Welcome to UKQRM

This website has been created by Radio Amateurs, Shortwave radio listeners, Citizens' Band radio users, EMC professionals, and like-minded people, to pool our knowledge of man-made interference (QRM) so we can help you to understand and identify the sources of radio interference, and how you can go about reducing or removing the offending device, or devices. Interference is a highly technical issue, with brain-bending terms, which we will try to explain in an easy to understand manner.

If you are suffering from a strange-sounding interference to your External link  FM radio, External link  DAB radio, Taxi radio, Business radio (inc. shopping-centre radio), External link Airband VHF, External link Marine VHF, Military radio, External link  Amateur radio, External link  Citizens' Band radio, or External link  Shortwave radio, we may be able to help.

What is interference?

In radio parlance, there are two types of interference, which we define by the Internationally recognised External link Q-codes:

Naturally occurring radio interference (static) from the sun, aurora, lightning storms, and other atmospheric disturbances.
Solar Aurora Lightning

Man-made interference, mostly generated by electrical systems and electronic gadgets.

UKQRM is concerned with man-made radio interference, or to give it another name: pollution. Unlike tainted food, or unpleasant odours on the wind, humans cannot perceive radio spectrum pollution, but it is there, destroying a natural resource that cannot be replaced. The menu on the left provides navigation to the various pages where we describe the lack of action from the regulators, the interference sources, and how you can mitigate against them.

Ofcom Consultation

On the 5th January 2015, Ofcom released a consultation proposing to make new regulations under Section 54 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act (2006) which would give them unyielding authority to take criminal action against persons causing radio interference with their electronics. The substance of Ofcom’s argument for making the new regulations is the discrepancy between the requirements of the EU Directive which have far-reaching powers to protect radio from products when first placed on the market or put into service (i.e. at the precise moment this happens, not as an ongoing thing) and the fact that once equipment was in service, Ofcom claim they had no powers to take action against owners of interference generating electronics.

In essence, the new regulations are aimed at any device or installation which results in a breach of the essential requirements once installed and used in accordance with manufacturers' instructions. Naturally the most significance for these measures will be the potential for protection for amateur radio and SWL from devices like PLT, LED lighting and Plasma TV; which are by far the three most problematic technologies.

The consultation location at Ofcom is at: External link  http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/undueinterference/

A direct link to the PDF to download is at: External link  http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/wta-notice-propossals/summary/WTA_SI_2015_Consultation_Document.pdf

The proposed regulations PDF is at: External link  http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/wta-notice-propossals/annexes/Annex6.pdf

The consultation ended on the 15th February 2015 and we eargerly await the publication of the Statutory Instrument.

Power Cut!

We are indebted to Radio Amateur, Martin G8JNJ, for sending in a chart demonstrating the difference in radio interference levels when the electronic "junk" around his area is powered up and when the area has lost mains-power. As you can see, it is somewhat quieter when all of the non-EMC-compliant devices are no longer generating radio interference.

Noise levels
Difference in noise floor (3000 Hertz bandwith) received on a 10 metre-tall vertical aerial
during and after a power outage, affecting a property radius of approximately 100 metres.


Many of the interference sources listed on this website are classed by the telecomms industry as sources of Repetitive Electrical Impulse Noise (REIN) or Single Isolated Impulse Noise (SHINE). The effects of REIN or SHINE can often be heard on radio systems as radio frequency interference, and experienced on telecomms systems in the form of DSL drop-outs/slow-downs. Examples of causes include:

Follow our Finding QRM guide to help track down the sources of REIN or SHINE that may be lurking in your home.

EU petition

Please sign an EU-wide petition against PLT to help save the radio spectrum from a technology set to cause such immense interference that it could become impossible to enjoy any form of radio. The EU need to be made aware of the problems their poor decision making and lack of market surveillence is causing.

Original German version

English version

EMC Directive 2014/30/EU

The new electromagnetic Compatibility Directive has now been published in the OJEU (Official Journal of the European Union, 29/3/2014). This replaces the previous Directive 2004/108/EC which repealed 89/336/EEC.

