In case you wonder…

In case you wonder why some guys are so loud in contests, here’s a guy from Italy who bought a killer amp and is not afraid to admit it:

i have bought a mount ago this amplifier, test it during a contest. OH MY GOD I have never seen anything like that during my radio life. this is a spits fire watts amplifier, you can run all night and day without any problem with 3.5KW, the rating peek power is over 4 KW with 90 watts drive. buy one and you can enjoy your self     (source)

Unlike this guy, it strikes me that the UK guys are always emphasizing they don’t drive their amps over 400W output when they review their kW amps but “in a dummy load, it puts out well over 1kW”… Benefit of the doubt? I say having equals using. Anyway, I looked up some “ham radio power limits” and found them on Interesting figures.

One step further: those who read CQ-Contest know that over the last two years there have been hours wasted on whining and complaining and finger pointing about cheating. Favorite topics are packet versus unassisted, single op versus M/S, open logs, making corrections after the contest, self spotting etc. But never excess power. Not a word. Although the protagonists of fair play in ham radio contesting SWEAR by the rules. Contest rules are their holy bible. The sponsor’s word is bond. I tried to touch the subject once (read here) but there seems to be some consensus about more power than the rules allow. And a ”let’s not go there”-attitude. Most contest rules clearly state that High Power is 1500W max. But that just is not important it seems. I admit: power limits are hard to check and to enforce. But sometimes you see pictures of contesters in their shacks with amplifiers that put out well over 3 kW. I say having equals using. Facts are sacred, opinion is free. I once talked to a guy who visited some Balkan contest stations. Do they have big amps? His words: “power fetish”. No wonder…

Not that I’m missing sleep over all this. When I bought my 1 kW amp I thought I was playing QRO until I found out I wasn’t. Belgian hams are allowed 1kW output and I stick to that. Maybe because my amp does not produce more RF? Otherwise I might say having equals using. But sometimes I freak out about all the crap on CQ-Contest but never a word about cheating with 2 or 3 times the power allowed. The review I just read triggered that again. Other than that: nothing to report. ON5ZO QRT.

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