Here is a step by step guide on how I (Steve VK5SFA) remedied my QRM issues:
The most important advice is to be empathetic, polite and forthright. Put yourself in their shoes.
- Make contact with the occupants at a reasonable time by visiting in person.
- Introduce yourself and explain why you are there.
- Do your best to explain what is happening.
- Explain what the Amateur service is all about.
- Explain that there is a Government regulator (the ACMA) and that they do investigate interference complaints made by qualified Apparatus Licence holders.
- Indicate that you would much rather try to find an amicable solution to the interference issue by working directly with the occupant.
- Try to negotiate a quick test whereby they switch on and off their lights in a controlled manner whilst you monitor a receiver. (You must be 100% certain that the issue lies with the occupant before proceeding any further)
- Indicate that you may be prepared offer financial assistance to rectify the issue. (Now I understand that you, the reader might find this approach unpalatable. All I ask is; what value do you put on being able to enjoy your hobby? How much money have you already invested in your stations plant and equipment? For me, a few hundred dollars pales into insignificance, when it allows me to operate on H.F interference free)
- Offer the occupant advice and testing of any proposed new compliant luminaires. (The last thing you want to do is replace faulty LED light fittings with faulty LED light fittings. (In my case, the owner had purchased cheap LED downlights from an On Line seller. They were not compliant and radiated interference from 1MHz to 100MHz. He advised me that a few of them had already failed and he had replaced them with a LED light fitting purchased from a large hardware store chain. I obtained the make and model number of the LED light fitting and rang the Australian Distributor to enquire if they were in fact compliant and had R.F. interference suppression fitted. The Distributor was most helpful and knew exactly what I was talking about. On speculation, I purchased a new LED light fitting and tested it. No interference was present when switched on as you will see in the accompanying video clip.)
- Under no circumstances become involved with any remedy other than financial support. Only the occupant should purchase the agreed make and model of LED light fitting and have them fitted by a licenced electrician. Doing anything else could make you liable for any unseen, future catastrophic event. (In my case, 64 LED light fittings needed to be replaced. I negotiated a 50% – 50% share of the total cost with the occupant)
- Make sure you keep communicating with the occupant in a clear, courteous and professional manner.
- Don’t rush things or put undue pressure on the occupant. Slow and steady wins the race! (It took 7 weeks to resolve my issue)
I now enjoy interference free H.F. communications to short path Africa and long path North America. Well worth the effort in my opinion!
Courtesy Steve VK5SFA – Thanks Steve!