Florida Man Cited by FCC for Noisy Well Pump
is an interesting story where the FCC issued a citation of violation
incidental radiation due to a malfunctioning well pump. The noise
was evidently being generated by the motor and radiated from the AC
power wires. The interference was affecting local MF and HF amateur
radio operation. FCC investigators used direction finding equipment
to locate the source ('fox hunting' in Ham terms).
The owner was threatened with a $16,000 fine unless corrected immediately,
with up to $112,500 levied if he screwed around. Replacing the AC line
filter did not solve the problem, so he probably ended up replacing
the entire pump. Being in Florida where the water tables are typically
near the surface, it was likely not a submersible type pump, so the
entire assembly would have had the opportunity to radiate. Submersible
pumps use brushless induction motors deep within the metal casing lining
the well hole (a nearly ideal RF shield),
but depending on the vintage of the resident's above-ground pump it
could be brushed, with arcing causing the problem.
Posted June 2013
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