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 Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?

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PostSubject: Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?    Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?  Icon_minitimeMon Nov 15, 2021 6:35 am

Hi all
I know this will stir up the hornets nest but do any of you think we should relax the rules on power usage on the amatuer bands here in the UK ? As you all know we as amatuer users are only allowed to use up to 400 watts max.
I myself can only use max 10 watts as I'm only an M3 2e0 as you know Max 50 and so on.

So chaps is it about time we upped the power on our licence restrictions ?

Ct4319.

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PostSubject: Re: Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?    Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?  Icon_minitimeMon Nov 15, 2021 7:26 am

Personally I am happy with the levels. The world can be worked on a lot less than 10 watts.

I do wonder what the bands would be like if they were full of stations using US power limits, or Canadian which are even higher. Possibly a lot more noise hindering people to make contacts? Especially as some of us live in very close proximity to each other over here.

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PostSubject: Re: Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?    Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?  Icon_minitimeMon Nov 15, 2021 8:42 am

"WE" haven't got a say in it and I expect in years to come that OFCOM will lower the max limit to 200w PEP at the antenna feed point without an on site station review ( just my opinion) . If someone can't get by on 400w then they must be one shite operator .As for the other power levels everyones going to have a different opinion but my view is Inters , as the first real Amateur level licence by HAREC standards should be allowed 100w and Foundations still 10w but restricted to VHF/UHF.
Ask one hundred different amateurs about licence conditions and you will get one hundred different answers , none of which might be the right one 🤣
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PostSubject: Re: Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?    Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?  Icon_minitimeMon Nov 15, 2021 9:58 am

Same here too with Neal's view, I think our power levels are a good compromise.

Low enough at Foundation to be safe for the newcomer with the ability to gain great contacts and distances once you learn what you're doing.

Reward enough at Intermediate for people who want to progress and a safer level considering you can then build your own transmission systems should you wish.

More than enough at Full licence level considering the size and density of our population.
(Would you want to live near a Ham transmitting more?)


No amounts of "More Watts Igor!" will ever get around poor antennas, poor feeders and terminations let alone 'skip' or 'dead' zones etc. which hopefully the seasoned operator would or should have learned. I also agree with Neal in that higher power levels would induce more self inflicted QRM woes.

Pretty much for the same reasons as a big car with a big engine, big fuel usage and big carbon footprint doesn't get through the rush hour queue any faster - more RF power won't necessarily help.....

....which I why I enjoy QRP operations, it's like the scooter/motorcycle rider nipping through the gaps. Wink



Great discussion point Howard and looking forward to everyone's views on it. Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?  1f44d


As mentioned above, everyone's going to have a different view - like I can't agree with the VHF/UHF restricted stance on Foundation....bit of a step backwards in my view with no real reason for it.

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PostSubject: Re: Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?    Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?  Icon_minitimeMon Nov 15, 2021 11:49 am

Bean wrote:
"WE" haven't got a say in it and I expect in years to come that OFCOM will lower the max limit to 200w PEP at the antenna feed point without an on site station review ( just my opinion) . If someone can't get by on 400w then they must be one shite operator .As for the other power levels everyones going to have a different opinion but my view is Inters , as the first real Amateur level licence by HAREC standards should be allowed 100w and Foundations still 10w but restricted to VHF/UHF.

Over here, it’s 10w for foundation, 100w for standard and 400w for advanced…but for us, that’s at the back of the transmitter, not into the antenna like the UK.

Our neighbours in NZ get 1kW.

I hear the point from the QRP guys, who say you can work the world on 5w, and you can also do the math and say even the US’s 1500w is only just under 12dB above a standard radio’s 100w, and 12 dB is just two s-units.  

However, I can tell you from personal experience, with people’s home noise, there have been occasions where they just can’t hear me at 100w, and turning the amp on has been the difference between a contact and no contact.  No big deal usually, but one such occasion was a guy working a VK0 call from Antartica….so missing him would have really sucked.
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PostSubject: Re: Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?    Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?  Icon_minitimeMon Nov 15, 2021 4:15 pm

12dB difference on my FT991a is a lot more than two S points at the lower end of the scale and if a station is 'S' five at 100w if they switch to 10w the 'S' meter will read just below one , so around four 'S' units for 10dB difference. I don't think the FT991a gets to 6dB per 'S' unit  untill a signal is being received at an 'S' eight.
Although there is an M6 out Weston Super Mare way that was running a vertical and was 'S' five into my horizontal beam whilst on 11m and telling everyone he was running between 200>300w yet when he went to TEN on his 10w he was still an 'S' five 🤣.
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PostSubject: Re: Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?    Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?  Icon_minitimeMon Nov 15, 2021 8:22 pm

