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On January 24th, the FCC issued a citation to Iglesia de Dios Ebenezer in Oceanside, CA, (suburban San Diego, to the north) for operating a Part 15 AM station on 1610 kHz with an overly long ground lead. According to the citation, the antenna was about 3 meters long, but the “ground lead” was about 30 meters long. The citation may be viewed on http://www.fcc.gov on the Enforcement Bureau web page under Field Actions.
Enforcement actions related to Part 15.219 are rare, and the enforcement is inconsistent. Sometimes “whip and mast” antennas are allowed by field agents and sometimes they are not. Looking at the SSTran web site, http://www.sstran.com, the construction article for the antenna that is recommended for use with their transmitter describes a whip and mast. On the Rangemaster web site, http://www.rangemaster.com, there are two diagrams showing two variations of the whip and mast antenna that are recommended to be used with their transmitter. There are also photagraphs of Rangemaster transmitters mounted on tall metal towers. So, at least these two manufacturers are recommending the use of the whip and mast by their customers.
I don’t know who the manufacturer of the transmitter used at the church is, or the nature of the 30 meter ground lead mentioned in the citation. I’d like to find this out, since it would be of interest to the users of this web site. Unfortunately, I don’t quite know how to pose the question delicately enough.