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 To Licence, or not to Licence......

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matt303
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Victor
Alan Pilot
TheReverend
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TheReverend
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Call Sign : 26-CT-3921
Posts : 32
Times Thanked : 1
Join date : 2020-12-22
QTH or Location : Marlborough
Equipment Used : SS9900, B550p, HP-202, Sirio 4000 and T2lT

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PostSubject: To Licence, or not to Licence......   To Licence, or not to Licence...... Icon_minitimeSat Oct 16, 2021 1:02 am

Hi All,

The very first thing I did last year when I knew I was receiving my T2lT for Christmas, and even before getting a radio, was to register here for my CT callsign.  The SS9900 and Sirio magmount followed soon afterwards, together with a new 4x4 (to get to those awkward hilltop spots) and I've had an amazing time since when time has allowed!!  The obvious next step (in my mind) was to put some study time and brains behind it, so I started my Foundation course in the spring.  The spring became summer, and the summer is now autumn....I've completed 75% of the coursework with a 100% pass rate, however I'm now in the situation whereby I'm asking myself 'why bother with a licence?'....the SS9900 puts out more than 10 watts on the 10-12m band, so I'd immediately be breaking the terms of the licence I'd worked for, unless I turned it down a notch.  Now, I know that there are plenty of other bands available to licenced operators, however I live in a deep valley in the countryside, with a postage-stamp sized garden, so I'm left wondering if there is any benefit!?!

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Alan Pilot
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Alan Pilot


Call Sign : 163-CT-220...MW7TTA
Posts : 1235
Times Thanked : 39
Join date : 2019-11-19
QTH or Location : Anglesey North Wales
Equipment Used : Yaesu FT-991A,,Icom ic-7300,,Anytone AT-D878UV PLUS",,LINCOLN II+.

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PostSubject: Re: To Licence, or not to Licence......   To Licence, or not to Licence...... Icon_minitimeSat Oct 16, 2021 7:19 am

I have the small garden syndrome and have a multiband vertical and a 7 band cobweb antenna's.
Not in the best location not the best neighbours so antennas are low.
With my hf set and my 10w i have worked the world this year and conditions are not that good yet.
Go for it like a lot of the members on here.


Last edited by Alan Pilot on Sun Oct 31, 2021 9:22 am; edited 1 time in total

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Victor
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Victor


Call Sign : 26-CT-3228 Ham M7VIC
Posts : 2492
Times Thanked : 170
Join date : 2019-11-10
QTH or Location : Bedford
Equipment Used : Various

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PostSubject: Re: To Licence, or not to Licence......   To Licence, or not to Licence...... Icon_minitimeSat Oct 16, 2021 8:58 am

Hi Simon,

Great to hear about your radio adventures and that you've been enjoying yourself with it all. To Licence, or not to Licence...... 1f44d 


I can understand you questioning yourself about pursuit of a radio amateur licence as I was pretty much in the same place myself some time back. Luckily with some encouragement from a very good friend and members here at Charlie Tango I finally went on to take my Foundation and can honestly say I've thoroughly enjoyed myself ever since! Smile

You'll soon find that the 10 watt 'limit' will make you work much harder at your radio operations with good effect and hopefully whilst enjoying the learning experience. Start learning things about coax losses, antenna systems as a whole, common mode current etc. and you can often make that measly 10 watts do so much more than you could ever dream of.

(You'd be amazed at what you could do with a beam antenna, especially atop a hill or two and you'd be amazed at what you can make a beam antenna out of!)


Not only that but you gain access to all that wonderful RF spectrum and everything you could possibly want to do there. 

I started with very little equipment but now have access to all the bands from 1.8MHz all the way up to 435MHz, (and beyond if you count in PMR frequencies Wink), with comparatively little outlay and a very small space for my antenna 'farm'. Literally every one of my antennas are pieces of copper wire strung around my loft space due to my limited plot and despite the ne'er sayers all of them work rather well for what they are. I also live in a deep dark radio hole but you'd be amazed at what you can do there and get that RF out to the world.


There are those ready to condone 'new licence' holders and point out the limits of 10 watt operations and yet they don't seem to do the same thing with those that passionately pursue QRP interests. (???)

On 10 watts SSB on the 40m band, (7MHz), I can achieve contacts with distances you can only dream of on CB without propagation conditions. I've spoken to a friend via a repeater on 70cm FM with a Baofeng handheld at low power, (1 watt), as he travelled from London to Milton Keynes with a handheld beam I knocked up from an old TV antenna. I've even made contact on digital modes as far away as Iceland using as little as 1 watt!

All of this possible by simply sitting that Foundation exam and I have still so much to explore.
(Currently brushing up on my Morse!)


For yourself? 

You'll get to legally use those extra bands on your radio, 10m and 12m behave much as 11m, (CB), does. The excitement will come from propagation conditions and we are heading our way up the next sunspot cycle. To Licence, or not to Licence...... 1f44d 

You love operating from a good hill by the sound of it so might be worth looking at S.O.T.A., (Summits On The Air), operations and there are plenty of members here who enjoy such pursuits.


Either way you obviously enjoy radio so why not stick another feather in that cap with your Foundation?

.....I'm certainly glad I did. Smile


Whatever you decide to do is up to you and all I can do is wish you the very best with it.

But for less than £30 for the Foundation exam I'd say it's money well spent.


