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Author Topic: Power Level In England  (Read 11479 times)
VK3BL
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« Reply #30 on: December 20, 2017, 01:22:06 AM »

If the reason for UK contest stations buying 1.5 to 4KW amps was to ensure their “400 Watt” signal was clean, why do they not pursue low IMD transceivers to drive them? How many have a spectrum analyser and two tone source to check the cleanliness of their transmission (none, one?).

The reason has nothing to do with clean SSB transmissions, it’s purely to be a stronger signal to beat pile ups or win contests.

73 Dave

Contest stations I don't disagree with you; I just wanted to make it clear that there are plenty of legitimate reasons for an average ham to have a 'high powered' amp in the shack.
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J.D. Mitchell BA  - VK3BL / XU7AGA - https://www.youtube.com/ratemyradio - Honesty & Integrity
MM0IMC
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« Reply #31 on: December 20, 2017, 02:21:09 AM »

Many stations in the UK run illegal power levels, why are dealers offering 1.5KW and even higher power amps when the limit is 400W? Presumably there is a market for the OM series, including the 4KW OM4000 amplifiers offered by dealers such as https://www.hamradio.co.uk/accessories-linear-amplifiers-om-power-amplifiers/om-power/om-power-om4000hf-pd-6734.php

If the regulator revoked a few licences for not adhering to the terms and conditions, those contest “winning” stations wouldn’t do so well.

73 Dave



I wish they'd do something about the CB'ers who wideband amateur radios to operate on 11m, then get a Foundation Licence as a shield to have a legitimate reason for using an amateur radio.  Ofcom don't care anymore. Angry

Regarding those very high power amplifiers, the cost of buying one is eye watering - no doubt the cost of running them at full bore is too, given the cost of electricity prices these days. Shocked
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 02:29:44 AM by MM0IMC » Logged
MM0IMC
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« Reply #32 on: December 20, 2017, 02:39:10 AM »

If the reason for UK contest stations buying 1.5 to 4KW amps was to ensure their “400 Watt” signal was clean, why do they not pursue low IMD transceivers to drive them? How many have a spectrum analyser and two tone source to check the cleanliness of their transmission (none, one?).

The reason has nothing to do with clean SSB transmissions, it’s purely to be a stronger signal to beat pile ups or win contests.

73 Dave

Often to be heard on 40m, 20m, and 10m simultaneously and that's just one radio and one operator! Cheesy  But seriously, you do make a good point.  I makes it harder for legitimate operators to run in contests with legal power or us rag-chewers. It increases the overall noise floor on the band, never mind the IMD products it produces. Angry
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VR2AX
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« Reply #33 on: December 20, 2017, 04:41:04 AM »


Now at the bottom of the sun spot cycle the hams in the Western side of the US would love more signal.

That has always been the case but presumably one only needs to redefine the Californian Kilowatt relative to the rest of the US (although from where I am it's the other side who need more).
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SM0AOM
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« Reply #34 on: December 20, 2017, 05:04:18 AM »

The reluctance of the authorities to raising the power level generally was a fear of more complaints of interference to domestic electronics: probably now it's the radhaz perception amongst the public. At least on that front, we aren't as badly off as the Germans.

There are interesting things going on here. For a very long time the HF power limits have been 1 kW PEP at the output connector. Two years ago, the regulator commissioned a study of the public exposure levels from amateur radio.

Some amateurs became so annoyed of the regulator just poking their nose into this "can of worms" so they started a public campaign of smearing the officials involved, and the consultants that did the study.
After this, the lawyers at the regulator started to get their own views of what power levels could be appropriate for amateur radio.

A colleague at the Defence Materiels Administration became approached by the lawyers
with a request for a "harmless power level" and answered 50 watts.
In a preliminary draft of the new rules this became the new limit.

Someone pointed out that this probably was impractical,
so the current "inside information" that I have says 100 or 200 watts, which still
is a considerable reduction from the previous levels.

It appears that arguments that "contesters or DX:ers need high power" have just fallen to the ground.

