Total posts : 45366
The comments regarding field strength are exactly on target. Part 15 rules do not specifically mention elevated ground systems. However, several articles re: the use of metal roofs as station grounds have been addressed by FCC inspectors. In a word, NO. They consider elevated metal roof systems as breaking the scope and “intent” of the rules, not just bending them a little. Inspectors will accept a single conductor of 12 AWG or larger running the shortest path possible to earth ground as acceptable. Stay away from “elevated” ground systems. Stay away from lengthy ground conductors using circuitous routes.
Next, just a word about the newly adopted Part 15 rules. The FCC, for decades, has considered newly adopted rules as additional or amended rulings, not replacements. In other words, if a previous rule was not included in the newly adopted rules does not mean it is not still in effect. If the old rule is amended, then it is essentially replaced by the amendment. If a new dimension is added to the rules to clarify or change the interpretation of an aspect of the rules, then these are considered new additions. This is exactly how the inspectors enforce the rules. So, just because you don’t see the rule in the most recent adopted rules, doesn’t mean you are reading the entire scope of the body of Part 15 rules and regulations. In addition, CFR 47 contains the entire body of rules and regulations for the FCC. However, it does not contain the Sections of Communications Law used to enforce the rules and regulations. Those “federal” laws are passed by Congress and signed into law by the President and enforced by the FCC and the Department of Justice.
One of the new federal laws, for example, allows local authorities under execution of “probable cause” to, without a search warrant, search your premises/home if they suspect a crime is in process of being committed or has been committed. So, some of what I have read on web reflectors and information shared in emails does not take into consideration that we operate unlicensed radio stations at the whim of federal law, the FCC and law enforcement personnel.
And finally, when planning the design and construction of your station, use the most conservative design you can and still be satisfied with its performance. Remember also, broadcasting practice and content are taken into consideration. What you say, how you say it and the scope and target of your statements are issues that bring your station to the attention of the FCC. Newspaper articles, websites, public service projects, advertising (on and for the station) will all flip switches that cause the FCC to take a closer look.
Marshall Johnson, Sr.
Rhema Radio – The Word In Worship