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Sunday 30 October 2016

Channel 5's 'Nightmare Neighbour Next Door' programme, 27/10/16

The programme broadcast on Channel 5 noted above I decided to watch as it featured an Amateur radio operator who has been in the hobby for 60 years, currently holding a full licence with the callsign M0PAM, the programme depicted his struggles with his neighbours after erecting an antenna.

The programme highlighted more negativity, particularly towards the Amateur radio operator from 2 particular neighbours, one immediately next door and one who was "the voice of the residents" but in my view was a stuck up pompous old woman with nothing better to do than make an innocent person's life a living hell (if she reads this she can whinge all she wants, I am on the side of the Amateur radio operator and feel that an injustice was done).

So, the usual claim of TVI was cited and the programme said Ofcom were called, the Amateur operator said Ofcom engineers did tests and found nothing to cause interference to television was being produced by the equipment, of course Amateur operators will do their best to keep interference down to a minimum, that's why filters are fitted if they need to be, a second claim was cases of cancer as a result of the antenna in use, I feel and believe that the chances of getting cancer from that antenna are nil, compared to that of holding a mobile phone to your head.

The programme ended with M0PAM being forced to remove his antenna after the council planning department refused permission, those who had made his life terrible for years had won by default, all this from a lack of understanding of a very enjoyable hobby, and something this particular operator had invested in heavily, his shack has more expensive gear than mine, he was shown afterwards screwing a mobile antenna into a mount on the rear of his car, and afterwards shown operating again in his shack, possibly he had run a coax to his car, best part was is that it showed he was not going to give up his hobby because of obnoxious neighbours who don't understand the hobby and had no willingness to learn about the positives.

I do not like to see fellow amateur operators be treated badly, unfortunately it is thanks to Channel 5 where I am now fearful for people questioning what is outside my flat as I intend to start operating HF (at least 10 metres to begin with as I have no other HF gear)  with the construction of a magnetic loop, and I cannot say it is for Amateur radio, and get a better antenna for 2-meters in the form of a groundplane antenna which I have built today which again I cannot say is for Amateur radio, thank you very much Channel 5, you've made the lives of hundreds of Amateur radio operators more difficult, expect the wrath of Ofcom yourselves, many Amateur operators will be complaining to them.

Needless to say the RSGB were NOT invited to collaborate with Channel 5 on production of this programme and have been in contact with Channel 5 and at time of writing are awaiting a response, the full information on the RSGB statement is available here.

Having seen the plight of M0PAM, how many more operators are suffering at the hands of their neighbours? It is very very worrying, what I have always emphasised is that Amateur radio can be relied on when everything else stops working in times of disaster or other national emergencies.

If you are looking to get into the hobby and have watched this programme, please do not fear, it is a wonderful hobby, get yourself down to your local club, you'll find Amateur radio operators to be a friendly bunch and a lot will have had some kind of a dispute with the neighbours at some point in time.

As for Channel 5 and the two women featured in the programme doing all they could to get M0PAM off the air, you all should be ashamed of yourselves, let him enjoy his hobby in peace.

73 de M6RSQ
(proud to be an Amateur radio operator since March 2015)

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