Neighbors give static about CB'er's static Radio interference buzzes Manchester

February 22, 1993|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Staff Writer

Ten-four, good buddy?

Not quite.

A simmering neighborhood dispute in Manchester about interference allegedly caused by a citizens band radio is threatening to boil over.

Radio operator Ken Fringer of Sutton Court said someone sabotaged his radio two days after the Jan. 27 Town Council meeting, where neighbors complained of interference in their televisions, phones, computers and lights.

"Someone's going to wind up getting hurt," he said.

Mr. Fringer said someone stuck a straight pin into the coaxial cable that leads from the radio in his house to an outside antenna, causing the radio to short circuit. He said repairs would cost him about $175.

"If they do it again, they'll get shot. That's the bottom line," he said.

Mr. Fringer said he had not reported the damage to police. "What good is it going to do?"

Mr. Fringer said Friday he has removed, from the CB radio in his truck, a filter that is supposed to prevent interference problems.

"After they pinned my co-ax, I said the heck with it," he said. "They've provoked me. If they're going to play dirty, I guess we're going to have us a fun time around here."

Neighbors said interference problems had subsided somewhat after the Jan. 27 council meeting.

Neighbor Melissa Glorioso said she now hears Mr. Fringer "every now and again" through her television.

Chris Damario, another neighbor who had complained at the council meeting about interference in his home, said last week, "It's better. I don't even hear him any more on my baby monitor."

Mr. Damario's wife, Cheryl, said Saturday that Mr. Fringer had given the couple protective filters for their television sets and telephones.

She said the phone filters are working. She said there is still some interference in the television and one lamp, but only when Mr. Fringer is coming or going in his truck and using the CB radio in it.

But the interference problems may recur when the radio in Mr. Fringer's house is repaired, which he said would happen today at the earliest.

At the Feb. 9 Town Council meeting, Manchester Clerk/Treasurer Paul Kolar said a Frederick Cablevision technician had investigated the interference and concluded that Mr. Fringer was operating within Federal Communications Commission (FCC) guidelines.

Manchester Mayor Earl A. J. "Tim" Warehime Jr. said that was "probably all we can do."

The solution "lies with the FCC," he said.

Both Mr. Fringer and his neighbors said they had tried to get the FCC to look into the matter.

Ms. Glorioso said she had called FCC offices in Laurel, Baltimore and Washington trying to get someone to come out to check whether Mr. Fringer was operating his radio with too much power.

"It's a joke, a total joke," she said. "He knows the FCC's not going to come out here."

But Mr. Fringer said he also had tried to get someone from the FCC to come out and clear him of allegations that he was broadcasting at illegal power levels.

Robert Douchis, engineer with the FCC's Laurel field office, said the FCC stopped investigating CB complaints more than a year ago.

"We do not have the staff to investigate every one of these," Mr. Douchis said. "We have higher priorities."

Asked how someone could check whether a radio operator was using too much power, Mr. Douchis said, "For a lay person, it would be rather difficult."

He said the FCC does provide self-help information on causes and remedies of interference problems.

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