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Author Topic: FCC seeks to reassess RF exposure limits  (Read 23074 times)
KB3YLQ
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Posts: 57




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« on: April 07, 2013, 05:57:35 AM »

This should be interesting.

http://www.arrl.org/news/view/fcc-seeks-to-reassess-rf-exposure-limits?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

73,

Loren KB3YLQ
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2013, 11:56:19 AM »

So, how will they spin the rules to allow one to press a microwave transmitter against ones head for extended periods of time?  Can you fry me now?
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KA6MLE
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Posts: 77




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« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2013, 11:49:04 AM »

So, how will they spin the rules to allow one to press a microwave transmitter against ones head for extended periods of time?  Can you fry me now?

I pretty much said the same thing on the QRZ forum... I'm sure the cell phone industry makes the FCC more money then we do...
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WA8FOZ
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Posts: 187




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« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2013, 09:06:17 PM »

Quote
Quote from: KG4RUL on Yesterday at 11:56:19 AM
So, how will they spin the rules to allow one to press a microwave transmitter against ones head for extended periods of time?  Can you fry me now?

KA6MLE:
I pretty much said the same thing on the QRZ forum... I'm sure the cell phone industry makes the FCC more money then we do...
In point of fact, nobody makes the FCC any money. All license fees, forfeitures, and the like go directly to the Treasury ( the general fund). The FCC gets whatever Congress decides to appropriate to them.

Where the money goes is lobbying Congress, and most important of all, PACs. A race for a House seat costs at the very least $2 million. That means that a Representative has to raise $20,000 each week! In a competitive urban district, the amount can be many times that. And since the SCOTUS has decided that campaign contributions are free speech and cannot be limited, it is wide open for the big boys to invest billions to foster businesses worth many billions. The bottom line is still just that: money matters.

It is AMAZING that the ARRL, with budgets of a few hundred thousand dollars and no PAC, does as well as it does. We are up against some EXTREMELY big opponents. Far more powerful than RF exposure rules or gub'mint regulations. OSISI.
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W6RMK
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Posts: 649




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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2013, 09:12:08 PM »

This is fairly normal and not particularly unusual in the regulatory world. Any time there's a special case (e.g. an exemption for hams) one would ask whether you can do away with the special case (regulatory simplification and all).

Doing a decent RF safety evaluation isn't all that hard (it's a lot easier than learning CW). There's plenty of simple analysis that a ham can do that would assess the exposure, so the need for a "no analysis safe harbor" is sort of small.

There's also the "multiple transmitter" problem. The regulations require that if there is more than one transmitter, you need to do the analysis, not take the exemption.  And that's not just ham transmitters, the cell phone and the WiFi and the BT and everything else count too.  There's a "less than 5 percent" exception, but I would venture that the fields from the cellphone are comparable to, if not greater than, the typical fields from a HF or VHF antenna.

There's also this problem:"exempt transmitting antennas that are unusually close to people could potentially lead to non-compliant exposure levels"  

Pictures in QST of people running mobile VHF rigs or HF compact loops on picnic tables running 100W don't help things.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2013, 03:57:14 AM »

I would venture to bet that there are more ham stations that don't have a hard copy analysis done where one is mandated than there are those that do have one done.  Once more, there are more ham stations that have tweaked their analysis they have done so it shows things are OK.  Regulations like this are essentially useless--unless, of course, you get investigated for something else and the authorities check for the analysis.

In any event, there have been transmitters with their antennas close to people--all sorts of people, not only hams--for many, many years.  There isn't one instance yet where it was proven that RF energy from HF, VHF and UHF have caused harm to a human being.  Yes, the cell phones are more problematic for many reasons, but for our most used frequencies, the RF that people are 'exposed' to is essentially harmless in all but an extremely few cases.  Added--And those few cases are with power levels way higher than we usually use.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2013, 03:59:33 AM by K1CJS » Logged
KH6DC
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Posts: 634




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« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2013, 12:09:03 PM »

NEPA or National Environmental Policy Act???  You mean we have to get an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) just to put up an antenna???  Looks like the FCC is becoming a puppet of the cellphone corporations being misguided by the almighty dollar.

