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Comment: Re:Scrap all the rules (Score 1) 104

There's a lot about safety in the regulations, and you're misrepresenting what those regulations are by only highlighting a circumstance in which the operator hurts themselves. You are breaking the law if your station installation doesn't meet the necessary safety regulations, isn't grounded properly, isn't of a sufficient level of engineering quality, but particularly if you exceed maximum power output and RF exposure limits (especially to recipients unaware of the exposure). Enforcement of that is a different matter... Still, the safety and welfare of human beings trumps little things like interferences, and anyone in a life threatening situation (with or without a license) is allowed to use a radio on any frequency or any communication tool at their disposal to ask for help.

The human body is resonant from 30-300 mhz, and the human head is resonant on VHF freqs (2 meter VHF is the most common amateur band for local FM communication, by the way). Say I have a 100W 2 meter transceiver fed into a 20 db yagi-uda directional antenna which I point towards my local repeater, but it's not high up because I cheaped out on a decent mast installation, and that sucker isn't grounded worth a flip. I could potentially be transmitting 1000W (100W at 20 db is 1000W) into an unsuspecting neighbor's house, and the regulations for individuals aware of the exposure is much higher than those for individuals unaware of their exposure (since those unaware wouldn't recognize the signs of dangerous exposure). You're going to feel a little tingling heat sensation if you have that antenna pointed at you, it will definitely burn you good if you touch it (you'll get this funky ashy grey burn, too), and that is a reasonable setup to encounter for even the most cash strapped ham out there.

Ok, now lets move over to unlicensed services. AM and sideband mode citizens band, 5 watts. Tons of folks operating illegal linear amps on those, and there's regs on amp manufacturers to prevent their equipment from illegally boosting on 11 meters. Family radio service is limited to 1/2 W output, and the radios are required to have permanently mounted negative gain antennas that almost guarantee coming in under that limit every time. Wifi is limited to 1W peak output on the beefiest of access points, and is still only going to go up to 10W with a 20 db directional. Any ham transmitter that outputs below 200W peak envelope power doesn't require any sort of RF survey for installation, but that value takes into account the gain/loss of the feedline and antenna system in use, too. The mode of operation comes into play since it dictates duty cycle of transmission, and most digital systems are typically a fraction of the duty cycle of FM.

You might be interested to note that it's the Amateur Radio and Relay League, making it the ARRL. I'm not sure what the AARL is, but I think you mixed it up with the other old timers club, the AARP.

Comment: Re:Scrap all the rules (Score 1) 104

Well, I guess you got me. That exam the FCC made me take to get my license had a LOT of questions about safety around electricity and RF, maximum peak envelope powers, and the requirements for a formal site survey when installing transmitting equipment. Yep, nothing at all about safety there.

Comment: Re:Scrap all the rules (Score 2) 104

You can on the unlicensed ISM spectrum bands for wifi, CB radio, those FRS bubble pack radios, but you're legally limited to very low power operation. Radio licensing is largely about safety with regards to high power transmissions since RF can burn and kill you (it is a form of electricity), and slackjawed mouth breathing fools have a tendency for "hold my beer, watch this" moments.

Comment: Re:Scrap all the rules (Score 3) 104

The amateur license is primarily for self education.

As a US general class amateur radio licensee, I will gladly confirm that you called out one of the primary objectives of the international amateur radio service with the other being emergency communications. I got mine out of pure curiosity and it never ceases to provide something new on a regular basis to scratch my head over.

Comment: Re:What about maintenance costs? (Score 1) 102

by chuckinator (#46713317) Attached to: Intel and SGI Test Full-Immersion Cooling For Servers
No way, chief. Datacenters are designed to be cost efficient, too. That automatic card pulling robot is likely to cost more than an entire row of server racks, and the servers themselves will be ridiculously expensive from custom hardware design and unorthodox cooling systems. What you'll really see is a traditional datacenter running on commodity hardware with humans doing all the manual maintenance. If there's a glut of money for crazy stuff, they'll invest it in either more servers, bigger networking equipment, or additional NOC staff.

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