Need Suggestions On Degrading Single FM Station

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Need Suggestions On Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:07 pm

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Last edited by The Egg on Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Need Suggestions On Jamming/Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:19 pm

Google?

I'd settle for a jammer that blankets the entire spectrum and enjoy the silence.
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Re: Need Suggestions On Jamming/Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:23 pm

First, make sure that the people you're dealing with have a sense of humor. Deliberately jamming the station for your own benefit could be a violation of workplace policy, FCC rules, and who knows what else, if the premises owner does not approve of the interference.

Second, what you need is a full-range tunable FM transmitter. They do exist, although for your power requirements, they usually have to be purchased as kits, since the assembled unit would probably not conform with FCC rules regarding radio devices produced for commercial resale. If you can use a soldering iron, you can build one of these. However, if the kit uses a digital tuner (rather than analog), make sure the kit can tune in 1/100 increments (98.00, 98.05, 98.10, etc.). The station's broadcast signal is usually powerful enough to bleed across the target frequency plus or minus a fraction, which means any radio can receive it regardless of a slight mismatch in the tuning frequency, but your personal transmitter might not be so lucky. So fine-tuning capability is essential.

Door #2, assuming you don't have to interact with other people too often, is to simply get noise-blocking in-ear headphones and listen to your own radio or mp3s. A friend of mine got some of these while in grad school because both the shared grad student office and the research laboratory tended to get annoyingly loud at times, albeit for somewhat different reasons.
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Re: Need Suggestions On Jamming/Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:21 pm

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Re: Need Suggestions On Jamming/Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:35 pm

This may be my hill-billy attitude speaking, so take it more as sarcasm or just very very bad advice. EMP(electro-magnetic pulse) will probably take out the radio equipment and pretty much everything else in the area, or just get a really big hammer and smash the radio to pieces. Now I suddenly picture Garth from Wayne's World. :D
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Re: Need Suggestions On Jamming/Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:07 pm

This (joke. joke?)idea depends on them having a radio with an analog tuner (dial or scale), but...

1.) sneak in when no one's around and open up the radio - adjust or otherwise recalibrate the pot behind the dial or the slider mechanism.
2.) get an FM transmitter, tune it to a station that is actually on the scale at the spot where the offensive station is indicated to be on your modified radio.
3.) ???
4.) profit
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Re: Need Suggestions On Jamming/Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:10 pm

Awesome plan--right up to the point where they figure out that the station streams their broadcast on their Web site.
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Re: Need Suggestions On Jamming/Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:30 pm

Personally, I'm going to go on record and saying I think this is a bad idea.

Also personally, I'm going to say that I sympathize, because there are a lot of radio stations/shows that I hate, and I do hate it when someone is playing a radio station so loud with no regard to the others who can hear it. I also happen to love quite a few radio station, and would be very upset if someone consistently messed with my listening of it, let alone made it impossible/impractical for me to listen to it.

OK, I know you didn't come here for a morality lecture so I'll try to keep my dissenting points focused:

- Everything I'm reading about this particular attempt seems to point to an attempt at reaching a long term solution through subterfuge.:
    1. You want to force them to change it by making something assumed to be freely available to them "technically unavailable" to them.
    2. You are trying to be discrete because you do not want to be caught.
    3. "This is a very easy going workplace" leads me to believe that you feel OK because the consequences of getting caught are small (as opposed to its ok because such a technical solution is within your rights)
    4. "Never blame me for it" tells me this is a key motivator for choosing this course of action (see pt. 2)
    5. "Very unsavvy" leads me to believe that you want to perpetuate this situation by taking advantage of their lack of technical understanding, rather than through their consent.


Granted, if this were a war, I'd say these are all very good reasons to choose a particular course of action against an opponent. In a work place, however, where a degree of professionalism and personal integrity are expected components of the environment, I think you're burning your credit with an action like this, however clever and technically awesome it may be.

I'm not going to go so far as to say it'll make you a bad person, I don't know enough of you to make that judgement, but I think this is a poor way to go. And that's not even considering all the FCC regulations, laws and workplace rules about creating intentional interference, and other gotchas that could land you in actual hot water.


