47 CFR § 73.189 - Minimum antenna heights or field strength requirements.
(a) Section 73.45 requires that all applicants for new, additional, or different broadcast facilities and all licensees requesting authority to move 0the transmitter of an existing station, shall specify a radiating system, the efficiency of which complies with the requirements of good engineering practice for the class and power of the station.
(b) The specifications deemed necessary to meet the requirements of good engineering practice at the present state of the art are set out in detail below.
(1) The licensee of a AM broadcast station requesting a change in power, time of operation, frequency, or transmitter location must also request authority to install a new antenna system or to make changes in the existing antenna system which will meet the minimum height requirements, or submit evidence that the present antenna system meets the minimum requirements with respect to field strength, before favorable consideration will be given thereto. (See § 73.186.) In the event it is proposed to make substantial changes in an existing antenna system, the changes shall be such as to meet the minimum height requirements or will be permitted subject to the submission of field strength measurements showing that it meets the minimum requirements with respect to effective field strength.
(2) These minimum actual physical vertical heights of antennas permitted to be installed are shown by curves A, B, and C of Figure 7 of § 73.190 as follows:
(i) Class C stations, and stations in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands on 1230, 1240, 1340, 1400, 1450 and 1490 kHz that were formerly Class C and were redesignated as Class B pursuant to § 73.26(b), 45 meters or a minimum effective field strength of 180 mV/m for 1 kW at 1 kilometer (90 mV/m for 0.25 kW at 1 kilometer). (This height applies to a Class C station on a local channel only. Curve A shall apply to any Class C stations in the 48 conterminous States that are assigned to Regional channels.)
(iii) Class A stations, a minimum effective field strength of 275 mV/m for 1 kW at 1 kilometer.
(3) The heights given on the graph for the antenna apply regardless of whether the antenna is located on the ground or on a building. Except for the reduction of shadows, locating the antenna on a building does not necessarily increase the efficiency and where the height of the building is in the order of a quarter wave the efficiency may be materially reduced.
(4) At the present development of the art, it is considered that where a vertical radiator is employed with its base on the ground, the ground system should consist of buried radial wires at least one-fourth wave length long. There should be as many of these radials evenly spaced as practicable and in no event less than 90. (120 radials of 0.35 to 0.4 of a wave length in length and spaced 3° is considered an excellent ground system and in case of high base voltage, a base screen of suitable dimensions should be employed.)
(5) In case it is contended that the required antenna efficiency can be obtained with an antenna of height or ground system less than the minimum specified, a complete field strength survey must be supplied to the Commission showing that the field strength at a mile without absorption fulfills the minimum requirements. (See § 73.186.) This field survey must be made by a qualified engineer using equipment of acceptable accuracy.
(6) The main element or elements of a directional antenna system shall meet the above minimum requirements with respect to height or effective field strength. No directional antenna system will be approved which is so designed that the effective field of the array is less than the minimum prescribed for the class of station concerned, or in case of a Class A station less than 90 percent of the ground wave field which would be obtained from a perfect antenna of the height specified by Figure 7 of § 73.190 for operation on frequencies below 1000 kHz, and in the case of a Class B or Class D station less than 90 percent of the ground wave field which would be obtained from a perfect antenna of the height specified by Figure 7 of § 73.190 for operation on frequencies below 750 kHz.