FCC News: Man Fined $7,000, Spread Spectrum Rules Revised

The ARRL Letter, a weekly e-mail newsletter from the ARRL, reported this week on two actions by the FCC. In one case, a CB radio operator is fined $7,000 by the FCC for refusing to allow them to inspect his station. The second item is a rule change that allows amateurs to use higher power from spread-spectrum communications.

CBer Fined $7,000
One of the questions on the Tech test reads, “When must the station licensee make the station and its records available for FCC inspection?” The answer: “Any time upon request by an FCC representative.” When I discuss this question, I always joke that I’ve never heard of the FCC requesting an inspection. That’s no longer the case.

The FCC not only requested an inspection of a Merced, CA man’s CB station, but fined him $7,000 when he twice refused to let them do it. Not too smart, unless he was trying to hide other stuff that would have gotten him into even more trouble.

FCC Changes Spread-Spectrum Rules
In a Report and Order released March 4, 2011, the Federal Communications Commission has eliminated the requirement that amateur stations transmitting Spread Spectrum use Automatic Power Control (APC) to reduce transmitter power. At the same time, the Commission has reduced the maximum power of a Spread Spectrum emission from 100 W PEP to 10 W PEP.

This should make it easier for hams to experiment with spread-spectrum techniques. I’ll look forward to seeing a QST or QEX article on this topic sometime soon.


  1. Since the CB doesn’t require a license, what obligates the operator to submit to what is ostensibly a search without a warrant?

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