So What Are the New RF Exposure Rules in a Nutshell?

This notice was put up by our ARRL on December 5th and I’ve been puzzling about it since: (Link )

FCC Amending Amateur Radio RF Exposure Safety Rules

12/05/2019The FCC is amending its Part 97 Amateur Service rules relating to RF exposure safety. In a lengthy document in ET Docket 19-226 released on December 4 that addresses a broad range of RF safety issues, the FCC said current amateur radio RF exposure safety limits will remain unchanged, but that the amateur-specific exemption from having to conduct an RF exposure evaluation will be replaced by the FCC’s general exemption criteria. Radio amateurs have always had to comply with RF exposure limits, but certain stations have been exempt from having to conduct evaluations based only upon power and frequency. The Commission indicated that by and large, if an RF source was “categorically excluded” from routine evaluation under the old rules, it will most likely still be exempt under the new rules, which are expected to take effect in the next couple of months.

“For applicants and licensees in the Amateur Radio Service, we substitute our general exemption criteria for the specific exemption from routine evaluation based on power alone in Section 97.13(c)(1) and specify the use of occupational/controlled limits for amateurs where appropriate,” the FCC said.

“The sky is not falling here,” ARRL Lab Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, commented. “The major aspects of the rules will not impose major new burdens on the Amateur Radio Service. As in all regulatory matters, though, the devil may be in the details, so the ARRL technical staff, legal staff, and the experts on the ARRL RF Safety Committee are carefully evaluating this FCC document.”
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SteppIR SARK-110 Antenna Analyzer – DOA out of the box

Back in September I bought from SteppIR a SARK-110 Antenna Analyzer – promoted as a combination SWR Meter, TDR, and Antenna Analyzer.

Actually a sort of pocket single-port Vector Network Analyzer.

SARK-110 Stock Photo

I purchased the SARK-110, brackets for use with my CrankIR Antenna, Calibration Adapters, Rubber Overcase, stands and basically everything SteppIR had on offer.

Out of the box the device lighted up, and after a charge basically did nothing.
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More Connectors – MilSpec Rotator Weatherproof and commodity Weatherproof Ethernet

Searching for weatherproof four conductor connectors rated for much more than 24vdc at 10 Amps, I came across some surplus Amphenol connectors that should fit the bill. I’ve shot a few photos to show how these work.  These were bought from a surplus dealer via their eBay store.

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Rotator Power and Ethernet Protection

Sorting out some more loose ends – power for the Rotator and protection for the Ethernet runs.

I’ve using an AlfaSpid RAK Rotator that will perform very well on 24 vdc with an estimated 90 second 360 degree speed. As I will be controlling it with a 4o3a Rotator Genius, which is rated for much more pass-thru voltage, I needed to find the power supply to make the whole setup work. Link:

AlfaSpid RAK Rotator

So what to power the AlfaSpid RAK with?
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The Big Pull – Most Cables in at the Station Build

Those of you who have pulled cables in underground conduit know it is a bit of a chore.

In my station build the pulls include:

Shack to Tower:

Three 1/2 Hardlines
Two CAT6e Ethernet Cables
One 8-conductor Tower Control Cable
One 4-conductor Rotator Cable
220 vac single phase
110 vac
Two runs of WF16/U Military Surplus (for future usage)

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Getting Ready for the Tower Bulkhead Build

The weather of course has turned, with a nice layer of ice and snow, winds and lower temperatures. So I am doing as much pre-work as possible in preparing the Tower Bulkhead.

First the remote switch gear. A 4o3a Antenna Genius 8×2 remote antenna switch has been prepared and partially configured for initial antenna array. As I will be working out in the cold/weather, I’ve made good use of a label maker to mark things.

Antenna Genius 8×2 Switch for the Tower Bulkhead

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