Dealing with the 420-450MHz Power Limitation in Florida

Some Basic Information

Hereís a how-to for getting your 50W power limit waived in the state of Florida. This also applies to other states like New Mexico and parts of Georgia that have the power limit from FCC Part 97.313(f). Iíve also added in some common sense stuff to avoid getting a ďphone callĒ from your local military base or the FCC office in the middle of a VHF contest.

1)      Donít apply to get a waiver ďjust to say you have oneĒ to impress your buddies.

2)      When you apply, have all your information handy. Do the engineering up front. The person reviewing your submittal doesnít want to crunch out your math. Make sure itís correct in the submittal.

3)      Donít operate with high power during a rocket or space shuttle launch. The DX can wait another day. If you hear a radar running, back off the juice to avoid causing interference until it stops.

4)      Donít ask for the entire 420-450MHz band. Limit to what you are asking for. If you operate 432.000-432.200, then list that only. Do you really need 1500W for that Orlando repeater?

5)      If you ask for something out of the norm, expect your request to be rejected.

6)      Always used certified/registered mail for FCC correspondence with a return receipt. They are all lawyers. If you donít, it WILL be discarded into the round file.

7)      Do not send any request directly to the military frequency coordinator even if he is your next door neighbor. There may be another in your area that needs to be notified.

8)      Donít ask for more power than what you are comfortable running, but allow for margin. 1500W at 432MHz tends to melt things.

9)      Know your equipment. Antenna, feedline, power amplifier, transverter/radio. Have the proper test equipment around so you can make basic checks.

1)      Expect questions from the coordinator. Answer them promptly if you want your waiver.

2)      The FCC and/or military frequency coordinator may need to contact you at any time day or night. Do not be sketchy with your contact information.

Here is a sample letter in Microsoft Word format to send to the FCC Commissioners Office in Tampa, FL. The names and data will need to be changed. Do NOT add in your ambitions about working that Y6 or DL on EME. They do not care. Keep your request strictly technical. Have an electronic copy handy to be emailed on request. They may request it so it can be forwarded to the military frequency coordinator by email instead of snail mail. You will get a response a LOT faster.

Download the form letter here.