[Your phone number]
You may have wondered what the antennas on my property are all about. Amateur radio is my hobby. I use the antennas to talk to other amateurs around the world, mostly transmitting Morse code or speech and sometimes computer data on the amateur bands. I have enjoyed this fascinating hobby since [year], taking the technical exams to obtain my license from the authorities in [year].
While amateur radio is an enjoyable pastime and a fascinating way to teach myself electronic engineering, it also brings valuable benefits to the community. We have a rôle supporting the emergency services and Civil Defence. Amateur radio is sometimes the only available means of communicating urgent messages in times of civil emergency or natural disasters when the telephone and cellphone systems fail. Following the Christchurch earthquake last year, for example, radio amateurs were involved in gathering and passing on information, particularly in the period before the authorities established their own emergency communications infrastructure. We also get involved in searches for missing trampers, and offer radio support for events such as car rallies.
Sometimes, though, you may hear evidence of my activity on your telephone, television, stereo or computer. It is logical for you to assume that, since my transmissions are causing the problem, I can therefore change something to make the interference go away. I wish it were that easy!
My transmitter works on the amateur frequencies, not the bands used by your TV and radio, and fully complies with the regulations. Home entertainment equipment should be oblivious to radio transmissions outside the broadcast bands. Telephones and computers should not be affected by radio signals at all. Even cellphones, which are radio-based, use their own frequencies which are quite distinct from the amateur bands.
National regulations in New Zealand and other countries mandate that home entertainment equipment, telephones and other electronic equipment must be designed to filter out radio signals that are not intended for them. The Ministry of Economic Development (MED) states that "All electrical, electronic and radio products on sale or in use in New Zealand must comply with Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) standards, to minimise the risk of interference to the radio spectrum." Some equipment manufacturers, however, have been lax in their compliance. After a product is tested and approved for sale, they typically omit the filters from the finished goods in order to save literally just a few dollars per item. That may be a legitimate business decision but it goes against the regulations - and they know it. Unfortunately extra profit for them leads to customer complaints about interference from those few customers who live near radio stations, and sometimes from radio amateurs like me who receive interference from computers, power supplies and TV sets that clearly should not be transmitting.
I want to be able to operate my equipment normally without you even being aware of it, and vice versa. I am sorry if you are having an interference problem. If there was something I could do on my end to alleviate it, I would do it immediately. I am unable to fix your equipment personally because I cannot accept liability for making changes that should have been done by the supplier. However the government has published useful advice for consumers on how to locate and fix interference problems. Please see http://www.rsm.govt.nz/cms/consumers/reception-problems/fixing-your-interference/ or by all means ask me for a copy of that page. I would like to help you resolve any interference issues.
I'm truly sorry for any inconvenience or annoyance that interference might cause you. I would much prefer that the manufacturers had done the right thing from the outset. If they had, you could be talking on your phone, watching your TV, listening to your stereo or using your computer at the same time as I was operating my amateur radio equipment, and neither of us would have any impact on the other.
[Sign the letter]
[Print your name, and perhaps your callsign]