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Florida Resident Cited for Ham Interference

FCC says Ruben Lopez risks being fined for his well pump interfering with Amateur Radio Service

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.