Avoiding complaints

The FCC does not do any kind of active monitoring or patroling or trying to catch anybody, they do not function like a poiice agency. If they want to bust somebody they must call the local police themselves.

The rules are for deciding if they can punish you AFTER they investigate you. Something has to provoke them to investigate you, which means somebody must file a complaint.

The important topic to me is how to avoid a complaint. What causes complaints :

-- you are getting out all over town and people notice you, especially commercial broadcasters

--you are interfering with another signal somebody else cares about

-- your signal is getting into other electronic equipment like your neighbors stereo speakers or wired telephone. 

--somebody sees your antenna and doesn't like it being there, especially a problem with home owners associations.

-- you are putting out some kind of content that somebody doesn't like, such as politics or curse words.

you could think of more I'm sure.

mighty1650's picture

Height helps a little but grounded radials help a whole lot more. Unless of course you have a long ground of sorts.

There are so many high profile elevated installs that I really wouldn't worry about it, it is nearly unavoidable to have something make up for the lack of direct ground. RF needs it and it will find it, typically though the negative and neutral leg of power. The audio line most likely won't attract much RF if you are using balanced connections.

I'm a big fan of both kinds of installs, but you can get more practical and unquestionable legal coverage with a ground install.

macdev's picture

The people illegally broadcasting in French in my area is still at it after two, maybe three years (or more). Looking up NOUOs to see if they've been sent a letter yet (they haven't), I found this:


Only 6,034uV/m

That can't be going far at all, maybe under 5 miles? So watch your numbers.

ArtisanRadio's picture

That was the field strength at 842 meters, not 3 meters.  A pretty strong signal, well over legal limits.  If you're getting 1/4 mile, particularly to a portable radio, you're well over legal limits.  If you're very lucky with line of sight etc. and have a very sensitive car radio, you might (and I repeat might) get 600-800 feet, which is 1/8 mile or so (and that is really pushing it - it's not really useable range).

Part 15 Engineer's picture

and it was a pretty nice setup. optimod 8000, harris ms-15, hombrew LPF, dual can bandpass cavity, 25mW to a 1/2 wave dipole but i have no real way to verify F/S is legal so i shut it down and it just sits here.


wish we had a easily obtainable 1-5 watt class license like our freinds to the north have.

Part 15 Engineer

Hindsight is 2020

I'm not a democrat or a republican, i'm a common sense moderate progressive


please don't forget to register and vote

ArtisanRadio's picture

Easily obtainable in rural areas at best.  In the major cities - not very likely.

The biggest hangup here in Canada is the CRTC license (you need 2 - CRTC and Industry Canada).  Industry Canada is relatively easy, as they're only concerned with the technical requirements and interference.  The CRTC is the kicker - they look at your programming AND your business plan.  If you don't have adequate funding to, in their opinion, run the station, then you won't get their license.  Period.  You aren't allowed to run a station strictly with volunteers, so count on a minimum of $50-100K revenue needed per year.  It's why most of these smaller stations are located in universities, etc., as there's a ready source of funding available (student fees).

Thelegacy's picture

This is exactly why I think harmonization with Canada and BETS-1 is an idea that is latterly selling your soul to Satan. The Whole idea of The Initiative site (In the beginning) was to eliminate too much restrictions. And still is except we now handle things the way Prometheus did in the beginning on our Elite section.


In Michigan we had several High School and community collage stations that went dark because of the fact that many schools have ended their extra curricular activities because of what? Lack of funding. So if this were to come into play here in the USA to broadcast even 1,000 feet you would have to be a What? Ding ding ding the $100,000 question has been answered by The Legacy which is Pirate!!


And to be honest this is why we have them to begin with is exactly because of folks who want to make it virtually impossible to broadcast unless your related to Donald Trump (No Thank You) I’d be a happy Pirate before I’d ever bow down to those unholy rules.


Why some folks don’t actually think of others who just do this for fun and to serve a niche interest that some folks find useful is beyond me. Some NAB folks may fool others by posing as part 15, Legal, Serving the community, ect ect but not all of us are fooled and I truly get it.


