Regulations

The Regulations governing RF electrical compliance standards are complex and often not well understood; not just by we radio amateurs, but also by regulators, manufacturers, importers, wholesalers and retailers.  You could say it’s a bit of a minefield.

The regulations and their application are clearly inadequate in protecting many end-users; notably radio amateurs.

ACMA publish a comprehensive explanation of their Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) requirements here:

https://www.acma.gov.au/Industry/Suppliers/Regulatory-arrangements/EMC-Electromagnetic-compatibility/emc-regulatory-arrangements

To quote ACMA:

The objective of the arrangements is to minimise the risk of unintentional electromagnetic interference from products which may affect the performance of other electrical products or disrupt radiocommunications services.

Whilst this regulatory regime does appear robust, the reality for amateurs is that ACMA are not going to proactively enforce the replacement of your neighbour’s noisy LED globes….

Amateurs need to be, above all, self-reliant.

ACMA interference management

The ACMA policy on compliance may be found here:

https://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/About/Corporate/Responsibilities/compliance-enforcement-policy

ACMA have lost many field technical staff (“Radio Inspectors”).  Thus, they are forced to prioritise interference management regulatory enforcement.  Interference impacting on safety of life services – maritime and aviation – is the highest priority, followed by commercial services such as mobile telephones, land mobile networks and broadcasting.

Amateur Radio is, in all reality, at the bottom of the list.  So, we have to do much of the technical work ourselves.

Much of this online resource is dedicated to helping radio amateurs help themselves.

Television & Broadcast Radio Interference (TVI & BCI)

Not only does digital TV deliver great pictures, it is much more resistant to interference than the old analogue system.  The chances of the average amateur causing the dreaded TVI are much reduced.

ACMA have developed a guide for managing TVI and BCI:

https://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/ACMAi/Complaints/Interference-and-reception-complaints

https://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/ACMAi/Complaints/Interference-and-reception-complaints/to-resolve-radio-and-tv-reception-affected-by-amateur-and-cb-radio-acma

Intruders

Broadly, there are two types of “intruders” that cause interference on amateur bands:

  • unlicenced, or “pirate” stations; and
  • licenced amateurs deliberately interfering with another amateur station.

Unlicenced stations are dealt with by the Intruder Watch service.  More information here:

http://vkradioamateurs.org/intruder-watch-service/

Dealing with amateur-amateur interference is the responsibility of the ACMA.   Amateurs suffering from this type of inference should keep a log of the problems. Recordings are also very useful.

The complaint form may be found here:

https://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/ACMAi/Complaints/Interference-and-reception-complaints/to-make-a-report-or-complaint-about-interference