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[TowerTalk] Antenna Measurements

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Antenna Measurements
From: (John Langdon)
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 1999 11:04:47 -0500
Amen about reviewers, Tom.

When you are the manufacturer or author, it sometimes seems as though the 
reviewers are Murphy's disciples on earth. They are able to generate a 
minimum of 17 different explanations for what they have observed, all of 
them unfavorable to the product,  They also seem incapable of comprehending 
any different explanation.  They are always "on deadline" and never have 
time to even listen to your side, much less try a test you suggest to clear 
up a misunderstanding.  They always say: "you can put that in your 
comments"  which are always published 3 months later and read by only 10% 
of the original readers.

But to consumers, it often seems like they are in the manufacturer's 
pockets, and willing to repeat anything the manufacturers tell them as the 
total truth, and unwilling to risk the manufacturer's disfavor with even an 
aside that is unfavorable. There are at least three sides to every story.

If I see you at Dayton next year, I'll tell you about a non ham friend of 
mine who has more patents than you and I have fingers and toes, and his 
succinct summary of the review process and scientific knowledge base at a 
noted high end high fidelity magazine.

73 John N5CQ

-----Original Message-----
From:   Tom Rauch []
Sent:   Sunday, June 20, 1999 10:30 AM
To:     'TowerTalk'; Guy Olinger, K2AV
Subject:        Re: [TowerTalk] Antenna Measurements
I got into a similar problem with the ARRL in 1984 or so. They
reviewed an AL-1200 amplifier, and tested it on a defective power
source at the lab. The result was HV sagged far beyond what it
would on a good power source. The ARRL measured the supply
voltage sag using an incorrect method (despite warnings from me
they were measuring it wrong, using a RMS meter instead of a
peak reading meter ore a scope), and concluded the power line
supply they used was good.

They published the results, and then when the took the same AL-
1200 over to W1AW and it worked TOTALLY different. The sag was
gone, and the power and efficiency were way up. They never
published a correction for the error, but they did quit using that
regulated supply in future tests. Had they used that supply, some
amplifiers would have done better than others and the spread from
best to worse would have expanded.

Having been in that position at least three times now in reviews, I
feel some sympathy for others who are thrust into the same

These types of "reviews" are just one person's (or one small
group's) idea of how something should be measured. They are
never perfect, and more often than we imagine are not even
reasonably correct.

That's the way the system will always work when people don't
verify data with a totally different measurement method that involves
different people. Without a blind cross-check, you have no idea
what you are getting.

73, Tom W8JI

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