[AMRadio] Re:Reactor Wanted

Ben Dover quixote2 at ix.netcom.com
Mon Nov 12 10:34:46 EST 2007

-----Original Message-----
>From: SBJohnston at aol.com
>Sent: Nov 12, 2007 8:37 AM
>To: amradio at mailman.qth.net
>Subject: Re: [AMRadio] Re:Reactor Wanted
>Another twist in measurement of peak output power is how you defining peak 
>duration.  Test gear varies in short a peak it can respond to.  
>We can split this hair pretty fine... but does it really matter?   Do FCC 
>inspectors of amateur stations even exist any longer?   It has been a loooonng 
>time since I ran into one in professional circles, never in the amateur realm... 


As I once told you, my feeling is that the FCC long ago abdicated it's responsibilities
for maintaining engineering standards and has become a lottery outfit for selling off the
radio spectrum that isn't thiers to sell to begin with.

The fact that we're now saddled with a 1500 watt PEP limit in itself shows that the FCC is
now run by LAWYERS, and the Commissioners wouldn't recognize an engineering issue if it 
bit 'em right square in the butt!!!   <<GRIN>>   To be frank about it, I don't think that 
there's currently an engineer, qualified or otherwise, even sitting on the current Commission.

The whole 1500 watt PEP thing is a simple matter of the incompetent being given an irrelevant
bit of technical information, which they immediately misinterpret.  

Since ham radio isn't a potential multibillion dollar industrial interest, and regulation
has become a bad joke these days, worrying about hair splitting on the peak power of an
AM ham rig is pretty anal retentive, IMHO. We ain't big or important enough to attract
Michael Powell's attention; he could give less than a rodent's rectum about such a tiny blip
on the RADAR.

> Twenty years ago I was involved in training Commission inspectors for 
>several services, and the most complicated test gear they had for measuring power 
>was a Bird 43 or equivalent.  Maybe now they've got a peak-reading Bird (since 
>lots of commercial stuff is multiple-carrier on one transmission line these 
>days).  But  quite often these guys were quite happy to use the existing metering 
>in the station and just wrote down the reading.

Yup...   and I'd be REALLY surprised it they HAVE the peak reading version of the meter;
once again, when you factor in variables like sampling time, it makes things too messy
and subject to interpretation. FCC inspectors aren't geniuses, and just like the military
the FCC rules cut down technical issues to the lowest common denominator, and leave as
little room for creative interpretation as possible. They want thier inspectors to come up
with cut and dried, yes or no answers to questions. To do that you eliminate variables, and
go with hard, fast bureaucratic rules.

>I'd think it more likely today they'd sit in the car and make field-strength 
>measurements of your signal at a given distance - a pretty rough gauge of 
>transmitter power in amateur stations.   Good luck to you if you have an 
>extra-efficient antenna...

Yeah, but if your rock crusher signal attracts the attention of a Fed, when he sticks the
Bird in your feedline and you're lookin' good on it your problem goes away instantly.

Mr. T., W9LBB

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