Carl made the remark on the ALPB that we should keep this hobby hush hush and not share it with anyone. In return I made a comment that I’d start an Album Rock preservation society and ban anyone from setting up a Hobby Station if they were to play Top40 or Rap because it pollutes the airwaves.


I was trying to show the same ideological statement he just made but in another form (and you wonder why the hobby is dying). Honestly worrying about rather or not a neighbor would take up and use your frequency is exactly proving that there is a need for Hobby Radio or a separate band of frequencies for it in which is easily receivable to the public. But at every turn we hear it can’t happen.


Remember the airplane was invented whilst the constant chanting in the background said IT CAN’T HAPPEN!! Hell Marijuana is becoming legal in many states in the USA despite the fact people said IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. How do you know if you DON’T ASK!!


The worst thing that will happen is those who were pirates will continue to be pirates as always and nothing will change. The later is the FCC see’s a public need for creative content on the Radio and will see amateur broadcasting as an asset not a criminal offense.


Now I’ll post Artisan’s comment on this and mine on The Initiative site for further discussion as that is where it needs to continue but I had to comment on this because it was absolutely driving me insane.

Progressive Rock (Album Rock, Deep Tracks), Classic Rock


More Power for Hobby Broadcasters


Carl Blare's picture

TheLegacy quoted here: 

"Carl made the remark on the ALPB that we should keep this hobby hush hush and not share it with anyone. In return I made a comment that I’d start an Album Rock preservation society and ban anyone from setting up a Hobby Station if they were to play Top40 or Rap because it pollutes the airwaves. I was trying to show the same ideological statement he just made but in another form."

You're comparing apples to basketballs.

If you only permit album rock I will never listen because, and this is not personal, I don't like album rock unless I'm paid to play it.

By prohibiting rap I will be disappointed because, and this is not personal, I enjoy rap once in awhile.

But let's be fair. I will never force you to play classical music.

The ALPB is an Unequal Opportunity radio society.

Carl Blare

ArtisanRadio's picture

I was hoping that this thread wouldn't end up going down this path, so let's stop it right here.

The reason that there are so many rules to get a license to broadcast is to prevent interference to existing services.  And in Canada's case with the CRTC license, to ensure that a radio station that is given access to increasingly scarce bandwidth is serious, and will be able to continue on for some time.  Because once you've given permission, it's awfully hard to take that permission away.  Both the FCC and IC/CRTC know that.

Do I like it.  Not particularly.  But do I see the wisdom in it.  Certainly.

The last thing that regulatory bodies need is to have financially unstable broadcasters with little ability to monitor what they're doing and little professional experience simultaneously cluttering up the airwaves and/or disappearing and having to go through the entire allocation process once again.

Remember, there is no inherent right to broadcast, other than under the rules issued by these regulatory bodies.

And what to one person (or a group of people) is noise pollution is to others essential creative and artistic music.  Certainly, rap and Top40 is far more popular than most of the stuff that we (Part 15'ers) broadcast on a regular basis.

Do I like that stuff.  No.  But I recognize the right of others to do so.

Finally, there's been talk about asking for some form of low power broadcast license, and/or relaxing the Part 15 rules, for some time now.  But talk amongst ourselves doesn't really mean much.  As Thelegacy points out, you have to actually ask for it.

I wonder who, if anyone, has responded to the FCC's asking for written comments (that was reported here previously)?

Or if the FCC has actually been approached and asked about using the Whitespace frequencies and devices for broadcasting, as several have suggested?

If you haven't, that's all fine and good.  But it's rather tiresome to continue to hear about changing or adding to the rules, when there have been (and may still be) opportunities to have direct input to do so.

Furthermore, while I don't want this thread to go into it in detail, I'd welcome a serious exploration about 'asking' over and above the two examples I've mentioned.  I think others would as well.  The only caveat (from me) - and this is not slinging mud at the work done elsewhere - is that it be done in a serious and professional manner.  That it be governed not by wants and emotion, but by facts and science, and rigorous project management and process.

Perhaps it's time for the Initiative to step aside, with kudos for their efforts, and a new group to come forward, take what work has been done, and have as their only goal some form of 'asking'.  While the chances of succeeding may not be all that high, you can always ask.