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FCC Cites BSW Over Transmitter Certifications

Commission says several low-power products didn’t comply with Part 15 rules

Rolls HR70 FM transmitter, front and rear views
Rolls HR70 Transmitter

This story has been updated with comments from Decade Transmitters.

The FCC has cited Broadcast Supply Worldwide for marketing several low-power FM transmitter models that it says didn’t comply with commission rules. The equipment dealer says it had been given incorrect information by the manufacturers.

The commission said BSW advertised and sold the Rolls HR70 FM Broadcast Transmitter and Decade MS-100, MS-100M and MS-100S models unlawfully. These devices are intended for applications like special events, church services and other very localized uses.

The chief of the Spectrum Enforcement Division wrote that, at the time the Rolls HR70 was on offer from BSW, the transmitter lacked required equipment authorization, labeling and user manual disclosures; it operated outside of the FM band; and it did not use a permanently attached antenna or one with a unique connector as required by the rules. Rolls subsequently received certification after BSW had stopped marketing that product.

The FCC also said BSW had marketed three Decade models that lacked appropriate labeling and user manual disclosures.

BSW President/CEO Tim Schwieger told Radio World, “Unbeknownst to us, these transmitters failed to meet FCC requirements. All advertising and marketing materials provided by the manufacturers indicated these units were type approved for operation. Since we are a store and not the manufacturer, we depend on the factories to be legally compliant with the products they build.”

He said BSW cooperated with the FCC inquiries. “When the initial probe on this issue was brought to our attention, we stopped marketing and selling the units in question. We no longer offer the products for sale. In nearly 50 years of business, we take pride in our selection of products we offer our customers. We never intended to market products that should not have been sold due to legal nonconformity. Obviously, we will be monitoring this much more carefully.”

Michel Carrier, president and owner of Decade Transmitters Inc., contacted Radio World after this story originally appeared. He disputed the FCC’s account.

“I really wonder why the FCC inspector came to that conclusion, especially when the MS-100 and the MS-100S have been Part 15 certified by the FCC in 1997. You can look in the FCC certification database and you will find it there. They also stated that the MS-100 lack a proper labeling and manual disclosure, which is also not correct.”

He said no one had contacted him and believes it was a misunderstanding. “We have been manufacturing quality FM transmitters since 1991 and have always complied to FCC and Industry Canada rules. All transmitters use discrete, military grade components, not a ‘full-FM-transmitter-in-a-single-chip’ like the cheap Chinese transmitters that you can find an Amazon and other online stores. The FCC should not waste its time on legal transmitters like ours, but should check out the thousands of illegal Chinese transmitters sold online.”

He added, “It’s also the first time that a dealer has decided not to sell our excellent transmitters. We are a transparent company, and the technical and legal information about the legality of our transmitters is available on our website, and I’m always available to discuss any issues with my clients.”