RFI, the FCC, ARRL and "you can't make this stuff up!"

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W4PG, Apr 14, 2021.

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  1. W4PG

    W4PG Super Moderator Lifetime Member 279 Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I have been having an RFI problem to my ham radio since last July/August or so and have found what I think is the source, but it's a bit complicated. I thought folks would get a kick out of my letter to the ARRL, which has an agreement with the FCC to initiate investigations of RFI to ham radio operators. It remains to be seen how this is going to work itself out. I'm being patient . . . LOL!

    Dear <name redacted>

    I am contacting you regarding an on-going source of RFI that we have previously spoken about. The interference began around July/August of last year and is present every 15 kHz from approximately 10 MHz through 52 MHz. The RFI occupies about 5 kHz and is roughly S8 signal strength. The RFI is present 24/7 but there have been at least 3 instances where the RFI disappeared for several days, only to return. I suspect some type of switching power supply.

    Using my 4 ele SteppIR beam and a 6 meter handy talkie, I have located the source of the RFI to either within or immediately adjacent to a neighbor’s home. I have additionally had the local power company investigate, who found several sources of line noise and replaced a utility pole that had several defective insulators. Two of the local cable TV companies also investigated but determined the RFI was not caused by any cable leaks.

    I first contacted the home owner on August 14, 2020 requesting he call me so we could amicably resolve the issue. I subsequently spoke with him outside his home when I was investigating the noise and he happened to arrive home from work. I explained the situation and he indicated he would call me the next day. I have again contacted him via USPS mail on March 6 of this year and again via certified return receipt mail delivered on April 5. I have received no response to any of my requests.

    Complicating this is the fact that upon erecting my ham radio tower in 2009, the wife of the neighbor complained to the city and attempted to start a petition to have my tower removed. She was told by the city that I had obtained all required permits and the tower was installed by code and was perfectly legal. Upon finally talking with her, she accused me of working for the CIA and listening in on her phone conversations.

    Research she did on the internet led her to conclude the tower was a source of cancer and she refused to allow her young children to play outside. I provided her with ample sources of information from both the FCC and ARRL explaining there was no danger from the tower but she would not believe any of the sources. At one point she insisted we perform a “test” with a meter from Radio Shack she said a friend had to “prove” the antenna was not causing danger. I had recently installed privacy curtains around our back-yard pool and she claimed the curtains were actually an RF shield I had installed to protect myself from the antenna. I did not go through with any “test” and that was the last contact with them over a decade ago.

    I am speculating, but I suspect my tower was a source of great concern to the husband due to the paranoid delusions of his wife and he now blames me for that. He is a criminal defense attorney and realizes he has no duty to respond to me and can ignore me forever. I am also an attorney and used to be a volunteer counsel for the ARRL but I do not practice law anymore. I did speak with a local volunteer counsel who suggested I contact the FCC as he didn’t think there was any rational way of reasoning with these people. In short, this man is not going to respond until the legal consequences of his refusal become significant enough that his failure to respond may lead to fines or legal action against him. I did file a complaint with the FCC but was informed that the ARRL has an agreement with the FCC to take the initial lead on these issues.

    I am a life-member of the ARRL and was previously a volunteer counsel for several years. I have been a licensed ham radio operator for 52 years. My concern is I have been attempting to resolve this issue for several months with no success. While I appreciate any and all help from the ARRL, I am not aware that the ARRL has any legal authority to require cooperation from this individual. My understanding is that has to come from the FCC. On the ARRL website there is a copy of an FCC order providing for fines up to $16,000 dollars per day for each day that the operator of a device interfering with a license amateur radio operator refused to cooperate. Short of something like that, I anticipate no response from this individual.

    Therefor I respectfully request that the ARRL begin their investigation into this matter in order to “get the ball rolling.” I am obviously available to assist in any way I can. Thank you for your cooperation.


    Robert W Patton Jr MD JD

    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
    KI4ZUQ, KG5THG, WM1N and 7 others like this.
  2. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Nutters for neighbors!
    Tell her its the power meter or 5G causing her anguish.
    N2UHC, KA4DPO, WE4E and 2 others like this.
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Bob, I wish you luck and success.

    When I moved to my 3rd new home in NJ back in 1978, we bought the house 3 months before moving in, so the first thing I did was put up a tower before doing anything inside.

    Tower was up, with no antennas, no coax, no rigs, no station.

    Neighbor across the street came over to tell me that my tower was interfering with her TV, radio, telephone, refrigerator, washing machine and anything you can think of. Not a single radio in the house, not even furniture.

    I met with her outside while I was doing some landscaping to hear the litany of complaints. After she was finished, I simply asked her, "Are you familiar with the C.I.A.?"

    She answered, "Yes."

    I said, "Well, that's all I can say. Have a good day."

    Never heard from her again.
    KI4ZUQ, N2UHC, W5PB and 16 others like this.
  4. W3WN

    W3WN Ham Member QRZ Page


    Can I use this in a future newsletter? This could prove... interesting...

  5. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Interesting and unfortunately your case is one of many.

    Neighbors can come after us amateurs for just about any little many are just made up.
    However it's hard for us to go after them.
    And many others have it repeatedly in Colorado with the non-compliant grow lights, I finally moved out of the state completely.
    I would call it reverse discrimination
    K8XG and PU2OZT like this.
  6. PU2OZT

    PU2OZT Ham Member QRZ Page

  7. N5PAR

    N5PAR Ham Member QRZ Page

    All that to find out it’s two lawyers having a 10 year feud.
    N5HXR, WD4ELG, N3AWS and 10 others like this.
  8. K9DWB

    K9DWB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm secretly an alien from another planet. We're about to take over your planet and this tower is vital for communications with the mother ship. Then get your flip phone out and say Kirk to Enterprise.
    SA6CKE, N1VAU, K4PIH and 1 other person like this.
  9. K8XG

    K8XG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Even Fish Pump Modulators from the EU can cause huge problems in HF. They say they are FCC approved, but when I investigated the issue that was for a 3rd party Wifi control for the product. It turned out the main function of the fish pump modulator to make fish better health due to air pump modulating up and down was causing RF from 500kh to 144 or more higher ...
  10. WA8FOZ

    WA8FOZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    <<< “I am speculating, but I suspect my tower was a source of great concern to the husband due to the paranoid delusions of his wife and he now blames me for that. He is a criminal defense attorney and realizes he has no duty to respond to me and can ignore me forever. “ >>>


    He, you, and I all know that you are not responsible for anybody’s paranoid delusions! But then, “Somebody has to pay.“ Or something.

    Sometimes people with deluded thoughts do dangerous things. And sometimes delusions are shared. I suppose if he does something sufficiently untoward, it could affect his law license. I imagine you know to be careful.

    My sympathies.

    73, Bill WA8FOZ

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