I wonder the cell towers always will receive a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on their EIS's but ours (if implemented) will be scrutinized with a fine tooth comb.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2013, 12:12:06 PM by KH6DC » Logged

73 and Aloha,
de Delwyn, KH6DC
KD0REQ
Member

Posts: 854




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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2013, 11:05:50 AM »

the ARRL summary also indicated labelling and barriers are part of the review.  so if your next HT is wrapped with razor wire and has a diathermy warning sticker on it, it can both make you bleed and cure it.

probably add $500 to the cost of the radio.  but if you rig a plug to the antenna jack connecting that razor wire, should be good for another 3 dB.
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N0JI
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Posts: 9




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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2013, 10:44:57 AM »

Enjoy your hobbies while you can.  The times they are a changin'.......
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ZENKI
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Posts: 906




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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2013, 06:00:30 AM »

Meanwhile they let  all the crap equipment from China onto the market that causes vast amount of interference.

Nobody has faith in any of the government bodies like the FCC anymore anywhere in the world. They dont have the high moral technical ground anymore.
The quicker government departments like the FCC dies and blows away  out of our lives the better off we will all be.

Government is disease like cancer that has no cure. If somebody can make money out of getting away with high levels of RF exposure they will let them do it.  Just look at how the bent the rules on BPL and  made the ARRL look like fools by changing the goal posts. They then prance around like they have some moral and technical competence. When lawyer engineers try and fool real engineers they lose all respect.  Its even worst when these government bodies sole
existence is to accommodate their political masters.
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WX7G
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Posts: 5918




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« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2013, 05:48:15 AM »

I see this paragraph as the most important:

“We appreciate that Amateur Radio operators are knowledgeable about the appropriate use of their equipment, such that separation distances are likely to be maintained to ensure compliance with our exposure limits,” the FCC said. “However, since the existing amateur exemptions are based only on transmitter power and do not consider separation distance or antenna gain, exempt transmitting antennas that are unusually close to people could potentially lead to non-compliant exposure levels.” The FCC said that a separation distance of at least 24 feet would meet its proposed exemption criteria, “considering a currently exempt 50 W transmitter at VHF in accord with Section 97.13(c) and assuming an antenna gain of 6 dBd.”

The present rules do not take into account the antenna near-field and so RF exposure grossly above the occupational limits is allowed. Ideally RF E and H fields would be measured with a calibrated instrument.
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KJ4VKC
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Posts: 6




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« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2013, 09:21:51 AM »

What about the typical mobile user such as myself running on 50W VHF when we're having trouble working the repeater on lower power or seeing what we can work simplex? Under the current rules I don't have to evaluate, but the suggested example of 24 feet under the new example would be nowhere near possible in my compact car.
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W6RMK
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Posts: 649




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« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2013, 08:33:46 PM »

What about the typical mobile user such as myself running on 50W VHF when we're having trouble working the repeater on lower power or seeing what we can work simplex? Under the current rules I don't have to evaluate, but the suggested example of 24 feet under the new example would be nowhere near possible in my compact car.

this is precisely the sort of situation that needs actual analysis and not a safe harbor. The "safe harbor" is the 24 feet.   In reality, given typical duty cycles, unless you're a real alligator, you're not going to bust the limits with the averaging factor considered, but you need to do the analysis to be sure.
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K1CJS
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Posts: 5871




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« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2013, 04:49:31 AM »

What about the typical mobile user such as myself running on 50W VHF when we're having trouble working the repeater on lower power or seeing what we can work simplex? Under the current rules I don't have to evaluate, but the suggested example of 24 feet under the new example would be nowhere near possible in my compact car.

Even with a compact car, there is little need to worry about VHF operation.  There has been extended VHF operation in cars for over fifty years--and UHF (400 mHz) for over thirty.  There hasn't been even one report of harm coming to a person from such useage.  The people using that radio equipment would have reported such things too--because those people are your local police and public safety people!

Police units have run 100 watts--and over--in mobile VHF transmitters since the fifties and sixties.  Larger cities have used the 400 mHz UHF transmitters for around thirty years.  Not one of those people has developed any sort of medical problems from such useage.  When you start to speak of cell phones and such, yes, there may be a problem because of the much higher frequencies in use, even at low power levels.  Think of this though--lower power microwave ovens still run 800 watts to cook food, and still have to take some time to do it.  Radio systems do not put out nearly that much power for the usual communications, and such communications usually don't take as long as cooking food in a microwave does.

The push for the assessing RF exposure limits are on because of the nature of litigation in this country now--something driven by lawyers, not scientists and engineers.  If it WERE up to the scientists and engineers, this reassessment wouldn't be done, simply because the scientists and engineers know that the current levels are more than adequate now.
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K1CJS
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Posts: 5871




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« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2013, 04:54:22 AM »

Don't get me wrong, I do not mean to say that you should not follow the regs, but if the current thinking keeps up, pretty soon we won't be able to do much at all--without having a lead lined full coverage suit on and filling out paperwork every time we transmit!   Roll Eyes
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