Well chaps it's just something that's always been nagging me inside at the end of the day and if I'm honest wether your a foundation holder or full licence we all use the same bands so why not the same power to a point like max 100 watts for all users here back in the UK

Also with the modern radio now most come already have max 100 watts internal power and with the advancement in digital TV etc less chance of upsetting the neighbour with RFI .
I take the point about antennas etc but I feel 99% of us are competant users of the equipment and serious about our hobby myself included .maybe it's about time OFCOM and the licence authorities moved with the times just my opinion.

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PostSubject: Re: Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?    Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?  Icon_minitimeMon Nov 15, 2021 10:46 pm

I certainly think you have a point Howard and can understand your reasoning behind it.

Luckily pervasive thoughts such as 'rankism' have been slowly eroding over time. Colonialism has died, sexism and racism are well on their way with long held legalities to prevent it with only old 'dinosaurs' hanging onto such thoughts. The notion that you are 'better' than anyone else simply due to birthplace, gender, race or creed are largely found to be disgusting in modern society and other examples are treading the same path.

I have always found it distasteful that someone should attempt to elevate themselves by belittling others utilising such 'rankism' thoughts in any shape or form. The only way to truly excel oneself is by assisting others to achieve their goals and by being inclusive to them irrespective of some meaningless measure.

However, as we've seen in examples such as the pursuit of a radio interest these old rank ideologies are slowly eroding too. 

The legalisation of interests such as CB radio including updating modes of operation, licence free radio communication methods and even 'modernising' the Amateur Radio examination system over the years are to be congratulated. Compulsory outdated tests such as Morse code have been dropped, the A/B licensing separation largely evolved with HF privileges for all and more recently online examinations, thus circumventing the radio 'club' scenario that harbour the old rankist 'elite'.

It's all slowly happening everywhere my friend and may not be completed in our lifetime more is the pity but definitely getting there. There may yet come the time that anyone with an interest in radio will be welcomed openly regardless of supposed 'rank' or 'level' and assisted with their pursuits without false borders or barriers.

It has to happen for the sake of survival, Amateur Radio was dying a slow death due to go the same way as the dinosaurs and face extinction but sensible changes have prevented that. Hopefully losing further old ideologies may further enhance the passionate pursuit of a radio interest and it's membership will become more diverse than it ever has been before.

In the mean time I will still face the 'Covid Ham', Foundation level are not 'real' Hams and other sorts of slurs or nonsense knowing that these thoughts are actually dying out and not denying me a voice despite current 'restrictions'.


The very best to you Howard and to all those with a radio passion willing to share it,
Victor

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PostSubject: Re: Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?    Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?  Icon_minitimeMon Nov 15, 2021 10:58 pm

Well said my friend

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PostSubject: Re: Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?    Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?  Icon_minitimeMon Nov 15, 2021 11:14 pm

Some people always want something for nothing , shoplifters, spongers etc etc the worlds full of those claiming lifes unfair but with Amateur radio the answer to using more power is simple and there for everyone ,simply work through the licence system.

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PostSubject: Re: Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?    Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?  Icon_minitimeMon Nov 15, 2021 11:51 pm

Howard wrote:
Well chaps it's just something that's always been nagging me inside at the end of the day and if I'm honest wether your a foundation holder or full licence we all use the same bands so why not the same power to a point like max 100 watts for all users here back in the UK

Also with the modern radio now most come already have max 100 watts internal power and with the advancement in digital TV etc less chance of upsetting the neighbour with RFI .
I take the point about antennas etc but I feel 99% of us are competant users of the equipment and serious about our hobby myself included .maybe it's about time OFCOM and the licence authorities moved with the times just my opinion.

I’m afraid I completely disagree…..your argument, if I translated it to driving, would mean that because we all share the same roads, we can drive what we like on them with no training or demonstration of proficiency, when doing so could impact others.

I think the various countries (US excepted with their Tech license privileges) have got the balance about right.

It’s not JUST about TV interference, but using the bands without causing interference to other operators, other (commercial, military, or emergency) users of the RF spectrum, and not causing harm to yourself or others.

