Interference problems in 2011 and 2012


Some packet operations in the middle 2 meter packet segment (144.9 to 145.1 MHz) have report receiving interference from digital repeaters, and it has become worse as of early 2012.

If you think you may be receiving interference from digital repeaters, but aren't sure, here's a sample of what they sound like:
D-Star (note the short tone burst (squeak) at the start.)
MotoTurbo

These repeaters should not be in the packet segment and have not been coordinated by NARCC.

Some MotoTurbo stations will ID themselves using CW.


This is a list of suspected repeaters and frequencies, but it could change at any time:

D-Star:

(output/input)
144.9625/147.4625 W6DHS
El Dorado County Emergency Radio Service club
Location: Volcano, 45 miles east of Sacramento at 3300 ft, Shake Ridge Rd near Gold Creek Trail
Trustee: Greg Peralta, N6RDE, PO Box: 2175 Shingle Springs, CA 95682

144.9750/147.4750 K6MDD
Mt. Diablo D-Star club
Location: Mt. Diablo
Trustee: Tim Barrett, K6BIV, 160 Edgewater PL Pittsburg, CA 94565

145.0000/147.5000 W6CX
Mt. Diablo Amateur Radio Club
Location: Mt. Diablo
Trustee: Jay Caldis, KT6Y, 2890 Grande Camino Walnut Creek, CA 94598

145.0400/144.6400 K6ACS
Sonoma County Aux. Comm. Service club
Location: 2 miles north of Santa Rosa, Thomas Lake Harris Dr. near Paradise Ridge Winery
Trustee: Roger Sigtermans, KF6RWE, PO Box: 695 Windsor, CA 95492-0695

MotoTurbo:

(output/input)
144.9500/147.4500 W6UUU
Ham Operators Radio Kingdom club
Location: Mt. Diablo
Trustee: Gregory Forrest, N6LDJ, 2732 Camino Segura Pleasanton, CA 94566

144.9875/147.4875 W6TCP
Location: Mt Allison (East of Fremont)
Owner: Ian Parker, W6TCP, 2928 Lethbridge Ct Pleasanton, CA 94588

145.0125/147.5125 W6JMP
Location: 3676 Waldwick Cir., El Dorado Hills, CA 95762, 1300 ft
Owner: Gene Trasti, W6JMP


Contacting the FCC


Instances of interference should be documented and reported to the FCC for enforcement. And please let us know too, you aren't alone, there may well be others on the same channel experiencing the same thing. (See the list of NCPA officers here or if you're on the NCPA remailer, let us know there.)
The FCC will want to know that you contacted the responsible party first and tried to get them to stop interfering.

1) Contact the person responsible for the interference, (for a repeater, that's the owner or trustee).
Explain to them the type and manner of interference they are causing and ask them to stop. Document all contact. Usually one or two e-mails should get the point across. If you don't get a response, send it as a certified letter with return receipt. The receipt indicates they received it or refused it. Either way, this is proof that they were contacted. If they refuse the letter, that's evidence that they are not cooperating (a requirement of Part 97).

2) If the interference continues, contact the Amateur Radio Complaints Section of the FCC Enforcement Bureau, details can be found here. The current enforcement contact person is: Ms. Laura Smith.

Some general recommendations when contacting the FCC:
Contact them in writing; follow-up with a phone call.
Include details and documentation of each fact. For example, include copies of your correspondence with the person who is interfering.
Include URLs to band plans or other information that documents the factual validity of your claims. Since the interference is taking place in the middle packet segment of the 2 M band, it might help to note that the 2 M band plans on the NCPA web site and those on NARCC's web site both show 144.90-144.51 the same way. And furthermore, NARCC lists recognized individual repeater frequencies just as the NCPA lists packet frequencies. It would be worth noting that in the digital band plan, the middle digital segment is indicated as non-repeater.
Make recordings of the interference. Include a description of what's on the recording.
Be clear and concise. Don't make the FCC guess or assume what you mean.
Focus on the one person responsible. Each amateur is responsible for their own station.


last updated March 23, 2012

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