[RFI] LEDs et al

Dave Cole dave at nk7z.net
Sat Jul 2 10:05:39 EDT 2016

On Sat, 2016-07-02 at 04:13 -0400, HankP wrote:

> I can hardly wait until AZ passes their "Recreational Marijuana " law
> - they just presented 250K signatures on petitions to get it on ballot
> . Part of the law is that everyone is entitled to have 6 plants -
> Having suffered for several months with ONE grower behind me -
> resolved because he moved - I can just imagine how its gonna be when
> all the cheapest possible grow lights start appearing for the 6 plants
> . You can kiss 160 thru 80 goodbye and the really lousy ones go thru
> 15 meters . Hank K7HP


I had the same trepidations when Oregon did this...  There is however a
bright side to this, (pun intended), in that the price of Pot may crash,
and folks will stop growing from the garage, as it appears is now
happening here in Oregon...  If AZ follows OR in this, growing in your
garage will become much more difficult, and I assume, not as profitable,
as it is today.

Here is what I "think" happened in Oregon, this is a somewhat long post,
so bear with me please...

In the beginning, many people were growing for medical use in the
garage.  Relative to what is in place now, the state exercised no real
controls on growers.  

Based on RFI, and contact with people generating RFI, growers appeared
to be everywhere.  I had RFI all over, and most of it all centered on
homes, most with Garage windows blocked out, and most with HVAC units on
the side of the Garage.  

The state then "legalized" recreational use and growing, with that
legalization came a LOT of standards on quality and tracking.  Only
selected insecticide, an almost savant like need to count plants, take
notes, issue permits, perform inspections, and  then collect tax.  This
allowed anyone that "really" wanted to grow the ability to grow, and
they did, and are still growing today...  

What appears to be dozens of grow houses have popped up, (probably a lot
more), they are easy to spot if you know what you are looking for.  Lots
of HVAC, big service panels, barbed wire everywhere, all around an an
old warehouse, or recently vacated large business.  Couple that with an
HF radio, and you can locate one easily enough.  Most seem to be in
industrial areas now.

I am assuming that the big money growers don't want some Ham costing
them thousands of dollars in lighting, and FCC issues later, so for the
most part it appears they are doing their homework and putting in quiet
lights, and moving out of town into the industrial areas, at least it
appears that way when I point a 135 MHz. beam at them, or listen on 40
next to them.  Some are really quiet.

I have a handout I pass out to the sales shops here in town, outlining
what quiet lighting is, and how it will cost a grower if he/she is
located and has to replace all those expensive lights because of RFI.  

I know the info is in the hands of growers, as a few have asked about
lighting issues, based on that handout.  Yes-- it has a Google phone
number in it, which forwards to my phone...  That way, I can keep them
at arms length.  Anyway, back to my story...  

I am pretty sure the price of Pot here is crashing...  How do I know
this?  No...  I don't use, or buy pot, but every so often pick up a news
paper called "The Eugene Weekly", it is a liberal rag, and an
interesting read now and again.  Why did I get a copy of "The Eugene
Weekly", this time?

Niel Degrasse Tyson was coming to Eugene, so I grabbed a Eugene Weekly
as they covered it in much more detail than the other liberal paper here
in town.  In that edition of Eugene Weekly, there was clear evidence of
a price war starting up, Pot ads everywhere, (like 10 or 20 of them),
all claiming to have the lowest price, and best product...  One ad even
asked users to travel out of the city to a country shop because the
price of Pot is cheaper in the country...  

So as the price of pot falls, (and surly it must fall with so many new
growers and shops in the area), the garage growers appear to be leaving
the growers market, maybe they are just purchasing their Pot now, or
maybe there is no money in it anymore due to all the regulations, in any
case I don't care as long as the RFI levels continue to drop.

If this trend continues, this bodes well for Oregon, and maybe for
Arizona as well.  If you have any input of any kind, vote, talk to, and
in general push for the most regulated Pot environment you can...  

In Eugene, my RFI noise levels have actually dropped since the day Pot
became legal, literally the day it became legal a known RFI source just
quit, that day!

I am having to hunt RFI far less now as well...  At least one assumed
grow site is no longer generating RFI, (I was intending on contacting
them, but no need now), so I assume he has shut down.  A second assumed
site seems to have gone dark as well...  

Ten years ago, my RFI noise levels were around S4, or 5.  Two years ago,
they were around S7 or 8, now they are S5, all on the same antenna, and
same rig...

What changed?  Active RFI hunting, legalization of Pot for recreational
use, and an aggressive campaign to inform the growers that RFI will not
be tolerated, and if found and not corrected, (after a good faith effort
on my part to be fair and decent about it), will be turned over the FCC
for enforcement.  That, and a written handout informing the grower that
I can, and probably will, inform the property owner, and any FEDERAL, (I
try and use the word FEDERAL a lot), agency that can help me reduce RFI,
if this issue is not corrected, pretty well ends most issues, without
calling the FCC.

I have been told that the area now has a reputation for having,
"militant hams" when it comes to RFI, so I know the campaign is working.
I now hunt less, the "Whack-A-Mole" game I used to play with growers is
no longer happening, and my noise levels are dropping, all since Pot
became "legal" in Oregon...

Get your clubs involved now, don't wait, try and get RFI protection
written into the AZ laws.  I was unable to do this in Oregon, as I had
some personal health issues pop up, (heart problem took priority), that
took all of my time when this was happening here...  Let the lighting
shops in your area know that Part 15 lights are for homes only, let them
know what RFI is.  Most have never heard of it.  

Tell the shops that you will tell every single person you locate that is
generating RFI to take the lights back to the sellers and demand a
refund.  Mention recalls, etc...  

Of course in all of this I am nice, polite, and I never tell them they
are wrong, or can't do anything, I just tell them what I will do if we
don't correct the RFI issue...  

Kindness really helps, just explaining the RFI issue to a grower will
normally get the issue fixed.  I never get mad, or demanding...  I don't
want to turn them in, I just want my RFI ended.  I guess the gist of
this is, get your clubs involved now if you can, be proactive, not


73's, and thanks,
Dave (NK7Z)
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