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[RFI] Neon Light Interference

To: <rfi@contesting.com>
Subject: [RFI] Neon Light Interference
From: eedwards@oppd.com (EDWARDS, EDDIE J)
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2002 09:11:45 -0600
Hi Stephanie,

There are a couple of things you should try.

First, have you had the local power company involved at any stage during
the noise search?  (your story sounds familiar so if I've already said
all this before, sorry)  If you have a good working relationship with
their RFI person, then perhaps a short visit from the power company
explaining the owners responsibilities under Part 15 will get some
cooperation.  It helps to have copies of the appropriate sections from
Part 15.  I know we've done this on occasion where I work here in
Nebraska.  (Might be partly why J.D. Powers rated us #1 in customer
satisfaction last year?  Although our low rates probably have more
impact! ;^)

Another option might be a letter from the Skywarn Coordinator (noticed
you are the AC), or the PR rep, or someone in that capacity who, as the
rep for a local civic volunteer group, is asking for the owner to
cooperate in resolving this matter to avoid the possibility that the
neon sign might cause interference to a skywarn spotter or even
police/fire/rescue agency resulting in loss of property or life.  (any
nearby watchpoints?  And do you even get tornados up there?:-)  This is
not a big stretch, especially if you are an ignorant pizza parlor owner.
The letter could be co-signed by the head of your local National Weather
Svc office or maybe a county EMA official.  This should carry quite a
bit of weight.  

If the preceding still fails to get any cooperation, then I'd finally
call someone in the TV media offering them an exclusive story relating
to weather and public safety.  Explain that the owner has ignored all
requests (providing copies) to resolve the radio interference issue
placing the community at risk for both a weather incident and possibly a
fire/rescue/police interference incident!  (What if someone has a heart
attack or chokes in the restaurant and the rescue personnel's radios
won't function properly when calling in the vital info?)  No owner of a
business wants this kind of bad publicity out there.  I'm sure the owner
would change their mind after being contacted by the press for their
side of the story, which will be hard to explain why they ignored the
earlier requests from the power company, the NWS and the local county
EMA officials!  

I'd save that last step for the last resort of course.  Good luck, and
remember to stay professional in all contact and correspondence.  Make
no threats.  Simply educate the owner about what his duties are and let
him make the decision whether to act or not at each step.  Inaction will
cetainly look bad for the owner.

de ed -K0iL
-.-. --.-  -.-. --.-  -.. .  -.- ----- .. .-..  .-.-.  -.-
Ed Edwards
2-Way & Paging Systems
Omaha Public Power District   
Omaha, NE
--... ...--  . ...  --. .-..  - ---  ..-  --- --  ...-.- . .

> -----Original Message-----
> From: rfi-admin@contesting.com [SMTP:rfi-admin@contesting.com] On
> Behalf Of Stephanie WX3K
> Sent: Tuesday, 12 February, 2002 7:55 PM
> To:   rfi@contesting.com
> Subject:      [RFI] Neon Light Interference
> All,
> I have had this neon light interference problem since I moved here 6
> years ago. A pizza place about 1/4 mile away has outside neon lighting
> on their building. Unfortunately, The place has changed owners at
> least 4 times since then. Every owner has been unwilling to cooperate.
> Actually, I think I discouraged the last owner by complaining about it
> and shortly after that the place changed hands again. 
> In any event, The Langhorne office of the FCC did receive a formal
> complaint about it from me, but has not resolved the issue. Since I
> have been active again on the low bands, more so than past years, I
> want to pursue this issue again but I want some advice about the
> following:
> 1) Recommendations from an experienced neon lighting installer who
> understands why these two displays of neon (totaling about 50-75 feet
> of lighted neon) oscillate so badly as to cause interference from 3.5
> through 50 MHz !!!!!!!
> 2) Any volunteers that may want to offer services to resolve this
> problem with the lighting. ?
> I would like to have one additional person to approach this place with
> and perhaps make one last attempt to ask the new owner to resolve it.
> I have always been very diplomatic and cordial in the past but that
> does not go very far when the owners are ignorant to begin with.
> It really does not  make sense to force the FCC to resolve the issue
> when there are no educated neon installer in the area to fix the
> problem. The original installer created the problem and as I
> understand the problem from other neon folks, the display is
> oscillating because the HV transformers are not loaded properly with
> the right amount of lighting. (Transformers used have too high a
> voltage for the amount of lighting used)
> Please dont ask me how I know if this is the problem. I have done
> extensive DF work and spent many hours searching for RFI around my
> house and this neon display is one of the last significant sources of
> RFI I need to resolve. 
> Stephanie R. Koles WX3K
> wx3k@arrl.net
> http://www.qsl.net/wx3k
> Assistant Skywarn Coordinator Somerset County, NJ
> Mt. Holly Skywarn Technical Committee Vice Chair

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