Amplifier recommendations please

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Amplifiers' started by ZL1MTO, Jun 9, 2021.

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  1. K6LPM

    K6LPM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am always in some different phase and depends what I am currently into.... Originally I was into the British style of amps, first a Marshall 2203, then plexi styled Superlead #1959.
    Next it was a low power stuff like the 18watt formulas such as a TMB. Lower power still I discovered the beauty of the Tweed Champ Circuit, this brought me to the Fender Camp. Next came a Princeton and a Vibroverb, which led to the whole Blackface era and the Deluxe Reverb. Ahhh a vintage BFDR is still a fave.... This led to the modification of Silverface Amps and Blackfacing. This led the way back up to the higher powered stuff... Blackfaces twins, Bandmasters and Super Reverbs. Ah and suddenly winning the lotto and getting struck by lightning at the same time YES a Holy Grail all orig vintage tweed 1959 Bassman (damn I should jump off a bridge for letting that one go!) Bassman brings me back to JTM 45 Marshall build... And it goes full circle with the high gain Boutique stuff..... I like em all and nothing better than having true analog tube tone from a variety of the best most classic basic designs. Whichever amp plugged into sets the mood for the performance or direction I will take off in.......
     
    KJ7ZEI likes this.
  2. NM9K

    NM9K Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have refuted it numerous times. There are zero regulations about what amplifiers we can use on the airwaves. What is, isn't, could, or couldn't be sold commercially to the general public is not a regulation on operators.
     
  3. K7JQ

    K7JQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    OK....we're just not on the same page here. The thread originally was from an OP that wanted opinions on what amp to buy. A suggestion about an RM Italy amp with no filters was not FCC certified, and therefore unlawful to be *sold* in the U.S. Then you chimed in, switching the topic to amps don't have to be FCC certified for hams to use them...in other words, no "regulation on OPERATORS", as you state above. But that's NOT what we're talking about. We're just stating the fact that commercially manufactured amateur amplifiers must meet FCC guidelines, and certified by them before they can be legally *sold* in the U.S. A ham can *use* anything he wants, but can't *buy* a non-FCC certified amp from a vendor, or technically even a person, within limits that WB2WIK stated above. That seemed to be more in line with helping the OP with his question.

    Does this make sense to you, or do you still think we're all wrong;)?
     
    KA2FIR and KJ7ZEI like this.
  4. G0JUR

    G0JUR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Since the Op is in new zealand Us laws do not apply there,your interpretation of US regs is moot.
     
  5. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Correct! But this was "thread drift," where the discussion did turn to U.S. law.

    And the original post from NZ included a reference to an amplifier that is not only not certified for use here, but shouldn't be "anywhere" because it's just a dirty amplifier that can't meet any kind of standards for harmonic emissions; that's what actually started the discussion about certification. Amplifiers with grants of certification for use in the U.S. have been exhaustively tested, and that's a good thing. They can still be misused by operators, but at least the starting point conforms.
     
    KA2FIR likes this.
  6. NM9K

    NM9K Ham Member QRZ Page

    The OP isn't even an American, and so the law you're continuing to cite (that still has no bearing on the question) isn't even germane to the discussion.

    And your statement is also incorrect. An American ham can buy whatever amp he wants. The FCC might go after the seller, but once it's in your possession, it is YOUR obligation as a licensed amateur to make sure the output meets the requirements. The regulations cited don't mean you "can't buy" what technically shouldn't be offered for sale. It may be hard to understand the distinction, but there is a great deal of equipment that violates the FCC's rules for sale everwhere on the internet. I see it on Facebook Marketplace all the time. It is true that the FCC could go after the sellers, if they meet its definitions of commercial sellers and whatnot. But it is meaningless to bring that up in a discussion about what we can use, because once it's in your hand, regardless of where you got it or whether it was supposed to be sold to you in the course of commerce, you can use it on the airwaves. It isn't as if the FCC is going to come to your station and ask where you got an amplifier that is putting out clean signal.

    What is not supposed to be sold does not mean that you "can't buy," and most importantly, it doesn't mean that you "can't use" it. Those regulations simply do not have anything to do what what can be bought or used.

    It may be hard to recognize that the law prohibits what it says it prohibits and doesn't prohibit what it doesn't say it prohibits, but even if you had zero context for this discussion and just read the plain language, there is nothing there prohibiting purchase or use (and nobody is really saying there is, they are just thinking about it logically, that if something isn't supposed to be sold, that there must be other legal implications of that). The reality, though, is once it's in your hands, whatever effect that regulation might have had is over, and what you do with it and how you operate with it is up to you.
     
