ARRL Arizona Section

Solving Interference Problems

RFI Problems

Whether you are having problems with interference from or to electrical/electronic devices contact Carl Foster, KB7AZ Technical Coordinator. Remember, if you are dealing with a neighbor, tact and understanding will go a long way in getting cooperation. In addition, you may find it helpful to purchase the ARRL book, Radio Frequency Interference: How To Find It And Fix It. Also, a free pamphlet for the consumer is available from HQ, "What to do if you have an electronic interference problem."

Repeater-to-repeater QRM

These kinds of problems are best worked out between the repeater groups involved. While it is not illegal to have an uncoordinated repeater, the FCC rules [47CFR97.205(c)] give its trustees the primary responsibility for resolving any interference to coordinated repeaters. Each local area has long-established coordination bodies that volunteer their time and effort. In Arizona:

Intentional Interference

The ARRL Official Observers (OO), while mainly concerned with unintentional violations, are part of the Volunteer Monitor Program (VOLMON) which includes Local Interference Committees (LIC). The LICs are an important part of the Amateur Auxiliary to the FCC. Most LICs are formed locally on a case-to-case basis headed by an OO. The Auxiliary locates violators using FCC-approved radio direction finding (RDF) procedures and gathers evidence in a manner that facilitates enforcement. In addition to the national agreement between the ARRL and the FCC, most of our local sections have formal working agreements with the local FCC field office.

When encountering jamming NEVER REACT to it on the air. With the exception of turning off a repeater, deliberate interference and obscenity should be completely ignored. If the problem is a serious ongoing problem, make a log and report it to your Section Manager (see page 12 of QST). To register complaints directly to the FCC write to CIB (Attn: Amateur Radio Complaints), 1270 Fairfield Road, Gettysburg, PA 17325, or e-mail to

Non-amateur Intrusion

The volunteer group that deals with most non-amateur foreign stations that cause harmful interference within our bands is under the ARRL Monitoring System. After analysis, the most important intruders from outside the country are referred for further action to the Notification Branch of the FCC International Bureau.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

The ARRL ADR program is a substitute for settling problems by litigation. The program now supports mediation as well as arbitration. ADR offers are arranged through the office of the League's General Counsel and normally should lead to faster, less expensive and friendlier solutions. For more information, contact the Regulatory Information Department at HQ or the ARRL Web site