Honestly, if you're having trouble with this, instead of changing the radio station unilaterally, you need to raise the issue to HR, or management, and find an "in channel" way (scrum meeting, pow-wow, something) to find a solution all parties can (or at the very least, must) agree to. If this cant be done, then as much as you may like to work at that company, I'm going to say that you have a hostile work environment and need to find a way to relocate your position, or your career.
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Re: Need Suggestions On Jamming/Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:36 pm

Bad idea!

You need to be communicating to the person or your/their superiors rather than applying unilateral force. It is quite possible that the working environment is not for you and you need to seek employment elsewhere where you are not tempted to do illegal acts to manipulate people to your way.
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Re: Need Suggestions On Jamming/Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:52 pm

Moral/legal concerns aside, even a very low power transmitter should be sufficient for this task if you can hide it sufficiently close to the receiver. Maybe above a drop ceiling, or directly underneath the receiver but one floor down (if the office spans multiple floors)?
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Re: Need Suggestions On Jamming/Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:26 pm

i think your plan is awesome.

let us know how it goes.
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Re: Need Suggestions On Jamming/Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:46 pm

If you are going to the trouble of placing a hidden transmitter, why not transmit some subliminal (or not so subliminal) messages?

<radio>
blahblahblahwahwahwahEgglickisgreatblahblahblahwahwahwahAllhailEgglickblahblahblahwahwahwah
</radio>
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Re: Need Suggestions On Jamming/Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:47 pm

So I'm sure this does cross some FCC rules and I would definitely agree that diplomacy with your coworkers is your best option. With that out of the way I would say get your hands on a transmitter, but rather than static (which I think will lead to them working even harder to construct a tinfoil and clothes hanger antenna to attempt to receive the broadcast at which time they might get a very staticky signal which they will now have to play even louder to hear) I would re-transmit a station that you enjoy on the station you don't likes frequency. That way, they'll tune over to the "bad" station and the station you like will come in crystal clear (in theory). That should leave them confused, but rather than them trying to get a better signal, you'll just get to listen to what you want anyways. For fun, you could even change the re-transmitted station at night to really mess with their heads.

And now for something completely different - maybe you could come up with something like a Pandora station that you can all add-in some music of your taste to get an eclectic mix that everyone can tolerate. Maybe, just maybe, there's someone in your office that feels the same way about the station you like and rush over to change it as soon as you do. Again, I think diplomacy might be the best solution, but maybe a little prank can start that dialogue. Heck, you even re-use that transmitter to broadcast your own little office station from Pandora and people could use their radios to either (1) Listen to that at a reasonable level or (2) listen to nothing at all.
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Re: Need Suggestions On Jamming/Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:19 pm

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Re: Need Suggestions On Jamming/Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:06 pm

all i can say is that as a young buck i worked in a warehouse where this was done, but with tom leykis. like him or not (i am not a fan) he is polarizing. it was a very bad part of that job.
perhaps those that are being too judgemental know little of the situations that arise in small businesses. what if the 'hr director/receptionist/owner's daughter' isn't exactly sympathetic or worse is one of the offenders. very, very tough to prove a case through OSHA especially if the rest of the floor would take a side against yours.

i'm still not condoning this exactly, but it's like some of you guys have no sympathy whatsoever.
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Re: Need Suggestions On Jamming/Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:02 pm

I think you might get more info at a HAM operators forum, then again they might be even more protective of their info if they think it will be used for unlawful purposes.

I understand your situation with the coworkers, simply trying to voice your dislike no matter how tasteful can make you the black sheep in a heart beat.

I'm all for jamming them, if you can afford it and avoid the hassle of the US Government wanting to know why you want it, the Warlock should take care of your needs.

