[AMRadio] Re: IARU Band Plan and Power Limit Issues

D. Chester k4kyv at charter.net
Mon Oct 15 00:02:03 EDT 2007

> From: Larry Will <lhwill at verizon.net>

This is a little off-topic from the band plan issue, but you brought up some 
points worthy of discussion, particularly since so many amateurs who have 
become licensed since 1990 are likely to be completely unaware of the 
fraudulent tactics used by FCC rulemakers in the proceeding that created the 
current power output rules.

> b: As to AM go back and read the articles in ER in the first
> year.  You'll find the ARRL tried to save the 750 watts carrier
> output when the Grandfather clause was sunsetting in 1989-90 and that
> another article by a gentleman who talked with several staffers in
> the FCC, the staff was (1) worried about TVI and Hi-Fi IX and
> telephone IX and was convinced that lower AM power was needed

They were talking out of both sides of their mouth, and putting their own 
deceptive spin on the issue.  The original power limit docket proposal 
specifically stated that "Our intent is not to change the actual power 
levels that amateurs use, but to improve the method of power measurement." 
In an interview with an FCC lawyer, published in CQ magazine a few months 
before the power limit docket was released, he said that the old DC input 
standard "was not so much a problem, but an embarrassement" to the FCC 
because the method was "archaic".

And you brought up a more fundamental question.  Is the purpose of a legal 
power limit to protect other licensed users who share spectrum on and in the 
vicinity of the authorised transmit frequency, or is it to protect devices 
that happen to be physically located near a clean transmitter whose spurious 
emissions are well within the bounds of good engineering design, i.e. to 
protect devices that inadvertently act as radio receivers due to design 

To phrase it more bluntly, should our power limit be further limited to 
accomodate consumer electronics manufacturers who are too cheap to spend a 
few extra pennies per unit to make their products immune to rfi from signals 
that lie outside their intended operating range?

>and (2)
> they only had equipment to measure PEP and they (The FCC) wanted to
> not have a different standard for different types of emissions in the
> amateur service.  The FCC had selfish internal interests to make a
> uniform power output standard.

A bogus argument.  It's absurd to say that FCC inspection personnel had only 
equipment available to measure PEP.  They had stated repeatedly that their 
standard measuring instrument for station inspections was a Bird 43 
wattmeter - an average indicating instrument that can measure PEP only with 
a special add-on attachment. Their inspectors measure average carrier power 
output, not PEP, from AM broadcast stations, so how could it be so difficult 
to take similar measurements from an amateur station?

The Canadian  regulations are shorter in length than ours, yet they were 
able to word  their power rule in such a manner as to include a separate 
measurement standard for carrier modes like AM and non-carrier modes like 
SSB.  Does that mean  that Canadians are supposed to somehow be smarter than 
United States-ese?

Don, k4kyv

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