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Author Topic: Power Level In England  (Read 11443 times)
VK6HP
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Posts: 504




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« Reply #45 on: December 21, 2017, 06:58:31 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

Jarrad

Leaving aside the often-interesting posted questions about the internals of linears, modifications, etc.  I see a lot of posts displaying a high level of uncertainty by advanced/extra/.... licence holders about the actual operation of amplifiers, appropriate drive levels, basic control interfacing, and so on.  On the one hand, it's good that people can ask questions and get answers.  On the other hand, and in the context of the current discussion, it's legitimate to ask how desirable it is that they be firing up a QRO box in the first place.

Peter.
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VK6HP
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« Reply #46 on: December 21, 2017, 07:19:00 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.


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.

There are many well qualified operators everywhere but I don't think that removes the need for a regulator to set and maintain minimum standards.

The mix of public/private innovation does vary around the world and the US favours a much larger private component than some other countries.  Nevertheless, the IP debt owed to fundamental research, often supported by government programs, is everywhere substantial. Just one example is the development of 802.11 wi-fi technology from techniques first implemented in radio astronomy; that development was done initially by the national research agency in Australia.   There are many other examples coming from global industry, as you say. I completely agree that it would be great to catch even a fraction of the interest of new-generation innovators (or proto-innovators) into ham radio.  It does happen but, as mentioned, I see too little interest and investment by national radio societies and others in attracting and holding top-end players.
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VK6HP
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« Reply #47 on: December 21, 2017, 07:49:03 AM »


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.



Knowing a bit about research myself, I'll observe that no methodology is perfect.  However, this was not rocket science.  It's the sort of thing where an individual would presumably have the nous to triple-check the administrative requirements.  A "dog ate my homework" excuse is, deservedly, going to get short-shrift.

I can't comment about the confiscation worries since the only cases that I know of relate to grossly irresponsible operators' equipment.  I would not have thought that a competent operator's linear amplifier of whatever capacity, operated in compliance with the regulations, would approach that situation.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 08:03:21 AM by VK6HP » Logged
KA5ROW
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« Reply #48 on: December 24, 2017, 07:56:45 PM »

I am going to way in on this a little. If 400 watts is the speed limit. BE honest now, how many amplifiers over there are being ran at 400 watts. You have a guy with an AL-82 that can run 1800 watts and he going to back it down to 400. Shocked

 Now I would be more in believing a guy with an AL-80B backing the drive down to 50 watts to get 400 watts. Just for the pleasure of running a radio and amplifier.  Grin 
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VK6HP
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« Reply #49 on: December 25, 2017, 01:06:43 AM »

It's largely a technical issue but, for what it's worth, my personal view is that hypocrisy (if there is any) is the most significant violation.  In practice, your second example is the type I see most around this part of the world. In my case, I'm between "main" amplifiers at present and am using my Collins 30L-1 when the need arises, and for fun. It's an easy thing to tune up into the dummy load, throw the switch, tweak the tuning slightly if required and get on the air.  I've calibrated a peak-reading meter in the lab and with about 40W of drive, things hum along quite happily at 400W output and I get to enjoy the light show and the indefinable scent of old radio.

For a more modern setup, quite few hams understand that driving a well-designed solid state amplifier conservatively is the way to make friends.  I don't have any trouble accepting that they use their 1 kW-class amplifiers as legal-limit linears.  

There have always been people who push beyond the 400W regulated power limit.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I don't have a technical issue with that if the knowledge and instrumentation are there to support it and, crucially, appropriate education and regulatory standards are in place and implemented. The world being what it is, there's far from a complete correlation between those who choose to run QRO and those best qualified to do so.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2017, 01:10:24 AM by VK6HP » Logged
MM0IMC
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« Reply #50 on: December 25, 2017, 02:50:58 AM »

Is that a metric or imperial 400W? Cheesy That's what one guy told me years ago. Roll Eyes
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VK3BL
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« Reply #51 on: December 26, 2017, 11:57:28 AM »

Jarrad

Leaving aside the often-interesting posted questions about the internals of linears, modifications, etc.  I see a lot of posts displaying a high level of uncertainty by advanced/extra/.... licence holders about the actual operation of amplifiers, appropriate drive levels, basic control interfacing, and so on.  On the one hand, it's good that people can ask questions and get answers.  On the other hand, and in the context of the current discussion, it's legitimate to ask how desirable it is that they be firing up a QRO box in the first place.

Peter.

Dear Peter,

Whilst I completely agree, if we were to apply that standard to motor cars we'd have less road fatalities in a year than all ham QRO caused injuries since W1AW first organised the Relay League.

I'm very much against blanket prohibitions because some people are incompetent. Darwin has been sorting those people out just fine for centuries, without the help of nanny states Smiley
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J.D. Mitchell BA  - VK3BL / XU7AGA - https://www.youtube.com/ratemyradio - Honesty & Integrity
VK6HP
Member

Posts: 504




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« Reply #52 on: December 26, 2017, 12:57:34 PM »

I was in fact tempted to mention Darwin but thought it a bit uncaring, given the season Smiley   But actually, the huge bulk of my concern is for other users of the radio spectrum. In that context, I guess the incompetent are more like neighbourhood hoodlums.

Another of my recreational sinks for funds is aviation and it sometimes seems like I've been subjected to the associated biennial flight reviews since birth. This is very largely for the benefit of my fellow citizens and, while I don't much like regulation, the testing regime does at least ensure a level of demonstrable competence.  My general life outlook leans towards fewer rules, but higher demonstrated standards.  Alarm bells ring when I hear people finding excuses for not wanting to demonstrate capability, either in initial or recurrent terms.  (The first is perhaps most relevant in the ham world, while the second rears it's head in e.g. driving).  A little humbling is no bad thing: few of us are as good as we think we are.  But, with that in mind, some of us have enough pride to make sure we can actually turn in a decent performance, often in the face of new challenges.  I always get a warm glow when a girl-guide or boy-scout testing officer says nice things; they're not to know about the intensive pre-test practice and reading sessions.

Forgive the rambling, but I reckon more hams could see their ticket as a licence to learn.  I noticed your earlier suggestion of a demonstrated Australian QRO licence endorsement (or whatever) and it's an idea well worth considering.

73, Peter.

« Last Edit: December 26, 2017, 01:11:12 PM by VK6HP » Logged
KM1H
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Posts: 5065




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« Reply #53 on: December 26, 2017, 03:03:45 PM »

The Darwin Award is alive and well and I can think of many winners on various forums.

Carl
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