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Re: Need Suggestions On Jamming/Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:11 pm

Put together a Ramsey Electronics FM25 electronic kit. Not too hard... simply re-transmit a station you like our stream content everyone likes without the crud that drives you nuts. Maybe it would be appreciated more if you transmitted your own content on an open channel with your co-workers in mind. Then everyone is happy.
Yes, signal level will be high, and purposefully jamming signals is quite illegal, but it is done more often than assumed by neighbors in apartment complexes etc. Clear-channel, include your co-workers, then I think your chances are much better at favorable results.
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Re: Need Suggestions On Jamming/Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:22 pm

A quick check on google "FM jammers" will get you a bunch of cheap solutions.
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Re: Need Suggestions On Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:17 pm

Well, if you want them to stop playing the radio station... The legal solution:

It is essentially illegal to play a radio in a business setting, especially if they're retransmitting the station across a PA system, even more so if it's in a public area where you have customers in the business. The broadcast is a performance and rebroadcasting that performance without the permission of the station can get the business owners in some trouble. They have to pay royalties and license fees to do so. You know that disclaimer on movies shown in the first few minutes of the opening credits, where it says, this movie is released for private viewing only, it is not to be used in public exhibitions? Same thing.

So, that's one way to get them to stop playing that station. Either bring the legal issues to their attention; or, quietly let the station know the business is re-broadcasting their channel in a public setting.
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Re: Need Suggestions On Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:29 pm

Heh... and all this time I thought the RIAA/MPAA/ASCAP/BMI (pick your least favorite entertainment industry trade group acronym) could never be a force for good! :lol:

(Actually... while legal, this strategy could be personally risky. If your employer gets fined, and it ever comes out that you were responsible, things might not go well for you!)
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Re: Need Suggestions On Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:17 am

mnecaise wrote:Well, if you want them to stop playing the radio station... The legal solution:

It is essentially illegal to play a radio in a business setting, especially if they're retransmitting the station across a PA system, even more so if it's in a public area where you have customers in the business. The broadcast is a performance and rebroadcasting that performance without the permission of the station can get the business owners in some trouble. They have to pay royalties and license fees to do so. You know that disclaimer on movies shown in the first few minutes of the opening credits, where it says, this movie is released for private viewing only, it is not to be used in public exhibitions? Same thing.

So, that's one way to get them to stop playing that station. Either bring the legal issues to their attention; or, quietly let the station know the business is re-broadcasting their channel in a public setting.


That's the biggest bunch of hogwash I've read in a while.
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Re: Need Suggestions On Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:23 am

Vrock wrote:That's the biggest bunch of hogwash I've read in a while.

I totally agree that the rules are hogwash. But people have indeed been hauled into court and/or fined for playing music in a "public" area without proper licensing. There was a local restaurant here that got into trouble a few years ago over this...

The only factual error I'm aware of in that post is that he'd actually need to get in touch with ASCAP (or the local equivalent if he's outside the US), not the radio station. The radio station won't give a crap, since they're not the ones who aren't getting paid.
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Re: Need Suggestions On Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:27 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Vrock wrote:That's the biggest bunch of hogwash I've read in a while.

I totally agree that the rules are hogwash. But people have indeed been hauled into court and/or fined for playing music in a "public" area without proper licensing. There was a local restaurant here that got into trouble a few years ago over this...
So, I'd say that's extremely rare. Otherwise every sports bar in America would be out of business. I've even heard legal opinion (on NPR, of all places) supporting this practice. So long as the sole draw of the business/advertisement isn't to listen to the music or "see the big game", then they're good.
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Re: Need Suggestions On Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:39 pm

Vrock wrote:So, I'd say that's extremely rare. Otherwise every sports bar in America would be out of business. I've even heard legal opinion (on NPR, of all places) supporting this practice. So long as the sole draw of the business/advertisement isn't to listen to the music or "see the big game", then they're good.

My understanding is that most bars/restaurants are already paying this "tax" if they play music that is audible to their customers.

ASCAP even has lawyers that go around shaking down (legally!) bars where local bands play COVERS of licensed tunes, to ensure ASCAP gets their cut.
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Re: Need Suggestions On Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:50 pm

mnecaise wrote:Well, if you want them to stop playing the radio station... The legal solution:

It is essentially illegal to play a radio in a business setting, especially if they're retransmitting the station across a PA system, even more so if it's in a public area where you have customers in the business. The broadcast is a performance and rebroadcasting that performance without the permission of the station can get the business owners in some trouble. They have to pay royalties and license fees to do so. You know that disclaimer on movies shown in the first few minutes of the opening credits, where it says, this movie is released for private viewing only, it is not to be used in public exhibitions? Same thing.

