Elimination of 15db Gain Limit on Amateur Amplifiers

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KI4AX, Aug 2, 2017.

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  1. KI4AX

    KI4AX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello to All:

    Don't know if this subject has been run up the flag pole yet here on QRZ.com or not. Here is a link to the ARRL's News Article on same:


    The elimination of the 15db Gain Limit on Amateur Amplifiers does not seem like a good idea to me, at least for HF amplifiers, and may be asking for trouble. The argument that amplifiers “inherently capable of considerably more than 15 dB of amplification would make them a suitable match for low-power transceivers now on the market having output power on the order of 10 W" seems pretty lame. Is it their real intent to sell amps to Hams? Or, is it really their intent to sell these amps to CB'ers? Most Hams, who use output power on the order of 10 W are doing so because they want QRP and not QRO.

    IMO, and you know what is said about those, amps made to develop full legal output (1500 W) with only 10 W drive is not a good idea. Seems to me that they are looking to market those amps to CB'ers where there are already too many people running too much power and causing too much interference.

    Anyone like to weigh in and try to convince me that this is a good idea?
  2. W5TTP

    W5TTP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I never thought of that angle. Interesting.
  3. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Many or most of the newer Mosfet devices for HF and beyond are specified at 20-30 dB of gain. The rule change would allow manufacturers to use these newer devices without having to add large attenuators to the input, which is a good thing. We can't base our rules on what might happen in another segment of the spectrum.
    KK5JY, WZ7U, K1TGX and 4 others like this.
  4. KI4ODO

    KI4ODO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well, it seems that CB'ers already have access to pretty much any kind of amp they can afford without a likely threat of any legal action. I'm wondering if this is a way to market cheap amplifiers to amateur operators in the USA? Possibly a way for someone like RM Italy to sell amps here without having to dramatically increase the price to conform to current legal standards?
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
    K1TGX, N2EY, WD4IGX and 1 other person like this.
  5. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    This paranoia has always been used to as a justification to hobble the progress of HF amateur amplifier design.
    When you have people like
    Wizard built; https://www.youtube.com/user/wizardbuilt
    BBI; https://www.youtube.com/user/wickeddreams911?spfreload=10
    Dave made, Tech-9 Technologies and a whole host of others your argument falls flat on its face.
    BBI has been building LDMOS FET amplifiers for a few years now, along with a whole host of bipolar amps, and the ocasional tube amp.

    The major amplifier manufactorers won't be able to compete with the above mentioned wildcat builders.
    There is no market share for low drive Ham amplifiers in the CB hobby.
    The CB amp cottage industry has never been threatened by FCC regulations, and it never will.
    The FCC doesn't have the political will to enforce its ham regulations, do you really expect to any enforcement of the CB regs.

    Hell No.

    The 15DB rule is stupid, and the result of CB Paranoia.
    KH6KK, KE0EYJ, NY7Q and 7 others like this.
  6. W3WN

    W3WN Ham Member QRZ Page

    At the perceived height of the "CB Boom", early to mid 1970's, the FCC imposed the amplifier restrictions (including minimal input power, number that could be manufactured in a year without undergoing FCC scrutiny, and permitted -- or if you prefer, non permitted -- HF and VHF frequencies, along with maximum gain).

    Whether they were actually effective is a matter of debate -- for another time and another thread.

    What they did do is cause headaches to the legitimate manufacturers of Amateur amplifiers, along with Amateur Radio Operators. And to some extend, those needing them for Public Service services in the old VHF Low band, 30 - 50 MHz.

    History aside, many things have changed in 40 years. Including better designs and better components available for those designs.

    Now, by no means to I condone improper or illegal use of HF amplifiers, especially outside of the Amateur Service. With that in mind, I have to ask...

    Is it wise or fair to continue to follow outdated and obsolete rules designed to combat a non-technical problem that no longer exists?

    IMHO, the real issue is just that -- the rules are burdensome and no longer necessary. They hamper implementation of newer designs and newer techniques. For THOSE reasons, the rules should be revised or removed.

    I wouldn't obsess over boogie men selling illegal amps to Part 95 users.
    WZ7U, N2EY, K3UJ and 2 others like this.
  7. AD0AC

    AD0AC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I doubt there are enough CB users for which this would pose a problem anymore. I think it would be cool to buy a KX3 to use at home and portable, and have the option of running from 11 watts to 1.5 kw with a single amplifier at home.
    KE0EYJ, W8IXY, K1TGX and 2 others like this.
  8. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    This. Or a K3/10, or IC-703, etc. When this rule was conceived, it was to keep CB's from using an amp, there was never a restriction on one you built, only ones commercially available. The time and place of this rule being useful has looooong passed, and the hobby would benefit with it being removed.

    Heck, with most amps being microprocessor controlled these days (at least the SS ones), it wouldn't be hard to just shutdown if trying to amplify the CB frequency segment.
    WD4IGX, AF6LJ, WU8Y and 1 other person like this.
  9. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    There are always ways to get around that stuff.
    Besides one must question the need for a micruprocessor in an amp these days except maybe for remote control operation.
    WD4IGX likes this.
  10. K1SZO

    K1SZO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I just recently purchased a KX3 and this is my intent. Both a base and mobile station for when I go camping, etc. Options of how I accomplish this is preferred.
    WD4IGX likes this.

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