Florida Resident Cited for Ham Interference

In an unusual case, the FCC cited Ruben Lopez of Pomona Park, Fla. for harmful interference with amateur radio frequencies.

He has 30 days to respond to the Enforcement Bureau or risk being fined up to $16,000 for each violation and having his equipment seized.

In this case, the subject of the interference is a well pump, according to the agency.

Responding to a complaint about interference to Amateur Radio Service reception of medium and high frequency (300 kHz–30 MHz) radio signals, the Enforcement Bureau wrote two letters to Lopez, instructing him to resolve any interference and suggesting he install new A/C line filters for his well pump.

Last October, agents traced the source of interference, on 1800 kHz, by conducting on/off tests. The interference stopped when the pump was turned off, according to the commission.

Lopez told the FCC he installed a new filter but it didn’t resolve the interference.

The FCC has characterized his well pump in this case as an “incidental radiator,” which is a device that generates radio frequency energy when operating although the device is not intentionally designed to generate or emit RF energy. The commission says it’s told him before to stop operating the device and the citation now reinforces that.

The commission says in the citation that Lopez needs to take immediate action to ensure he doesn’t continue to cause harmful interference, including repairing or replacing his well pump and its associated control circuitry.


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Rating People: 6   Average Rating:     
Comment List:

Sam F: I agree with your comment about the ham. I sure would have tried to help the pump guy. Of course, perhaps he did not want to talk with the ham. I strongly disagree with your observations regarding what the FCC should have done. Rick T: Perhaps no one reported the problem? Did you? John C: Good thinking.
By John P on 5/3/2013
Why didn't the Ham operator try to help this guy resolve his problem ? That's what a good ham would do. It seems to me, that in this case, the Commission has overstepped it's authority. They should have sited the 'Ham' who filed the complaint.
By Sam F on 4/30/2013
Okay, so this poor guy gets cited, but the City here has 2 lift pumps next to an interstate highway ramp that totally wipes-out ALL MW AM frequencies when you're within a 1/10 mile of it and yet they don't get cited for interference?
By Rick Tafyer on 4/25/2013
What I'd like to know here is HOW the "well pump" caused the interference. I wonder if there is a Variable Frequency Drive (a VFD) in use on this pump, and that this drive is improperly installed. If the VFD is not grounded through the electric panel or at the pump it WILL cause interference around the house, unless there's a ham operator nearby. Very interesting.
By John Corbin on 4/24/2013

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