong Electronics Fabrication Plant #4 in China making TVs for a dozen names.
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5694




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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2013, 05:01:33 PM »

None of these devices can make QRM. 

They could, however, be generating QRN...
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KJ6ZOL
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Posts: 314




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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2013, 05:37:52 PM »

None of these devices can make QRM. 

They could, however, be generating QRN...

Whoops. I get the two mixed up all the time.  Roll Eyes
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K8AXW
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Posts: 3594




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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2013, 09:26:47 PM »

Whooops?Huh  QRM = Man made interference.  That includes everything electrical or electronic that can cause interference.

                    QRN = Natural interference.  That includes lightning and everything that produces an interference that can't be attributed to something man made.

If an electrical device is shown to be causing interference to a public service and it's proven that the device doesn't meet federal guidelines for generation of RF, then that device must be turned off and not used until the problem is corrected.

If Mr. Lopez bought a Chinese pizza sheet, then it's his responsibility to replace it if he can't stop the interference. 
« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 09:37:24 PM by K8AXW » Logged
W5FYI
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Posts: 1044




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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2013, 11:25:17 PM »

 
Quote
Yes, it's illegal, but that shiny new Mitsubishi TV is SUPPOSED to be free from interference! Of course it's not, and good luck tracking down the maker, which is likely Shenzhen Longyap Dingdong Electronics Fabrication Plant #4 in China making TVs for a dozen names.

So, take the plasma TV or defective water pump back to the dealer and get it replaced or repaired, and let the dealer work it out with the importer, etc.

The FCC usually won't fine anyone on the first notification; they just state that an interference complaint has been filed, and ask that it be fixed and to report back. It's only after repeated correspondence, and nothing is done to remedy the problem, that the FCC levies a fine.  And it's not just to placate the offended ham operator, but unintentional radiators can also affect aviation, public safety, and other spectrum users. And it might even be that the unintentional radiation is caused by a defective part in the device, which could at any time overheat, start a fire, and burn down the house.

It would be wise to pay attention to notices from the FCC.
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K1CJS
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Posts: 5810




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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2013, 03:12:20 AM »

You've got to keep one thing in mind--the product in itself is supposed to not generate harmful interference, but each example of that product may have a small quirk, a bad part or a failed connection that could in itself cause interference.  IOW, just because one of the product went bad doesn't mean they all will.

The gentleman in Florida with the defective well pump had been informed to have it repaired before--several times, but just ignored the warnings.  THAT is why he was fined.
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K8AXW
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Posts: 3594




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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2013, 08:33:31 AM »

CJS: I don't mean to sound like a lawyer but the man wasn't fined. 

 it(The FCC) may impose monetary forfeitures of up to $16,000 for each such violation, or in the case of a continuing violation, up to a maximum forfeiture of $112,500 for any single act or failure to act."

Mr. Lopez was firmly told to eliminate the problem.  He could have the system replaced or simply leave it off.  He does have to indicate by letter to the FCC what action was taken though. 

FYI was correct in his opinion that the problem is also between Mr. Lopez and the dealer who sold the defective unit.  I think Mr. Lopez has a good case for a no-cost replacement.

If we had to worry about fines for every act of RFI, we'd all be afraid to turn on a light in the house! 

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KE3WD
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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2013, 12:29:16 PM »

The 'N' in QRN stands for NOISE. 

Unless the noise made by your pizza pan has INTELLIGENCE in it that can be demodulated, I will always call it QRN. 

Regardless of wikipedia...


73
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AB4ZT
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Posts: 172




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« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2013, 04:02:32 PM »

The "N" in "QRN" doesn't stand for anything.  QRN is the Q signal for interference from natural phenomena, such as lightning.  What does the "X" in "QRX" stand for?
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K8AXW
Member

Posts: 3594




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« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2013, 08:27:47 PM »

OK, OK, OK..... I stand corrected!  The N really doesn't stand for anything but when I first became a ham it was demonstrated to me the easy way to remember which was which is to associate Natural with QRN and Man made noise for QRM.

Like HDL and LDL cholesterol.  Can you remember which is good and which is bad?  I coined an easy way to remember this.  HDL is Healthy and LDL is Lethal. My doctor liked it.

Does that work now?
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K1CJS
Member

Posts: 5810




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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2013, 07:34:52 AM »

CJS: I don't mean to sound like a lawyer but the man wasn't fined....

In the notices from the past few days, I thought I saw that he WAS fined because he continued to ignore the problem.  I just checked again, and you were right, he hasn't been--yet.  The FCC has warned him that it WILL fine him if it isn't corrected because the problem has existed for a couple of years now.  Oh well...I goofed!  73!
« Last Edit: April 28, 2013, 07:39:09 AM by K1CJS » Logged
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