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If memory serves, it was Dog Radio Studio 2 who shared something told him in a conversation with an fcc inspector, which I paraphrase as best I can:
“We’ll approve anything in a 10×10-foot cube.”
That remark, at face value, seems to dismiss top hats as not being part of the significant length.
But, as Rich suggests, if I’m understanding, is that an inspector MIGHT measure the top hat spokes as part of overall length.
It’s that kind of uncertainty that leaves part 15ers in a state of not quite knowing what they can do.
It seems rude when rules are used like russian roulette.