Wednesday, June 04, 2014

The Rogue Antenna Accusation

Kinda strange thing happened yesterday morning. I'm wondering if it's legit?

Guy knocks on my front door. Wife answers the door and begins talking to him. Sounded interesting so I go to the door to see what's up. The guy hands me what looks like a business card, but has no name on it. It's from KCHP 97.1 FM. The card says it's Humboldt's local christian station.

He goes on to say their Arcata based station was getting bad reception in my neighborhood so he came to investigate. He says the bad reception seemed centered around my house so he drove around looking and noticed the old citizen's band radio antenna I have up in the chestnut tree.

That antenna has been there for probably 20 years or more and it's not even connected to anything anymore. He claims it's interfering with their station's transmissions. He didn't exactly say to take it down. He just cited the same thing happening up the street some time ago claiming they didn't take their antenna down so the Federal Communications Commission came and took all their equipment.

I didn't think much at first, but I wonder if that isn't a bunch of bs? First of all, this is the first I've heard of my antenna interfering with radio signals after all the years I've had it up. Second, I have a hard time believing the FCC would go around hassling people over a small time, low power radio station- I notice their web site specifies "Internet Radio"- much less tell people to take an antenna down that's not even being used for transmissions.

But, now that he brought it up, I thought I would take it down anyway. He seemed like a nice guy. I'm just wondering if he's full of crap?  Anyone heard of anyone else being hassled over an unconnected radio antenna interfering with semi- commercial broadcasts?


At 7:59 AM, Blogger KaponE said...

Yes, he's full of crap. There is no way that a disconnected CB antenna can interfere with an FM broadcast station. First off, there isn't any RF power being emitted by your antenna. Secondly, the wavelengths between CB (26-27MHz) and FM broadcast (88-108Mhz) aren't even close. I believe that the FCC will laugh at the guy should he decide to file a complaint.


At 8:01 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Thanks. I kinda figured that, especially since the antenna is lower than the surrounding power lines. at least some of them.

At 1:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leave the antenna up just to spite the guy.

At 6:10 PM, Anonymous Larry M said...

Hey Fred,
My long time neighbor also has an old ham radio antenna attached to his house...Do you know if they can be used to receive anything aside from the old ham radio signals?

At 6:54 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

"Do you know if they can be used to receive anything aside from the old ham radio signals?"

I have no idea. I suspect not, assuming they're not hooked up to any radio equipment.

Then again, if you think back to the days before cable TV, it was common to put a fork or spoon on the top of the TV set to increase reception. I know we did that.

If anything, I would think a dead antenna would increase reception rather than inhibit it, just as the extra metal did back on top of our old TVs.

At 12:17 PM, Blogger Ernie Branscomb said...

Fred, to answer your question, yes he is totally full of crap!

Just tell him that there is a man that lives in your neighborhood is a Devil worshiper, and than since he moved there that nobody can get reception. Tell him that tinfoil antennas work the best. Also tell him that he must get all the sin out of his life, or God will smite him. He probably won't be back, because he will think that you are as crazy as he is...

At 4:51 PM, Blogger julie.strub said...

I say, leave it up

At 4:58 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

If Julie says so, I just might.

I believe I just saw the guy that complained about it driving by about a half hour. Down Trinity Street, stopped at E street and headed into town.


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