So, that's one way to get them to stop playing that station. Either bring the legal issues to their attention; or, quietly let the station know the business is re-broadcasting their channel in a public setting.

Do you have a legal reference for this? I was under the impression that the licensing fees paid by an over-the-air station cover the playback of the station anywhere that it can be received.

Obviously that's not going to be true for your personal CD or mp3 collection, live cover performance, etc. as those media formats are usually not licensed for commercial or public rebroadcasting.
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Re: Need Suggestions On Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:11 pm

OK, to end the speculation, I went and looked it up. From the FAQ at BMI:
BMI wrote:Q: Aren't TV, Cable, And Radio Stations Already Licensed with BMI?

They are, however, those agreements do not authorize the performance of such TV, cable, and radio to the public by businesses and other organizations.

Public performances of radio and TV are specifically addressed in Title 17, Section 110(5)(B) of the U.S. copyright law which states that any food service or drinking establishment that is 3750 square feet or larger, or any other establishment, other than a food service or drinking establishment, that is 2000 square feet or larger, must secure public performance rights for TVs or radios if any of the following conditions apply:

• For TV, if the business is using:
more than four TVs; or
more than one TV in any one room; or
if any of the TVs used has a diagonal screen size greater than 55 inches; or
if any audio portion of the audiovisual performance is communicated by means of more than six loudspeakers, or four loudspeakers in any one room or adjoining outdoor space; or
if there is any cover charge.

• For radio, if the business is using:
more than six loudspeakers; or
more than four loudspeakers in any one room or adjoining outdoor space; or
if there is any cover charge; or
music on hold.

So it would appear that as long as the radio in question is not connected to more than four speakers, or the business occupies less than 2000 square feet in area, they are not in violation of the radio station's performance license.
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Re: Need Suggestions On Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:24 am

just brew it! wrote:So it would appear that as long as the radio in question is not connected to more than four speakers, or the business occupies less than 2000 square feet in area, they are not in violation of the radio station's performance license.

Thanks. I tired some Goo-fu but got nowhere in three tries.
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Re: Need Suggestions On Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:20 am

Old skool bosses don't like when you try to strong arm them... If you go up to them and offer them a ultimatum of either changing the station or being turned over the MPAA for copyright infringement you can kiss your job goodbye. Worse they might be the type that simply starts to screw with you because they don't like you anymore and it then becomes a 'pick on this worker' type ordeal.

People are jerks. Diplomacy while it sounds great and everything doesn't work for every type of setting. Some people have absolutely zero concern or tolerance for others and they show it. You can kindly ask them to change the station or turn it down, but when it always results in the same thing you really have to start taking a look at other courses of action. I know a lot of old blood bosses act the same way. They're at the top, they get to do whatever they want, and it really doesn't matter if it affects the company in a bad way or hurts their workers performance. Matter of a fact, usually pressing the issue or attempting to negotiate further results in them getting more agitated, more entrenched on the issue, and usually really pissed off even if you're being level headed and open.

Some people just don't give a **** and when you start questioning them it turns into a personal vendetta.
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Re: Need Suggestions On Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Fri May 04, 2012 8:21 pm

Thanks for the opinions guys, but this was going to be done in an entirely passive manner or not at all. I'm not going to create problems over a radio. With that said, and in retrospect, I'm thinking maybe a public forum wasn't the best place to ask this question.

So I'll just close by saying that I have absolutely no intentions of doing ANYTHING listed above.
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Re: Need Suggestions On Degrading Single FM Station

Postposted on Fri May 04, 2012 9:10 pm

LOL, I respect your opinion and yet I still think you should at least jam it to prove a point.

Though I have to say I can't argue with majority rules, I will always agree with that, even if its against you, fact is, a majority is a majority,lol.

I would still pay to see their faces when they can't tune the station in, plus no doubt they are sticking it to you saying so what you think, we have the majority we rule, with them being illiterate so fas as tech goes they will be begging you to return the station, perhaps only then could you work out a deal where you get it for a week a month, perhaps even 2,lol.
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