I am not a fan of this “everyone gets a trophy” lark, as things tend to be worth what you pay for them.  Give things away for no effort, and they’re worth nothing, and everyone suffers.  

My view of the foundation power limit is it’s been wisely set to balance the fact the exam has been made as simple and non-technical as possible to allow people to pass, and get on the air, but competently and safely.

For those that want more power, there is a simple option to upgrade.  For those who want the least barrier to entry and are happy on VHF repeaters or HF with QRP, you have it with the foundation license.

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PostSubject: Re: Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?    Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?  Icon_minitimeTue Nov 16, 2021 9:11 am

Ha! Ha! Very Happy

You did say it would probably 'stir up a hornets nest' Howard and although not there the 'bees are a buzzing'. Wink


We definitely shouldn't be throwing anyone in the deep end of anything but instead ably assisting each other. 

I certainly wouldn't set someone off who's never driven into a car and tell them to get on with it knowing the severity of the consequences of such actions.....definitely more severe than the heinous crimes of upsetting other operators or transmitting unintentionally out of band I think.

Of course there's always a simple solution....

....and if you can't visit a club for any reason, don't have access to the internet, a computer running Windows with a webcam etc. then 'yah-boo-sucks-being-you'.

If anyone else willingly offers you assistance by loaning a laptop, voluntarily teaching you or other such just be careful that you're not 'sponging' from them.


I do enjoy a good debate, you can learn so much from them.


With the very best regards to all,
Victor

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PostSubject: Re: Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?    Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?  Icon_minitimeTue Nov 16, 2021 11:05 am

Victor wrote:

We definitely shouldn't be throwing anyone in the deep end of anything but instead ably assisting each other. 

Absolutely…..assisting people to increase their knowledge, to then earn operating privilidges.  Couldn’t agree more. Wink

Seriously though, we are here to help….I just don’t think giving everything away fixes anything.

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PostSubject: Re: Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?    Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?  Icon_minitimeTue Nov 16, 2021 11:27 am

Totally with you there Jeff mate and I did state at the start that at the moment we have what I believe to be a very good balance for the systems currently in place.

I know thanks to people like yourself and what you do elsewhere that you are doing everything you're able to assist people with their radio passions. You're in the same group of people I've already thanked and others too for their exemplary efforts. Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?  1f44d

It's all slowly evolving and long may it be so especially if it moves things forward. Often positive results come about from a few old men having a whinge about it all. Wink



All the very best to you and with much respect for everyone inflicted with a radio interest no matter their stance,

Victor

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PostSubject: Re: Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?    Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?  Icon_minitimeFri Nov 19, 2021 11:47 am

No need to up the power. First of all unlike CB the power levels are just at the antenna feedpoint and there's no restriction on gain. When you look at the regulations for that extra 2W CBers have on SSB that FL holders always say is unfair, that 12W limit is effective radiated power (ERP) that your antenna is allowed to radiate, not just what comes out of the radio. With the Foundation Licence other than a couple of bands the power is measured at the antenna feedpoint and the gain of the antenna doesn't matter so if you can find an antenna that does 20dB gain then you can legally have an ERP of 1000W, much more than a CBer is allowed to.

They could of course up the power for the foundation but then you'll find they'll do like the USA and limit the bands and modes you can use to ones least likely to cause interference.

I had an amp once, did 600W. It sat on the bench for 3 weeks after I bought it whilst I decided if I really wanted to use it. I hooked it up, had several QSOs, decided that shooting fish in a barrel is boring, packed it up, sold it and went back to 100W.

I then started to play with QRP and seeing how far I could get with a watt on SSB. Managed Argentina, over 6500 miles with 1 watt on SSB. Took it lower and managed Italy with 250mW.

Running big power takes any challenge out of it.


Last edited by Northern Crusader on Thu Dec 02, 2021 3:49 am; edited 1 time in total

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PostSubject: Re: Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?    Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?  Icon_minitimeWed Dec 01, 2021 6:03 pm

Well certainly woke a few people up on this subject and I like the feedback so far. It's interesting how some totally disagree and some do make a fair point a good balanced debate . Be interesting to know how many of you broke the law when you were a CB radio op? Personally I think 50 watts max for all licence holders from foundation to full is more then enough I've worked assiatic Russia on 10 watts and the states.
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PostSubject: Re: Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?    Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?  Icon_minitimeWed Dec 01, 2021 9:46 pm

hi all, I guess its how you look at this, do you progress in the hobby for more power or more knowledge and then use less power as knowledge grows. a foundation licence holder on 10w is less likely to cause interference then a full licence holder using 400++w, just like a learner driver is less likely to speed then an experienced driver. I think you only need more power because everybody uses more power, is the answer as easy as stop selling amps world wide."With great power come great responsibility" 1 house point if you know who said that".
It would be interesting to know how many amps 400+w are sold in the GB and why?

