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 San Antonio Hams » 2012 » December » 23
Dec 23

From time to time, amateur radio operators find themselves in a situation where either another operator is causing  malicious interference on the same frequency or repeater they are using, or a non-ham user is doing it.  

When that happens, the local ham radio community usually gets together, organizes a DF Hunt (Direction Finder) similar to a Fox Hunt, and tracks down the offender’s location.  In some cases, thanks to the very strong law enforcement resources that various members of our community can provide, the identity of the offender can become known and published for all other operators to be aware of.

But the best behaviour / response when faced with such “problem children” on the air, is to simply ignore them.  Yes, you read correctly, ignore them.  If you ignore them, they can’t be sure that their radios are being heard by the other ham radio operators and may move over to a different frequency / repeater in search of more lucrative feedback per se.  

If you talk with them, or discuss their actions on the air, you are doing 2 things.  You are encouraging them to continue, and if the operator isn’t a licensed ham, you are violating your own ham license by talking with a non-amateur radio operator using your ham radio equipment.  Oops!

In the San Antonio area, when such interference happens, we have a team of operators who have an excellent record of tracking down the individual(s) involved, documenting the interference, and taking legal steps to eliminate the interference from happening. 

While the entire process can take a while, since documenting the actions and getting the FCC involved is always slow.  But once the FCC commit to action, that illegal operator has his/her days numbered and will be likely facing a cash fine and/or time in jail, especially if the operator knows what he/she is doing to break the law.  We’re talking Federal laws, not local laws, so the penalty can be higher in many cases.  The FCC has been known to confiscate all radio equipment, issue fines, and take such operators to court which can result in jail time.

I just thought it was time to remind our law abiding, and non-law abiding operators in the San Antonio area, that with your ham radio license, comes a certain level of responsibility, and if you aren’t a licensed ham radio operator you ought not be using a radio on amateur radio frequencies.

Merry Christmas to all my readers and friends!

Lee N5NTG
Webmaster for SanAntonioHams.org

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