  7. K7JQ

    K7JQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    NM9K,

    Whew!! Yes, you are a lawyer;). Typically, you make a convoluted, wordy, and ambiguous mess out of something that's so easy to understand, and make up your own worthless context.

    OK...you're right and I'm wrong. Is that want you want me to say? Because I really don't care, and you can have your own worthless last word. That's what they taught you in law school, isn't it? Are you happy now:rolleyes:? Send me the bill for the time spent rendering your gobbly-gook "legal" opiniono_O.

    73, and have a nice life,

    Bob K7JQ
     
    KA2FIR likes this.
  8. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Distinction without a difference, really, as one can't buy what isn't available for sale, and there aren't any non-certificated HF amplifiers offered lawfully for sale in the U.S.

    New Zealand likely goes by British Commonwealth radio laws, although I never researched if they have specific requirements for amateur radio equipment certification or registration. Still, all the discussion regarding amplifier certification was around U.S. law and not theirs.

    The problem with U.S. hams acquiring non-certificated amplifiers of relatively recent manufacture is very few amateurs have the ability to make the measurements required for compliance. Some do, but not many; so simply using the equipment could easily violate Title 47 CFR standards contained in Part 2 and Part 97, and very likely do violate them, rendering unlawful operation from a technical perspective.
     
    KA2FIR likes this.
  9. NM9K

    NM9K Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you think one "can't" buy the garbage amplifiers we're talking about or that they're not offered for sale, I'm sorry but I don't agree. They're for sale everywhere. I saw one on fb marketplace just a few weeks ago and I couldn't even report it, because even though that stuff is against the terms of service to sell on Amazon and eBay, it's not a violation of facebook's rules. I suspect there are people out there using that kind of equipment who have no idea that their operation is even illegal, because they walked into a brick and mortar store, paid money, and walked out with it. If it was true that the FCC regulation you cited was enforced in sufficient numbers to keep this stuff off of store shelves, then you'd be right, but it isn't. And now that I've pointed out to you that this stuff exists, I bet you will notice it when you see it for sale now.

    I think there's a subtle and more important point to take away from this discussion, though, and that's that if the price, specs, or marketing seem too good to be true--or not aimed at amateurs at all--the product is probably not something we would want to buy, even if it was available. Take the facebook marketplace amplifier I was talking about in the previous paragraph. I think we both know that it'd swing the meter further to the right if I'd bought it and hooked it up. But if your more subtle point is true, not only would it be illegal to operate as creating output that violates other regulations we've agreed to follow, it might even be illegal to assess the operation of such a piece of equipment even if I had the proper test equipment. If that's true, that's a shame, as it carries with it the same concerns I first addressed with you bringing up this regulation in the first place--it discourages experimentation, but it's also why that regulation exists, so that I can at least have some reliance on the quality of an amplifier I buy marketed to amateur radio use.

    That said, the solution to people wanting to use this trash on the amateur airwaves is to tell them that this kind of equipment is technically deficient and unlikely to meet the requirements for clean output required (and expected) of our fellow amateurs on the airwaves. Chanting to people that its sale may have violated some regulation that has historically lax enforcement isn't going to persuade them to stay away when the price is too good to be true. But telling them it's going to spray RF all over the spectrum is much more persuasive, at least from my perspective, because everyone who has been on the air for long has witnessed harmful interference, whether deliberate or negligent. The expectation of high quality radio operation is what our hobby is about, not rigid application of some ancient text.

    I appreciate you being respectful as you'll notice I'm not going to reply to that other post full of personal insults and ad hominem attacks (when I see that, I just assume the person doesn't have an actual point to make in the discussion). I didn't bring this up to be "right." I brought it up because I think it's important to encourage experimentation when it can be done safely. Say, for example, that I could locally buy an example of a well-known and tested RF amplifier built by a fellow member of my club, some of which really are some exceptional builders and tinkerers. Would I buy it? I think I would. I'll let two other lawyers debate whether the sale of that amplifier to me would be lawful. But I also have no doubt that me using it on the airwaves would be absolutely legal if I did so within my license.

    In short, if it's marketed to freebanders, it's probably not of the kind of quality we need as radio amateurs. And that stuff should be avoided for precisely that reason, not because some regulation that controls the marketing and sale of that kind of equipment might have been violated by the seller in offering it for sale.
     
  10. K1LKP

    K1LKP Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

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