The new rules are probably published for the first comment period in mid-January.
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MM0IMC
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« Reply #35 on: December 20, 2017, 06:28:33 AM »

Doesn't surprise me, the current trend is lowering limits in all areas of life.  Lips sealed
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KM1H
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« Reply #36 on: December 20, 2017, 07:36:42 AM »

Quote
If the reason for UK contest stations buying 1.5 to 4KW amps was to ensure their “400 Watt” signal was clean, why do they not pursue low IMD transceivers to drive them? How many have a spectrum analyser and two tone source to check the cleanliness of their transmission (none, one?).

If the QRO ham can afford a big amp it also applies to a higher end transceiver which already has decent IMD WHEN OPERATED PROPERLY. My 1987 TS-940 will run -40 dBc at a lower than peak rated power which is also the best point to drive my amp with a similar measured spec. That is always how I operated in contests as a serious contender for USA #1 scores, busting DX pileups, or general ragchewing; many other responsible stations did the same.
I suspect that most of the complaints are from those with inferior or marginal receivers that simply cant handle a full band of loud signals and were never trained to use the radios built in RF gain control or front end step attenuator.

Quote
Often to be heard on 40m, 20m, and 10m simultaneously and that's just one radio and one operator!

That has nothing to do with IMD or the operator. If the rig and amp are certified to a mandated harmonic standard then learn to live with it as hearing ham harmonics has always been with us. Learn to do the math.


 
Quote
Cheesy  But seriously, you do make a good point.  I makes it harder for legitimate operators to run in contests with legal power or us rag-chewers. It increases the overall noise floor on the band, never mind the IMD products it produces.

With wall to wall contest chaos you havent a clue what the noise floor or individual IMD is. OTOH there is math to calculate this if you are up to it.

Quote
That has always been the case but presumably one only needs to redefine the Californian Kilowatt relative to the rest of the US (although from where I am it's the other side who need more).

There are more US and VE hams using tubes with handles, 2-4 8877's or big Russian tubes on a daily basis than in contests; geography doesnt enter into it and never has for that matter. Most are on SSB of course and mostly heard on 160-80-40 and much less on 20 where big antennas are effective. And of course they are well heard in EU thru their own noise and calling with their 400W or whatever power audio and compressor gain controls at 10. When I had the 40M KLM 4 (now M Squared) element 4/4 up on a 180' tower on top of the highest hill in 20+ miles I would work them nightly and many were on the verge of unintelligibility. My 75/80/160M antenna was also on that tower and often combined with full size verticals with elevated radials. No need to worry about elevation angle nulls Roll Eyes It is amazing what 1200W will do when location, location, location is considered  Grin

Quote
Doesn't surprise me, the current trend is lowering limits in all areas of life.


Sweden has been leading that trend for decades with most of EU not far behind in the Nanny State races.

Carl
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VK6HP
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« Reply #37 on: December 20, 2017, 08:55:23 AM »

It's a pretty complex scene, with QRO motivations noble and ignoble abounding. A few observations from my part of Australia.

1. There is no good reason, on technical or other grounds, to deny demonstrably competent operators the higher power limit that has been unsuccessfully sought.
2. Unfortunately, the experiment done by the AU regulator demonstrated that not enough operators are demonstrably competent and, while that situation persists, there is almost no sensible argument that can be made for a power limit increase, however arbitrary the current 400W limit is considered.
3. It's obvious that the 400W power limit is widely ignored, even by some entry-level licencees.
4. It's true there are good technical reasons (relating primarily to transmitted signal quality) for owning a clean "over-rated" linear.
5. The race to the bottom in terms of standards, in ham radio and other fields, causes national organizations inherently conflicted by membership ambitions and paid administrative functions, to spend all their energies managing the chaos at the bottom of the food-chain at the expense of encouraging (and attracting) advanced capabilities at the top-end.
6.  With (5) in mind, we're pretty much reaping what has been sowed, aided by the notion that nothing is the core business of government any more; everything has to be outsourced, often to multiple entities, thereby ensuring that no-one is truly responsible and that, in the end, the taxpayer will pay more.
7. Largely because of (6), there's diminishing competence and capacity in now-figurehead regulators, which only occasionally raise their heads in the glow of the odd spotlight from high profile disasters, scandals or similar.
8. It's a poor argument to make that, because some ignorant operators elsewhere get away with running QRO that similarly ignorant operators in Australia ought to be afforded the same liberties.
9. A better argument for a power limit increase is based on recognition of the deficiencies of the current licencing system and the addressing of deficient standards, by implementing a verifiable education program.

