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Ham Antenna Mistaken for Bomb

Meanwhile, there's a new amateur radio enforcement leader at FCC

Ya gotta watch out for those amateur radio operators.

In Omaha recently, ham radio gear was mistaken for a pipe bomb. So the local bomb squad detonated what turned out to be part of a PVC dipole antenna, as a local TV station reports.

Separately, amateur radio is undergoing a regime change at the Federal Communications Commission. FCC Special Counsel Laura Smith is the new enforcement officer for amateur radio; she replaces Riley Hollingsworth, who retired in 2008 after serving as special counsel for the Spectrum Enforcement Division of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau for over a decade.

ARRL, the national association for amateur radio — formally the American Radio Relay League — reported that Smith recently visited its headquarters; she and the staff discussed how power line noise can affect amateur radio.

Smith began her legal career in the Mass Media Bureau and Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. She also served as deputy division chief of the Public Safety and Private Wireless Division.