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I have always wondered about this question

Discussion in 'On-Air Operations - Q&A' started by KG0MN, Dec 10, 2016.


What is the percentage of hams that would break the power rules?

Poll closed Dec 17, 2016.
  1. 0 to 10%

    9 vote(s)
  2. 10 to 20%

    5 vote(s)
  3. 20 to 30%

    2 vote(s)
  4. 30 to 40%

    2 vote(s)
  5. 40 to 50%

    0 vote(s)
  6. 50 to 60%

    1 vote(s)
  7. 60 to 70%

    1 vote(s)
  8. 70 to 80%

    1 vote(s)
  9. 80 to 90%

    0 vote(s)
  10. 90 to 100%

    3 vote(s)
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  1. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    At several hundred watts nominal, that's a fraction of a dB difference. To see ANY difference, we'd have to be talking 3 dB or more... at least TWICE.
    AF6LJ likes this.
  2. KG0MN

    KG0MN XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think the number might surprise some of us, which would a ham buy Henry 8K ultra amp for $14000.00 if he has no intent to use it? Do you think guys that fix up an old Detroit Iron muscle car up to or near 1000 HP is going to drive under the speed limit?
  3. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Are you asking the percentage of total hams who would break the power rules? Or the percentage of those hams who own overpowered amps who would use them above the legal limit?

    There are many who don't have or want high powered amps, and even if you gave them a big amp, I suspect many of those wouldn't run it over the limit. On the other hand, the people who actually own 3kW+ amps probably include a fair number of those who are looking for as much power as possible, and would be inclined to push them hard to see what they'll do.

    And then as AF6LJ brings up, there's the question of those who wouldn't deliberately seek out an overpowered amp, but would allow a "legal limit" amp to produce as much power as it can, even if that's just a wee bit over.

    So depending on exactly what question you're asking, I can see the answer possibly being less than 10%, or more than 80%.
  4. KG0MN

    KG0MN XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you are going to run a wee bit over, why not 2 or 3 KW more? I guess it depends on what your definition of "we bit" is. My question is how many ham would use gear that exceeds the amount of power but forth by the FCC.
  5. WG7X

    WG7X Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Sue, I have heard some pretty funny numbers on output power from an AL-82. Mine will do legal limit or close to it on most bands. Hardly ever over that. Maybe a 100 or so on portions of 80 or 40 meters. Actually, I am planning to get an LP-100A soon. I am interested to see how accurate my old Kenwood SW-2000 actually is. Years ago, I borrowed a Bird meter that had the PEP board in it and compared the Kenwood to that, and it was pretty close in peak mode and exactly the same on CW.

    Of course, the calibration on either meter might be off, but its probably close enough for amateur use.

    So I guess for right now, I can believe the numbers I see here which run from approximately 1400 - 1700 watts out depending on band. If I am over legal, I just cut the drive back a bit. If I had a more powerful "exciter" I might see some of the over-inflated numbers for power out, but that would mean over driving the amp with the resultant splatter. Don't want to do that.

    Some folks, like the fellow you alluded to with his "ugly amp" gleefully ignore the power limits, or in the case of the "plywood amp" they (he) feels that it is OK to fight fire with fire. Not OK, but the person in question is not shy about telling everyone about his adventures with the ugly box on forty meters. (Back in the day)

    Since really high power is pretty expensive or requires a lot of experience to home brew, I think that the percentage of hams who run big power is fairly small. I could be wrong of course.

    In my own decision to get the AL-82 instead of either of the two "bigger" amps it was a simple decision: If I upgraded to the "big boy" amp, everything downstream from it would also have to be upgraded in case I made a mistake. I did not want to have the hassle, so I got the lesser of the three Ameritron amps.

    After all, on the air, it make very little difference to the other ham if I run 500, 1000, or 1500 watts. The difference in signals at the other end is minuscule at best.

    73 Gary
    AF6LJ likes this.
  6. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think there will always be those few who will go t extremes to make those contacts.
    As for the person I am acquainted with (we haven't talked on the radio in something like four years...) He was claiming the FCC was ineffective back in the mid 80s.
    WG7X likes this.
  7. KS2G

    KS2G Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    >>What is the percentage of hams that would break the power rules?

    Probably 100%, since

    ยง97.313 Transmitter power standards says:
    (a) An amateur station must use the minimum transmitter power necessary to carry out the desired communications.

    So, following the "letter of the law" -- anyone who receives an HF signal report of "20 over 9" should reduce power; anyone running 50 watts VHF/UHF "dead full quieting into the repeater" should reduce power, etc.

  8. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    My hotrod makes about 500 hp. Where I've used it, there's no speed limit:
    OTOH, my other fun ride makes about half that much horsepower:
    Even though bone-stock, it can still easily exceed the speed limit. However, I CHOOSE to not
    waste my time doing so.
    W9FTV and W7UUU like this.
  9. WG7X

    WG7X Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yeah, he was making himself quite unpopular on the amplifier reflector, so much so that he was kicked off that one as well as some others. A real piece of work, and one of those who never, ever was wrong about anything.

    We see a bit of that here from time to time, right?


    73 Gary
    WA0MNA likes this.
  10. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I remember those days...

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