While those points relate mainly to the Australian situation, it's pretty clear that concerns about standards are more widespread and that, even a casual reading of just QRO-related internet queries etc. from "advanced" certificate holders, gives cause for concern.   I guess (9) has wider relevance.
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MM0IMC
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« Reply #38 on: December 20, 2017, 09:10:39 AM »

KM1H, can't you do anything other than ad hominem attacks and brow beating? Huh
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KM1H
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« Reply #39 on: December 20, 2017, 09:48:37 AM »

Quote
KM1H, can't you do anything other than ad hominem attacks and brow beating?

Is complaining all you can do? I didnt read a denial and all I did was repeat common themes in the media.

No person has been attacked nor animals sacrificed. Try understanding the definition of ad hominem
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SM0AOM
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« Reply #40 on: December 20, 2017, 10:58:30 AM »

5. The race to the bottom in terms of standards, in ham radio and other fields, causes national organizations inherently conflicted by membership ambitions and paid administrative functions, to spend all their energies managing the chaos at the bottom of the food-chain at the expense of encouraging (and attracting) advanced capabilities at the top-end.

I think you have "nailed" it with the above.

The factual background for the actions of the Swedish regulator is
that they have objectively evaluated the actual qualifications of the radio amateur community.
They have found both the technical and operational knowledge lacking, and the qualifications not in proportion to the privileges.

It should be kept in mind that the "contribution to society" by radio amateurs is considered to be essentially zero.
Radio amateurs that are officials at the regulator have been internally reprimanded for showing symphaties for the
amateur radio cause at international meetings, as it is considered a waste of time and resources.

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K6AER
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« Reply #41 on: December 20, 2017, 02:56:55 PM »

5. The race to the bottom in terms of standards, in ham radio and other fields, causes national organizations inherently conflicted by membership ambitions and paid administrative functions, to spend all their energies managing the chaos at the bottom of the food-chain at the expense of encouraging (and attracting) advanced capabilities at the top-end.

I think you have "nailed" it with the above.

The factual background for the actions of the Swedish regulator is
that they have objectively evaluated the actual qualifications of the radio amateur community.
They have found both the technical and operational knowledge lacking, and the qualifications not in proportion to the privileges.

It should be kept in mind that the "contribution to society" by radio amateurs is considered to be essentially zero.
Radio amateurs that are officials at the regulator have been internally reprimanded for showing symphaties for the
amateur radio cause at international meetings, as it is considered a waste of time and resources.


We (USA) have the CB mindset on the bands but also there are many well qualified technical operators on the bands every night.

I have never seen one RF technology discovery come from a government agency. The private sector leads innovation. My decision to become a RF Engineer was influenced by my Grandfather being a HAM operator as many in the my age group in the 50's and 60's.

If the license group lacks sufficient skills maybe the license structure needs to be changed. Maybe the powers to be are looking for the wrong ethos in ham radio.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 03:06:38 PM by K6AER » Logged
VR2AX
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« Reply #42 on: December 20, 2017, 04:31:44 PM »

Quote
Quote
That has always been the case but presumably one only needs to redefine the Californian Kilowatt relative to the rest of the US (although from where I am it's the other side who need more).



No doubt true. It was however a fairly common comment among older generation UK hams in the 60s. Possibly more the result of envy than anything else.

The VR2 / East Coast path can be tricky, as the short path is almost directly due north. Southern CA is closer to 40 - 45 degrees. I have managed to work several west coast stations on 160, but don't recall even hearing one from the east coast. That was some years ago ..when I had an antenna for 160..
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VK3BL
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« Reply #43 on: December 21, 2017, 01:32:06 AM »

While those points relate mainly to the Australian situation, it's pretty clear that concerns about standards are more widespread and that, even a casual reading of just QRO-related internet queries etc. from "advanced" certificate holders, gives cause for concern.

Dear Peter,

I'm not sure I understand your last point - would you mind clarifying what you mean?

Thanks,

Jarrad VK3BL
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J.D. Mitchell BA  - VK3BL / XU7AGA - https://www.youtube.com/ratemyradio - Honesty & Integrity
VK3BL
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« Reply #44 on: December 21, 2017, 01:57:26 AM »

It's a pretty complex scene, with QRO motivations noble and ignoble abounding. A few observations from my part of Australia.

