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Thread: HAM radio interference

  1. #1

    Default HAM radio interference

    Okay, so I have a neighbor about two houses down with a 40 foot tall antenna and he is talking on his HAM radio often. When we first moved here we would occasionally pick him up on our TV's sound bar and on my son's cheap walkie talkie, whatever, not a big deal.

    The issue now is that whenever he begins talking, the usb mic on my computer picks it up. I do not hear it myself, but if I am talking to someone on Discord or Skype I get drowned out and all they can hear is his broadcasting very loud and very clear. Also when he broadcasts it knocks my mouse outta commission. I have bought 2 different mics and 3 different mice all with the same results.

    I was able to dig up very little information about this on google, so thought I would drop a post here. Some of my friends have suggested filling an FCC complaint against him, but honestly I don't want to interfere with his hobby. He seems like he has spent a decent amount of money and time and energy on something he loves. I would just like it to not interfere with my hobbies.

    I read that ferrite cores may help. Is this true? If so, do I attach them to my PC's power cable, to my USB mic cable? To my mouse cable?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator 5B4AJB's Avatar
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    Have you told him? He'd likely be horrified his signal was not perfectly clean!

    It might also be your kit, so find out where the problem is before pointing fingers, ask him to investigate, offer him food!

  3. #3
    kc5fm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaLance View Post

    I was able to dig up very little information about this on google, so thought I would drop a post here. Some of my friends have suggested filling an FCC complaint against him, but honestly I don't want to interfere with his hobby. He seems like he has spent a decent amount of money and time and energy on something he loves. I would just like it to not interfere with my hobbies.
    You need to get a better quality of friends.

    Email [email protected] and ask the American Radio Relay League to help you find a local source of assistance, if you are unwilling to talk to him or he is unable to assist you.

    73

    Lloyd

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5B4AJB View Post
    Have you told him? He'd likely be horrified his signal was not perfectly clean!

    It might also be your kit, so find out where the problem is before pointing fingers, ask him to investigate, offer him food!

    It may very well be my setup, and if it is I would like to correct the issue. Wasn't attempting to point fingers at anyone. The man seems pretty darn reclusive, in two years I haven't seen him outside (I'm sure he leaves, just not often) which does increase my reluctance to just knock on his door. I am a fairly technically minded person, just not familiar with Ham/radio technology was just trying to get some info on some steps I can take to try to track down the issue or resolve it on my end. My original mic was an old plastic POS so I thought maybe it had really poor shielding or something and that was issue. But after replacing it and my mouse the issue has stayed the same and all the stuff I can readily find on Ham interference is usual two upset neighbors in a pissing contest and that is not something I want.

  5. #5

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    In very many cases, the real fault is with equipment that pays little or no attention to the various rules we have worldwide on EMC - designing products that don't act as glorified antennas and let RF in - like a front door with no lock! Ferrite rings do offer quite a bit of blocking to RF - you can buy them, or if you have old loudspeakers laying around, you can remove the circular magnets and wrap the USB cables a few times through them - then tape. Powerful RF has the capability of being received by any length of wire, and with just unscreened USB devices, is a great route into your systems - Sound bars are never grounded nowadays, have plastic boxes and the input cables are a brilliant route inside! He could of course be running huge amounts of power, but he might also be willing to help you if you dot have the knowledge. worth asking him and seeing how the land lays?

  6. #6

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    Hello SaLance,

    I believe you should contact this neighboring Amateur Radio Operator directly and explain the problems you're experiencing while he's On-The-Air. Tell him that you're willing to work with him to help resolve the problems. He's not a mind reader to know that you're having these problem as no one has complained to him and this is part of the key issue to resolve a problem. You can open a case number with the Federal Communications Commission but he should do the same thing -- essentially Cover Your Butt on complaints like yours.

    You can contact The American Radio Relay League, Inc. as they publish a book covering Radio Frequency Interference problems http://www.arrl.org/shop/The-ARRL-RFI-Book-3rd-Edition And for contacting the ARRL, Inc. there are several methods as follows: If you are not sure which department to contact, please call 1-860-594-0200 or 1-888-277-5289 (toll-free US only) M-F 8:00 AM-5:00 PM ET or e-mail [email protected].

    As for your neighboring ham operator, he or she should be willing to help you resolve these problems with your computer's microphone input circuitry. Some times all that it takes is the proper Ferrite Cores around the microphone cable to stop the unwanted RF from entering the computer's input circuitry. So there are my thoughts on this problem. I hope you're able to get these problems resolved and remain good neighbors.

    Dan
    WA9WVX

  7. #7

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    I would also suggest talking to your neighbor and let him know the problems you are having. Most any amateur operator will do anything they actually can do so as not to cause interference with others. 17 years ago I had a new neighbor that came to me and told me that my rig was interfering with his phone lines....I supplied him with ferrite cores to put on all his phone lines. No ham wants to be the bad neighbor.

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