Are You Receiving KOZY On your Electric Toothbrush?
Every now and then, I get a call from someone who wants to know why the heck KOZY is broadcasting into their cordless phone, their TV set or their toaster. This reminds me of the episode on Gilligans Island where Gilligan gets a conk on the head that jars one of his fillings, and it becomes a radio receiver. There are literally hundreds of ways that radio signals can turn up in places you don’t expect and don’t want them to. I also get calls about why people hear OTHER radio stations or TV stations in wierd places, like in their electric organ, or their guitar amplifier.

I thought this would be a good time to share some information about RFI – radio frequency interference – because that’s what is happening. I have been involved with radio broadcasting, engineering, and “ham” radio for over 30 years. RFI is not an unusual problem, and it can be annoying as heck, but there are some things you should know.

When someone becomes the victim of RFI, they immediately blame that *@#%*# radio or TV station, or that guy down the street with all the ham radio antennas on his house. In 99.99% of these cases, the problem is NOT the fault of the person or station transmitting. In the case of commercial radio and television stations, very strict federal rules are in place to ensure that a station is operating within legal parameters. The operating characteristics of a radio or TV station transmitter are closely monitored so that they operate within the law. Oh, sure, there are instances where due to some mechanical problem a station may go outside specifications for […]