The new Directive addresses some of its predecessor's ambiguities and makes clear that its jurisdiction relates to products when they are first placed on the market or put into service. This includes second-hand equipment if it has not previously been placed on the market in the EU.

The Directive has been watered down as to Member States' mandatory requirement to protect radiocommunications. We are now poised on the precipice of a slippery slope with regard to European Regulation of the radio spectrum.

The new Directive can be downloaded from: here.

A new Blue Guide has also been produced to explain the implementation of the new Directive(s).

About us

UKQRM was formed in 2008 by shortwave radio listener Mike Trodd. He started to experience a strange sound on his radios and wondered why he could no longer receive any broadcasts. He tracked the problem down to his neighbour's use of the Comtrend PG902 Power Line Technology, as deployed by BT Vision. PLT had arrived out of no-where and was suddenly popping up all over the UK. It has the capacity to wipe out HF radio communications from 500 to 1000 metres from the property using only one set of paired devices. Flood a small market-town with as few as 20 pairs of PLT and you suddenly find all HF communications is impossible. Mike started the Yahoo UKQRM group to pool knowledge and resources in what has turned out to be a long and un-ending fight against the rise of non-EMC-compliant electronics. In 2013, the group has over 600 members, discussing all sorts of QRM issues from the UK, Europe, and Internationally.

You can read all about the problems of PLT on our sister site:

Click here for the Ban PLT website.

Why not join in the conversation on our forum dedicated to radio interference:

TV & Radio Interference Help & Assistance Forum

Are you a Radio Amateur, Shortwave listener, Citizens' Band radio user, EMC professional, or professional radio Engineer? Why not join our Yahoo Group to help us with our technical discussions on non-EMC-compliant electronics and their threat to the radio spectrum. Click on the icon below.

Click to join UKQRM

Voluntary Code of Practice

If you have read our legislation page, you will have seen that things are in a mess, and as with the banks and the food supply, those charged with enforcing the law are asleep on the job, and may be complicit in encouraging manufacturers to break the law. Here at UKQRM, we would like to encourage manufacturers to go one stage further than simply including a Declaration of Conformity; which as we have seen with the Power Line Technology debacle, is no longer worth the paper it is printed on!

We would like manufacturers to include in their product literature:

We believe this approach will go some way to restoring confidence in honest manufacturers and help them stand out from those who are only interested in loading the market with junk electronics. We would like to encourage purchasers and consumer groups to push for this Code of Practice to help return the market place to a legal state, instead of the wild-west it has become.

Ethical Suppliers

Is your business refusing to sell PLT, Plasma televsions, and non-EMC-compliant LED lighting? Let us know and we will feature you as an ethical supplier.

UKQRM is supported by

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Support Us

We would appreciate your support before the radio spectrum is destroyed forever. If you have a personal website, a shop/business website, a radio-club website, etc., and would like to carry our logo, please copy the code below. Let us know that you support us and we will add your logo and link to the website. Manufacturers and retailers who take the time and trouble to correctly test their products for EMC compliance, and prove that with traceable data, could appear here as a UKQRM approved product/supplier.

Website/E-mail/Forum-footer link

Click here for the UKQRM website.

<a href="http://www.ukqrm.org.uk/" title="Click here for the UKQRM website."><img src="http://www.ukqrm.org.uk/logos/UKQRM-text-logo.png" style="border:0;width:218px;height:70px;" alt="Click here for the UKQRM website."></a>

If you would like to use a logo with a transparent background, change: src="http://www.ukqrm.org.uk/logos/UKQRM-text-logo-trans.png"

Bulletin Board Code


If you would like to use a logo with a transparent background, change: [img]http://www.ukqrm.org.uk/logos/UKQRM-text-logo-trans.png[/img]

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<a href="http://www.ukqrm.org.uk/" title="Click here for the UKQRM website.">UKQRM - Fighting Spectrum Pollution</a>

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Page updated: 26th February 2015


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