Radio Wave Interference and Electrical Device Malfunctioning
If you are experiencing any malfunctioning of electronic equipment, it may be due to blanketing interference issues related to the operation of Salem/Inspiration Media/KKOL(1300 AM) radio broadcasting from the radio towers in the North Madison/Manitou area.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 660-7141 so the station can address the issue and try to identify the source of the problem. If the issue is determined to be caused by KKOL(AM) blanketing interference the station will assist you in resolving the problem. The costs associated with mitigating interference are borne by Salem/Inspiration. Additional reporting can be sent to the unofficial resident neighborhood reporting group: BainbridgeKKOL@gmail.com.
Examples of reported incidents from Bainbridge Island residents are below. You may experience these or other interference incidents.
- Electronic equipment malfunctioning, e.g. computers, monitors, speakers.
- Computer’s menu bar flashing, text characters dropping out when you type, text characters being added that you didn’t type, email sent without pressing send, crashes, corruption, etc.
- Monitors flashing, distortion
- Speakers picking up KKOL AM radio
- Video calls being dropped or frozen
- HVAC systems
- Electric ovens
- Electric car chargers
- Electric garage doors
- Degraded internet speeds
- Blown electrical fuses
- Smart Home devices
- Cell phone coverage limitations
- Telephone landline voices, music, line noise
- Home and office security systems
On November 18, 2022 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted Inspiration Media (Salem Media) their broadcast license renewal subject to conditions. One of those conditions is:
“….remediating blanketing interference to any electronic device attributable to KKOL’s operation, including, if necessary, installing RF filters, cables, or replacement devices. These conditions will be in effect for as long as KKOL broadcasts from the Bainbridge Island Site. Failure to meet these conditions may result in additional enforcement measures, including, but not limited to, suspension of the Station’s authority to operate.”
The City of Bainbridge Island and the station have provided the following answers to some Frequently Asked Questions regarding blanketing interference and KKOL.
Why is this occurring?
In mid-2019, Salem/Inspiration Media/KKOL raised their transmission rate from 3,000 watts to 50,000 watts. In November of 2022, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ordered Salem/Inspiration Media/KKOL to lower their transmission from 50,000 watts to 35,000 watts due to complaints regarding blanketing interference from Bainbridge residents. They are licensed to operate at 35,000 watts until the next renewal period in 2027. Interference may be caused by KKOL (AM) radio broadcasting at 35,000 watts during the day and 3,000 watts after sunset.
What is blanketing interference?
Broadcast facilities produce radiofrequency (RF) fields designed to cast a signal over a large area to provide the radio service that has been part of the expected public service and broadcasting business for the last 100 years. If your location is close to a radio station’s transmitting antenna, electronic devices capable of picking up the signal may experience interference. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has requirements for dealing with this “blanketing interference,” which typically only occurs within a certain distance from a station’s transmitter site in an area known as the “blanketing contour.” Below is a map of KKOL’s blanketing contour.
At what power level is KKOL currently operating?
During the daytime (from sunrise to sunset), the Station operates at 35kW, a lower power level than that previously authorized for the station. From sunset to sunrise, the Station operates at 3.2kW.
How do I know if what I’m experiencing is blanketing interference caused by KKOL?
Blanketing interference may cause disruption to electronic devices and to radio frequency devices, which may include television receivers, antennas, AM, FM, and shortwave radios, certain stereo and home theater equipment, intercoms or other devices with an RF receiver (see list above for additional devices). If you live outside of KKOL’s blanketing contour, it is highly unlikely that any problems you have with your electronic device are related to blanketing interference caused by KKOL.
In the first instance, to diagnose whether your disruption is caused by blanketing interference, we recommend that you do some troubleshooting. Do you experience the same disruption during both daytime and evening hours? If not, the problems you are experiencing are not likely caused by KKOL blanketing interference, as the station’s power levels are turned down low to 3.2kW when the sun sets until sunrise. If the disruption occurs only during the daytime, then it is possible the cause is blanketing interference from KKOL.
Check whether all your power cords and cable plugs are plugged in. Our station engineers called upon to resolve blanketing interference complaints often find the problems are actually caused by power cords or cables not being plugged in all the way, or electronic systems not being installed or configured properly.
If you are still experiencing problems with your electronic devices and systems and believe the disruption may be caused by blanketing interference from KKOL, please contact us as described below. In this day and age, there are complex electro-mechanicals systems which can be subject to any number of design flaws, software bugs, and electrical malfunctions that are not the result of elevated RF fields within the blanketing contour. Nonetheless, KKOL is committed to diagnosing and resolving, within our reasonable expertise, problems caused by blanketing interference.
What are the most common solutions to problems caused by blanketing interference?
The primary means of resolving blanketing interference is through the use of RF filters or chokes to prevent RF energy from entering the circuitry of the equipment. An RF choke is an inexpensive ferrite ring that can be clipped around a cable, or wrapped within the cable, to help disperse excess RF energy and prevent the cable from acting as an antenna. In some cases, a more advanced RF filter—or certain equipment that is better designed to operate in a stronger RF environment—may be appropriate. Sometimes, a combination of filters and ferrite devices are necessary to eliminate blanketing interference to the device.
The costs associated with mitigating blanketing interference are borne by Salem/Inspiration.
How do I report a potential blanketing interference issue in my home?
KKOL has set up a dedicated email address and phone number specifically to address potential blanketing interference issues. If you believe that you are experiencing blanketing interference caused by KKOL, we encourage you to contact the station at email@example.com or (206) 660-7141. We will respond promptly and may ask you additional questions to assist us with diagnosing the issue. As appropriate, we will schedule a visit to your home or place of business at a mutually convenient day and time to assess potential blanketing interference issues.