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Welcome to Part15.us!
Part 15 AM is the experimenter’s paradise, in part because there are few hard and fast answers.
The conflicting information you are seeing comes from the fact that no one really knows what’s best because there are so many variables.
There is a huge amount of information here to draw suggestions from and the least reassuring thing I can probably say, though probably the most accurate, is that when you find something that works – please tell us 🙂
All kidding aside, be sure to search our library and forums and above all, DO SOMETHING. Don’t get too wrapped up in the theories, the math or the simulations, that can be paralyzing. Instead, study the info here, develop some theories of your own and give your ideas a try.
Legality is important, but similarly undefined in the area of antenna experimentation. The FCC enforcement database indacates that no one has ever been cited for Part 15 AM antenna and ground designs that are anywhere near within the general scope of the Part 15 regulations.
As you will read here and elsewhere, FCC action tends to be driven by complaints. If you don’t do things that generate complaints to the FCC (objectionbale content or radio frequency interference) you will likely be left to experiment in peace.
Above all – HAVE FUN!
Experimental broadcasting for a better tomorrow!