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PostSubject: Re: Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?    Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?  Icon_minitimeWed Dec 01, 2021 11:15 pm

Markone wrote:
hi all, I guess its how you look at this, do you progress in the hobby for more power or more knowledge and then use less power as knowledge grows. a foundation licence holder on 10w is less likely to cause interference then a full licence holder using 400++w, just like a learner driver is less likely to speed then an experienced driver. I think you only need more power because everybody uses more power, is the answer as easy as stop selling amps world wide."With great power come great responsibility" 1 house point if you know who said that".
It would be interesting to know how many amps 400+w are sold in the GB and why?

The thing is, it's good to have a choice.

I reckon plenty of learning drivers (As in just passed, still, learning, think they know everything) speed, no different to others.  Only reason they won't on L plates is someone is in the car with them.  Very Happy 

Sometimes you need more power because conditions are crap and you want to make the contact.  Usually, the regs say to use only the power you need to make the contact, and that is what I do.  The amp only goes on when I'm getting nowhere at 100w, for whatever reason.  Usually, I don't even run 100w.

As to why amps over 400w are sold - well, we (Aus) and the UK have amongst the lowest power limits out there for Advanced/Full license holders, so there's not much market for a 400w amp.  Plus, you don't want to run one flat out, and you also want to future proof.

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PostSubject: Re: Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?    Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?  Icon_minitimeThu Dec 02, 2021 6:32 am

I'd add a couple of other reasons Jeff, as to why larger amps are sold in areas where their outputs exceed the power limits for full license holders. One would be that, here in the UK at least, occasional special licenses which much higher power limits are granted for experimental purposes (DX Commander Callum details through a couple of his videos), and even less common for some special events. And there is always the SHTF/end of the world scenarios where communication is needed when policing radio bands will be last on authorities list.

Mark, heard that "With great power come great responsibility" line in a Big Bang Theory episode, Sheldon quotes when Penny gets one over on him on a petty battle by obtaining his mother's phone number, getting her involved, and hence winning their squabble. Pretty sure he's spiderman quoting, he's quoted from before, but I'm not up on my comics.. ask me one about Star Wars.

..good reference though. Not just interference can result from use of high power. You can't get away with some things that we can do with very low power when you step up to much high levels, there's a very real safety aspect too.

On Howard's question about law abidance on CB.. I think most people have, some maybe in just very small ways over the years. Not just using big power, but elements too like not having a license (when that was a thing), antenna restrictions, not type approved radios, frequencies and modes. I was one, and am one now. But CB is CB.

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PostSubject: Re: Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?    Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?  Icon_minitimeThu Dec 02, 2021 10:13 am

well done SangueG, 1 HOUSE POINT, and a merry Christmas on its way too you. Uncle Ben in Spiderman quote. But the real question is, how many really stick to allowed power. IF you have a 800w amp and trying to break a pile up, do you miss the rare QSO or crank it up, and 10w on a 100w radio, got to be tempting?, and is that fare to opps on legal limits .To be honest I've thought about this alot.50w to play with and 100w radio. Never bothered doing the maths but even at 80w,25m of rg58,not going to be far off. But wouldn't radio be better if no amps were used and knowledge learnt along the way made you experiment with antennas,mode,bands.time of day and year? do we all not get fed up with Italian station blasting over the top of us, 1kw beaming stateside. Will this become a hobby of deepest pocket?. Also on 11m there is a lot of HAMS returning, are they taking down beams and parking up the hf gear to buy a cb, not many I guess, not throwing mud, using hf on 11m myself. Its a great topic QRO or QRP ,BEST WISHES TO YOU ALL.
regards mark

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Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?  Empty
PostSubject: Re: Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?    Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?  Icon_minitimeTue Dec 14, 2021 2:44 pm

power can be bad power can be good its how its used it might send your sig 100s of miles but you can not hear any one but
there shouting out to you been many times i had a contact very clear audio but no sig strength have had 100s of great contacts just like and these are the ones i remember

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Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?  Empty
PostSubject: Re: Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?    Relaxing the rules on power usage on HF here in the UK ?  Icon_minitime

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