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[AMPS] FCC certification - how do they do it?

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Subject: [AMPS] FCC certification - how do they do it?
From: (Fred Fliss)
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2000 06:13:55 GMT
Fine gentlemen of the reflector,

As I am becoming once again enamored of the spectre of the hobby, I'm 
finding pseudo-professional groups (read: DX clubs) interested in engaging 
my services for custom-built HF amplifiers.  Given that I'm law-abiding to a 
fault (wouldn't want to risk the green card, you know), I gave the FCC regs 
a persual, and after a double-take, a more studious reading.

My source for the regs is online at:

Herewith, then, are the subjects about HF amplifiers and the amateur hobby 
and the FCC that vex me:

Subpart 97.317 stipulates:
(c) <early bits omitted> The following features will result in dismissal or 
denail of an application for certification:
<skip items 1 and 2>
(3) Instructions for operatoin or modification of the amplifier in a manner 
contrary to FCC Rules;
<FF enquiry: How is it legal, therefore, for a commercial ham amplifier 
manufacturer to offer, even to licensed hams, information that enables 
operation on 10 meters?  The ability to opearate on 10 meters is effectively 
disallowed by subpart 97.317 (1)>
<skip item 4>
(5)  Any internal RF sensing circuitry or any external switch, the purpose 
of which is to place the amplifier in th transmit mode;
<FF enquiry: I thought that both the Acom amplifier and one of the Alphas - 
the 87, perhaps - had RF sensing circuitry.  How, therefore, do they achieve 

One other bit of dross I encountered was the requirement that at least 50 
watts of drive must be required to achieve full output.  I wondered how all 
those 160 watt VHF amplifiers that could be driven by a handheld could be 
certified.  But then I found subpart 97.315, which exempts from the 
certification requirement any amplifier which can only operate above 144 

Is this a case where the written law is overlooked by the authorities when 
they know that the company involved is what you call "a good guy"?  I 
suspect I have rather a lot to learn about American law.

Many warm regards,

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