Total posts : 45366
You make some valid and insightful points, but note, that none of the transmitters actually come supplied with an antenna from the manufactures, with exception to than the Iam and SStran with their wire antennas. However both the Rangemaster and the Grain transmitters do call for a Radio Shack part number 21-903, or similar 102 inch whip antenna.
In regard to the use of the ATU with the Iam.. I never liked the idea of his including it’s use in the challenge, primarily because the external ATU is no longer an available product, and even rather difficult to acquire a used one.. I had questioned this matter on the hobbybroadcaster forum before the results were even publicized.. I don’t recall what the response to this concern was.
So it appears that the worst performing antenna was used to test the AMT5000 with. Very few people who take the time and effort to build this kit would use that kind of antenna, but rather, probably build one, such as a whip with a base loaded coil. What if, for example, the AMT5000 had been tested with that kind of antenna?
This is what I thought, but in another thread here, somebody on this forum stated to me that the 5000 does not use such an attenna since it already has the loading coil built in, and that it actually can use a standard whip like the Rangemaster or Grain transmitters do.. Is this not correct?
There is also some question on the tuning of the transmitters. It appears, at least as stated by the manufacturer of the AMT5000, that the testers did not know how to tune that transmitter properly. Their response – blame the manufacturer about the lack of documentation …
I’ve read the debate(s) (as it were) concerning the accuracy of the tuning instructions.. I posses no knowledge enabling me to even speculate a technical weigh in on that, I can only ponder.. but your point shines through when you say: But again, if what you want is an accurate measurement of the efficiency of each transmitter, then who cares about whose fault it is? Another variable is introduced, and you WILL not have the CORRECT results.
My view concerning your opening statement:..
The reality is that by measuring the relative field strengths of the signals produced by the transmitters, they are stating that there is a ‘winner’ (which they name) and ‘runner-up’s, and they are also implying that the winner is the best. At least, it will appear that way to the casual reader (probably about 90% of all readers)
I really think Phil should submit some form of statements to be published to CQ magazine (which the challenge was published in) in response to the result of the Transmitter Challenge, otherwise the perception of those “90% of all readers” may very well accept it as truth that the AMT5000 is a weak contender.
I personally still don’t believe that testing for the Challenge was somehow rigged as some suggest – To me, that idea doesn’t make sense, it just doesn’t add up. However, at the same time, neither does the AMT5000 results.. Something was wrong, whether it be improper tuning instructions, or a improperly built unit, or something else which hasn’t even been fathomed.. It needs to be addressed in publication, in the same limelight in which the challenge was published.
Otherwise the AM5000 will appear… to the casual reader (probably about 90% of all readers as a less than optimal transmitter.