[amsat-bb] Re: External Amplifier Legality Questions

Zach Leffke zleffke at vt.edu
Wed Mar 19 13:24:13 PDT 2014

Haha! I knew I was going to get questions about the peak power levels.  
I should have mentioned this in the first email, but it was already 
pretty long winded (so here goes a long winded reply).

First up about my original question about legal issues:
It looks like the consensus is I'm good to go.  Right now based on 
calculation, I should be legal with enough suppression.  I will measure 
the system performance before going on the air to ensure that I am legal.

To address the numerous concerns about peak power:
So the 100W figure is the peak power the amp can deliver.  I will /not/ 
be operating this amp anywhere near its peak power levels when working 
the birds.  So do not fear! I won't be blasting the birds.

However, increasing the scope of my interests in the hobby a bit from 
Amateur Satellites to Amateur Radio in general, having a canned system 
capable of about 100W (a little higher at VHF, and just about 100W at 
UHF) could come in handy for things like VHF and up contesting.  This 
system has overlapping amateur radio goals, of which satellites are one.

The Radio:
I am not using a traditional hardware radio, but rather an SDR (ettus 
research B210) my wife bought me for my birthday (best present ever) 
that only puts out about +10dBm (plenty to drive this amp).

The Antennas:
I'll be using M2 Antennas products with "gobs" of gain, further reducing 
the needed TX power requirements.  I do want to experiment in the future 
with some homebrew omnis (lindenblad, eggbeater, etc..) and being able 
to bump up the power a bit on TX without having to worry will be a nice 

To address Paul's note about control:
My involvement to date with the Fox project is with the camera card, not 
with control ops.  However, I am VERY interested in the possibility of 
joining the Operations team and becoming a control station for AMSAT for 
the Fox series (and beyond).  However, for all my "book-learning," and 
LOTS of RX only ops on the birds, I only have a handful of actual 
contacts under my belt.  So right now I'm just trying to get a station 
up and running to increase my activity on the birds.  Maybe down the 
road when the bugs have been worked out of the system and I am a little 
less green, then I'll look at control ops a little more closely, and 
having a decent amp could come in handy there as well (assuming of 
course the AMSAT ops team needs/wants me to participate in control ops).

Thank you very much to everyone for the quick feedback.  I appreciate 
everyone taking the time to help educate me.

-Zach, KJ4QLP

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