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South Florida pirate radio station bites Lexus owners?

. . . scene of the alleged unlicensed radio crime . . .

The Sun Sentinel, which covers all matters related to Broward County, Florida, has an interesting pirate radio story this week. Apparently a slew of folks around the Hollywood police station (Hollywood, Florida, that is, north of Miami) were having trouble opening their Lexus and Toyota vehicle doors via their keyless entry gizmos. Fingers pointed all over the place—at police department radio transmissions, or at the cars themselves.

Finally the Federal Communications Commission and local police identified what they see as the wireless jamming culprit, an unlicensed radio operator broadcasting Caribbean music at 104.7 FM.

“Detectives are still searching for the man who set up the bootleg station on the roof of the eight-story bank building at 450 Park Road, a block north of police headquarters,” the article says:

“An undercover detective and FCC agent found the equipment on Dec. 6 concealed under an air conditioning chiller.

Four days after they removed the equipment, a man identifying himself as ‘Jay’ left a message for a maintenance worker at the bank building, police say. When the worker returned the call, ‘Jay’ asked if he’d taken his equipment. The answer: No, but the cops did.”

This is serious stuff in Florida. As Paul Riismandel notes, the Sunshine State is one of two that has actually made unlicensed broadcasting a crime, given the proliferation of such  operations on the peninsula. The interesting question, at least for me, is why transmissions over a legal frequency like 104.7 FM would jam keyless entry signals. There are a slew of legal 104.7 FM radio stations around South Florida.

Maybe it’s about transmission power levels. Maybe this case isn’t quite so closed. In any event, I doubt I’m going to get a callback from the FCC today or tomorrow. Meanwhile Radio Survivor readers are encouraged to chime in with their ideas.

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2 Responses to South Florida pirate radio station bites Lexus owners?

  1. John Anderson January 2, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    Lexus keyless entry operates at ~315 MHz. Harmonic? Blanketing interference? Sounds fishy…

  2. spatula January 7, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    Almost certainly a harmonic around 314.1 MHz. You can bet that a transmitting rig hidden inside an air conditioner lacked proper filtering, a properly-tuned antenna, and proper grounding.

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