[AMRadio] A proposal to help curtail pirate radio broadcasters could affect hams

Donald Chester k4kyv at charter.net
Tue Jul 28 19:51:41 EDT 2015

The FCC chairman has suggested to Congress to pass a law making it illegal
to "aid and abet the carrying out of a pirate radio station". We need to
keep a close eye on this; it could make it more difficult for hams to
acquire discarded broadcast transmitters, studio equipment, parts and tubes
from radio stations. Depending on how such a law would be worded, station
owners and managers might become paranoid about letting hams have material
that would otherwise be hauled to the dump, out of fear that it could fall
into the hands of pirate broadcasters and be used for illegal purposes, and
the station owners held responsible.

We have already seen something similar happen because of over-reaction to
the alleged PCB hazard in transformers and capacitors. In one case a station
out west refused to let a ham have a  retired 1 kw transmitter or any parts
out of it. When the ham suggested that he remove the capacitors and leave
them behind for the station management to dispose of "properly", and let him
take the rest, the station owners still refused, out of fear that everything
inside the cabinet, including the 833A tubes, might somehow be tainted and
the feared EPA come down hard on the station.

This kind of nonsense could easily end up being extended to station owners
refusing to let hams have anything to be discarded by a broadcast station,
and who knows, the law could be written in a way as to prohibit such

>From the Radioworld website:

"...The FCC chairman also noted the challenges in clamping down on pirate
radio, comparing the search to a "game of Whac-A-Mole" where a pirate
station pops up, is closed down and then pops up somewhere else. "One thing
I encouraged in that letter is that Congress can also be helpful . by making
it illegal to aid and abet the carrying out [of a pirate radio station],"
Wheeler said. "We could use some additional authority [from Congress]..."

Rep. Collins requested that the FCC chairman provide suggested regulatory
language that would help the commission better crack down on pirate


Don k4kyv

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