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Author Topic: Prohibitions On Operating Portable HF Station On Military Installation  (Read 47091 times)

Posts: 52

« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2016, 01:11:29 PM »

Hmm, a subject that I happen to be an expert on.  Let me give you *their* perspective.

As a former communications squadron commander for the Air Force, *I* was the formal authority to allow or prohibit any transmitters on my base.  Anybody below me would come to me asking if it was OK, anybody above me would come to me and ask if there were any possible problems if they allowed it.  And if there were any problems with any of the communications systems on base, they'd come to me and tell me to fix it.

Bottom line:  It's in your best interest to inform *someone* about any type of emitter you're going to be activating on a military installation.  If you caused problems, I took the blame if I knew/know about it.  If I didn't know about it, you take the blame if/when I find you.

So, next time you want to try it, contact anyone in the Air Force Communications Squadron (or the Army Signal Company, or the Navy Communications Department--depending on what kind of military installation it is).  Be ready to explain that you'll only be using FCC type-accepted equipment, you'll only be operating on the frequencies authorized by the FCC according to your license (have a copy of your license ready to hand them) and there is little to no chance of causing any interference with any other radio service because you're running low power (100 watts or less).

As the only "extra class" comm squadron commander on any military installation I've ever known about, my only question was, "where, what kind of ham equipment and how much power?"  None of them ever said "near some important military radio equipment," none of them ever said "home-brew, splattery, non-FCC type accepted equipment," and none of them ever said "more than 100 watts."  My knee jerk response was, ya, sure, give me your phone number in case I need to contact you really fast.  They were usually shocked to find out I knew what ham radio was and even more shocked to find out I had a call sign.

Sometimes, my Civil Engineering counter-part would run his requirement/request/authorization forms through me because it had "radio" in the description.  On occasion, a fellow ham in base housing was trying to do things right.  I'd approve it 100% of the time once I talked to him.  Since he was asking to put something up in base housing, CE's concern was damage to their housing--I usually helped the ham with drawings which is what CE needed to approve it.  My only concern was interference.

I never had to contact anyone to shut down because they were causing interference because they knew they could operate as long as they didn't interfere with anything on base.

And, yes, most of my comm peers were clueless and went the safest route by saying no if you asked them.  Depends on how you ask them.  Like I said, be ready to explain and they'll be more agreeable if you convey to them that you'll not interfere with anything they are responsible for and if there is any interference, they can contact you and you'll shut down immediately.

And if you're only going to activate a portable radio station for a few days, or even a few weeks, it should be a no-brainer for everyone on base who has approval authority to agree with your request.
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