73
Victor

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Gmonkey
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Gmonkey


Call Sign : 26-CT-3890
Posts : 19
Times Thanked : 0
Join date : 2020-11-28
QTH or Location : Luton, Bedfordshire
Equipment Used : CB - Twig: Sirio 2016 5/8. Rigs: ICOM 7300, Grant II Premium, Amstrad 901, CRT2000H, Murphy CH1500, Moonraker II, Harrier CBX, Harvard 420, Binatone Breaker Phone, Fidelity 3000. Scanners : Twig Wideband Generic. Rigs: AOR 8600 MK2, Realistic Pro 2005, Various scanning Dongles

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PostSubject: Re: To Licence, or not to Licence......   To Licence, or not to Licence...... Icon_minitimeSat Oct 16, 2021 11:00 am

I started out like you and my location is definitely not optimised for radio.

I took the Foundation and saved for an ICOM 7300, it literally opened up the world of radio to me.

SSTV, FT8 and contact, when the conditions and my 10 watts allowed, to stations I could have never dreamed I could talk to.

A 10 watts foundation license will force you to experiment and overcome, rather than make the basic mistake that many people used to make on CB which is just adding more TX power.

A well optimised 10 watt Ham setup will blow your mind, even if you're in a less than perfect location like me.

The group here are fantastic and offer sage advice, as a result I've started building antenna's and experimenting based on info from the forum.

Give it a go, for £30.00 and an exam, you can't really go wrong.

All the best.

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matt303
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Call Sign : 26-CT-2759
Posts : 1
Times Thanked : 0
Join date : 2021-09-09
QTH or Location : Derbyshire
Equipment Used : President McKinley

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PostSubject: Re: To Licence, or not to Licence......   To Licence, or not to Licence...... Icon_minitimeSun Oct 17, 2021 8:02 pm

Don't forget the VHF bands, I've a soft spot for 2m, this weekend I managed to park up in the Peak District and work stations from Snowdonia to Cadwell Park not far from the Lincolnshire coast, only running around 20W and switching to 10W would make little difference. Also took the McKinley with me and heard Greece coming in 59+.

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Northern Crusader
Major contributor
Major contributor



Call Sign : M0GVZ / 26CT1760
Posts : 422
Times Thanked : 31
Join date : 2019-11-13
QTH or Location : IO94SA
Equipment Used : Icom 7300, TS480, President McKinley, Albrecht AE6110, CRT Mike
Age : 51

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PostSubject: Re: To Licence, or not to Licence......   To Licence, or not to Licence...... Icon_minitimeSun Oct 17, 2021 9:01 pm

Living in a valley is an even stronger reason for getting your licence. You'll still be able to work plenty of DX. I have a hill 500ft higher than my house which starts rising a few hundred yards away and I've had no problems working DX stations in the direction it's in.

In regards to the 10W think back to the studying you've done. It's 10W measured at the antenna feedpoint, not the socket of the radio. If you've got 3dB of losses in the feeder say if you're running a long length of RG58, you could be putting 20W out of the radio and still be 10W at the antenna feedpoint.

Also it's power at the antenna feedpoint and not what you radiate. Unlike CB you're not legally limited with the antennas. You could put up a beam with 10dB gain giving you an ERP of 100W and still be legal.

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TheReverend
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Call Sign : 26-CT-3921
Posts : 32
Times Thanked : 1
Join date : 2020-12-22
QTH or Location : Marlborough
Equipment Used : SS9900, B550p, HP-202, Sirio 4000 and T2lT

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PostSubject: Re: To Licence, or not to Licence......   To Licence, or not to Licence...... Icon_minitimeThu Oct 21, 2021 12:04 am

Thanks for your inspiring advice gents, I'm most grateful.  I've been thinking about it a lot recently, and as such have decided to continue to the exam stage.  I simply can't ignore the fact that, since a very early age, I have a deep interest in wireless communications!  CB was my initial outlet in 1981, but only after many years of SW listening when I was a lad.  I do love the 10-12 metre bands, but you're all right in that the Foundation licence would offer me much, much more, especially with overcoming the challenges of antenna design and placement.  Thanks again chaps, and I'll let you know when I pass!!

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Ivy Mike
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Ivy Mike


Call Sign : 26CT4113/G1HWY
Posts : 60
Times Thanked : 2
Join date : 2021-05-16
QTH or Location : West Sussex
Equipment Used : CRT SS9900, President Bill....ICOM, 705, 7100, 7300, 9700, Kuhne QO-100 up and down converters, Elecraft K2. Antennas EA Cobweb, Hustler 6BTV
Age : 66

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PostSubject: Re: To Licence, or not to Licence......   To Licence, or not to Licence...... Icon_minitimeThu Oct 21, 2021 10:31 am

Go for it.
It opens up so much more that can be done with radio.

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chazwozza
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Posts : 25
Times Thanked : 0
Join date : 2020-02-15
QTH or Location : England
Equipment Used : Radios

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PostSubject: Re: To Licence, or not to Licence......   To Licence, or not to Licence...... Icon_minitimeFri Oct 22, 2021 2:39 pm

Get ya self an ic 7300 4-20 cobweb and a long wire bingo all hf covered

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nokiaman2002
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Call Sign : 26-CT-4260 M0VXT
Posts : 5
Times Thanked : 0
Join date : 2021-09-24
QTH or Location : Preston, Lancashire, UK
Equipment Used : FT817ND, CRT2000, Sirio 827, Albrecht AE2990, Randy 3, Eurosonic ES220, Junk....

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PostSubject: Re: To Licence, or not to Licence......   To Licence, or not to Licence...... Icon_minitimeSun Oct 31, 2021 8:30 am

I am a full licence holder and I use 10W on HF. I have had contacts around the world using a simple 20m end-fed dipole. I am a firm believer in using an optimal antenna system before any power consideration. It is so cheap these days to get a long wire up. You can just use oxygen free speaker cable if you like and a 9:1 unun or even just buy the kit. I think it stems from people using poor antennas and lossy coax then having to use power to make up the loss. Use a good antenna, good coax, good connectors then you do not need to worry about power.

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