Total posts : 45366
I have watched the mighty1650 and Gerry Gaule actions for long enough to draw some conclusions that I would like to share.
Mighty1650 (aka LibertyNT) was not “raided”, he was “inspected” per FCC rules defined at http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/otherinfo/inspect.html By his own admission somewhere in scattered postings on the web, he said he was operating on FM at some undefined level above the FCC maximum. This likely was the lightning rod for the “inspection”. The confiscation of all of his transmitters was not necessarily a declaration that they were all illegal. It may have just been a blanket decision by the agent to cover all possibilities. Mighty1650 has not posted any confirmation that these other transmitters, including the TH, were even in use at the time. He had the right to not allow confiscation, but the FCC web page linked above is intimidating in that regard.
The NOUO issued to Gerry Gaule has been confusingly intertwined with the mighty1650 inspection. Gerry’s NOUO (http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/FieldNotices/2003/DOC-319568A1.html) states that the FS was measured at 1800 uV/m at 175 meters. This is significantly higher than the best expected performance of a very good outdoor ground-mounted 3 meter antenna which would produce about 1300 uV/m at 175 meters, so it seems the FCC has some FS guidelines that basically say: if the FS is above a certain threshold that cannot be produced by a part 15.219 compliant 3 meter antenna/100 mW transmitter, then the setup is not compliant. Gerry has stated somewhere in the web soup that he was using a TH in a second floor apartment with the antenna wire extending up from the ATU to the ceiling and “no ground” wire. No ground wire implies the AC wiring ground was the ground path. This sort of equates to the antenna base being elevated about 10 ft. A good outdoor antenna elevated 10 ft would produce the measured FS. What remains a mystery is how he got his indoor antenna to perform like a good outdoor antenna? We all know that nobody else has ever gotten decent performance from an indoor antenna of any kind. Is Gerry being forthright in his posts about his transmitter and antenna installation? Additionally, Gerry has a big presence on the web, including at least two newspaper stories. A big media presence will naturally invite complaints from local broadcast stations and NAB freaks.
All the part 15 broadcasters out there should not be intimidated by these two recent unrelated FCC actions. If you want to reach out to listeners outside your home, expect some flack. Don’t do high power FM. For AM, the best practical legal installation is a ground-mounted transmitter, in the clear, with about 16 radials each about 30 ft long.