“I’m Getting Interference”. What do I do?

do-i-need-an-fcc-license

Have you ever had a customer call and say something like, “That new system is working great, but whenever we are over in a certain part of town, we keep getting interference”? I think most of you have heard some variation of that. So, what do you do? You may call a consultant or spend a lot of time on the FCC Site trying to figure it out.

An unfortunate reality in our business is that there are alot of people who don’t license their frequencies at all. They buy some two-way radios off the web, turn them on, and they never even consider the fact that they need to license them. I mention this because NO database search that I’m aware of is going to find these people. But, here’s a way to quickly find the LICENSED users that may be causing your customer’s interference.

Run a WRRonline Co-channel Search

If you have an account with us, simply login and go to the Custom Search Screen. (I’ll be glad to run one of these for you even if you aren’t currently a customer). You only need to enter two criteria for this search. First, we need to know approximately where the interference is occurring, and second, we need to know the frequency (or frequencies) involved.

Get the Coordinates of your Search Area

  • If it’s at a customer’s site location, you can enter the Callsign and we will lookup the coordinates of their sites. Enter the callsign in the field called “Find Lat/Long by Zip, Callsign, or Postal Code”.
  • If you have the specific coordinates, you can enter them in the Lat and Long fields (right in the center of the screen). Enter Latitude as ddmmss and Longitude as dddmmss with no dashes, no decimals, and no “N”, “S”, “E”, or “W” characters.
  • If you want to use the post office building as your center point, you can simply enter a zip code (or Canadian Postal Code) in that field mentioned above called “Find Lat/Long by Zip, Callsign, or Postal Code”.

Enter the Radius

  • Enter the number of Miles or Kilometers you want to Search in the field called “Radius”.
  • Choose from the dropdown if you want to use “Miles” or “Kilometers”.

Run the Search

You are now ready to run the search. Just click the Big Green Search Arrow (in the lower-right corner of your search). This will open a new Tab in your browser called WRRonline Results”. If any results were found, they will be listed in what we call the Summary View (A View is just a specific List of Fields). This view is nice to review the various organizations that are sharing the frequency you searched. Notice that some have an ACTIVE FCC License, while other licenses are Expired, Cancelled, etc. While this screen is nice to review, it doesn’t really show us the details we need, so…

  • In the upper-right corner of the screen, change from Summary View to Detailed View”.
  • Now the data refreshes in the detailed view sorted by Frequency and then Distance, with the closest one first. Your customer’s license show be near the top since you were trying to use their location as your “Ground Zero”.
  • All the other entries are your “Co-Channels”, but the ones that are not ACTIVE, are not authorized. You may see someone close by that had a license but it expired last year! You can drill into their license to get more details by clicking on the “View Details” link in the left column.

Print or Download the Results

You can click the “Print” link in the upper-right of the screen to send these results directly to your printer (or create a PDF). Or, you can click the Download button to get these results into Excel. Different browsers handle the download option slightly different. If you are asked to Open or Save, select Open. You’ll see three files (a readme.txt file and two data files). Open the file with the word EXCEL in it. Note that this is a .csv file, so it will open in Excel (or whatever spreadsheet program you use), and you will need to do a Save/As to save it as a .XLSX or whatever you typically use.

Watch a Video of This!

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