Total posts : 45366
I think it is excellent that you are thinking about this issue but I do have a concern, and it is a policy issue, not a technical issue. Let us suppose that we were to come up with a way to address some of these “complaints”, of which this is just one that has been raised recently. The next thing that will happen is that a certain individual will fire off an e-mail to his favorite FCC agent pointing this out, asking if it is OK or not. The answer, of course, will be that if it actually allows for somewhat efficient operation, it will be disallowed, because that is NOT what the FCC wants. Their objective is total control of the use of the broadcast bands such that you can’t do anything useful on an unlicensed basis. I understand and agree with their philosophy up to a point. You cannot allow a zillion people to just go on the air and do whatever they want if their signals will actually cover a significant area. On the other hand, I think the rules were fine as they were, before being “interpreted” for us by this particular agent.
Actually, this ground mounting issue is only one of several very serious implications of these “interpretations”. If you are not allowed to even attempt to match the impedance of the antenna, then there will be no possibility of making any kind of antenna radiate more than a few feet. For example, consider a 100 mW input transmitter terminated in an appropriate resistive load. The transmitter must be electrically isolated from any sort of ground whatsoever, including the mains wiring. You are allowed to attach a 3M wire to the output. That wire will have a couple of volts superimposed on it, not the usual 100 or more. And if the transmitter is truly “floating” with respect to ground, the only “ground” it will have to work against will be the PC board the circuitry is built on.
As far as I can tell, if these “interpretations” actually become codified in the Part 15 rules, they will mean the END of any useful Part 15 operation. I am not sure that there will be any approach that could be used to overcome them, but I can tell you one thing; I will not be presenting my ideas online where some geek can phone home to the FCC and immediately get them nullified.
There needs to be a forum where good ideas can be discussed and critiqued without the exposure that comes with discussion on the public Internet. I am not sure how this can be done, however, other than creating a private group with members being screened very carefully by the moderator.
As a footnote, my station remains off the air at this time due to concerns raised by the “interpretations”. I am not made of money, but I will be exploring possible legal safeguards and responses to this issue. I think it is a very serious matter for all of us who value the use of Part 15 AM broadcasting.