1. There is no good reason, on technical or other grounds, to deny demonstrably competent operators the higher power limit that has been unsuccessfully sought.

I completely agree.  I encourage the WIA/ACMA to set a reasonable standard (e.g., no requirement to be in the middle of no where); I will gladly meet it, whether it requires personal education, or station upgrades, or both.

2. Unfortunately, the experiment done by the AU regulator demonstrated that not enough operators are demonstrably competent and, while that situation persists, there is almost no sensible argument that can be made for a power limit increase, however arbitrary the current 400W limit is considered.

Disagree.  As someone formally educated in research methods, I contend the study did not meet rigorous standards.

The WIA/ACMA (probably more the WIA) did a poor job of communicating the requirements to the participants.  I know of a very intelligent, diligent & competent ham who was not aware of the reporting requirements, for example.

Secondly, the requirement to list equipment owned, without any guarentee it wouldn't be arbitrarily seized (as have free-banded radios in the past), scared off many applicants.  Even free-banding a radio has a legitimate use - it makes for a good signal generator.

Please note, none of my radios are free-banded.

3. It's obvious that the 400W power limit is widely ignored, even by some entry-level licencees.

Many operators, of all licences classes worldwide ignore their power limits.  There are many DXPeditions that go to 100 watt countries with linears, and we gladly work them.  If you're a DXer who obeys your limits but works said stations, you're in many ways just as guilty.

4. It's true there are good technical reasons (relating primarily to transmitted signal quality) for owning a clean "over-rated" linear.

I've published a youtube video that demonstrates this point undeniably (into a Bird 8201 dummy load). 

I can achieve better than -37dBc (-43dB PEP) IMD3 with my IC-7610 & THP HL-2.5Kfx setup at 400 Watts PEP.  Thats -7dB better IMD performance than the IC-7610 alone produces at 100 Watts barefoot.

At 400 Watts PEP, I am 1dB cleaner than 100 Watts PEP.  Anyone who wants to 'punish' me rather than congratulate me for building such a station will end up speaking with my Lawyer.

Unlike many other Hams, I have a station monitor, and even solicit feedback by publishing my email address on QRZ.com

5. The race to the bottom in terms of standards, in ham radio and other fields, causes national organizations inherently conflicted by membership ambitions and paid administrative functions, to spend all their energies managing the chaos at the bottom of the food-chain at the expense of encouraging (and attracting) advanced capabilities at the top-end.

Agreed.  There is a conflict of interest.  Perhaps an independent, invite only society of Hams interested in continually improving their own standards is in order.  A prospective member need not have an Alpha 87A and pre-distortion transceiver, just the desire to receive feedback from peers and commit to continual improvement with consideration to their individual circumstances.

8. It's a poor argument to make that, because some ignorant operators elsewhere get away with running QRO that similarly ignorant operators in Australia ought to be afforded the same liberties.

The nice thing about QRO is that it tends to take care of ignoramuses all by itself Wink. That said, I completely agree with your point.  It is a fallacy of logic to argue that because standards are lax elsewhere, they should be lax here too.

9. A better argument for a power limit increase is based on recognition of the deficiencies of the current licencing system and the addressing of deficient standards, by implementing a verifiable education program.

Agreed.  A high power endorsement to the Advanced Licence, earned only through passing an examination on EM Hazards (calculation thereof and mitigation) and 'High Power' theory such as adhering to cable and connector specifications, understanding IMD & PIM etc, is in order. 

Once the 'standards' endorsement has been passed, the Advanced Licensee should be free to propose a station design, complete with paperwork and the requested power output, for review by independent, qualified engineers. 

So long as standards are adhered too, there should be no upper limit on the requested power output, because lets face it, in 99% of cases 2kW is the maximum achievable output.

Going beyond 2kW generally requires three phase power, as well as a well though out, custom designed and built antenna system.  Its a fallacy to think one can just open their wallet for an OM Power OM4000HF and put a big signal on the air.  It takes much, much more effort than that.

Organising three phase power alone is hard enough in this country these days.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 02:13:09 AM by VK3BL » Logged

J.D. Mitchell BA  - VK3BL / XU7AGA - https://www.youtube.com/ratemyradio - Honesty & Integrity
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