Thought of the day

This morning on the way to work I was thinking over some things from the past. One of the things I got involved with at the UBA was customizing the British ‘foundation license’ for the Belgian amateurs. I was one of the team of editors for the UBA ON3 study book in the long hot summer of 2003. This morning I contemplated that our purpose was to introduce a low entry level license to get people’s feet wet in HF so that they would find the courage to study for a full option HAREC license. Most of them didn’t. They continuously sweat it out with 10 Watts using mostly digital modes. We didn’t achieve our goal there. That’s fine and as long as those ON3 license holders are happy, I am happy.

The road to work runs along some deserted roads so plenty of time to tinker and the next hop my thoughts took (short skip!) was that the vast majority of ON3 operators abide by the rules. Knowing how the human mind works and the creative Belgian attitude towards rules, I didn’t expect the level of compliance we have seen in more than five years of the Belgian foundation license. They use QRP rigs and stick to 10W. The Belgian telecom regulator even compiled a limited list of rigs they are allowed to use. Rig not on the list? Not for ON3 calls!

First thing I do here is look through the list of classifieds on the UBA website to see what’s for sale. First item on the list is an ON3 putting his Kenwood TS-480SAT up for sale. The Kenwood TS480SAT is NOT on the list of rigs they can use. It puts out 100W on HF where ON3 folks can only use 10W. It puts out 100W on 50MHz where ON3 folks can only use 10W. The rules stipulate that the rig’s output power may be off by a factor 2 but 20W is still a long way from 100W. And as with huge amplifiers putting out excessive QRO: having = using. The vast majority of ON3 operators abiding by the rules? Maybe I am too naïve! I am not judging the guy, I am not playing policeman here. However it would be smarter to have an HAREC license holder put it up for sale. It’s just that the advertisement is perpendicular to my initial thought of the day. That and the concern that someone might throw away a full basket of nice apples because of one rotten apple apple with a spot on it.

Now this is certainly not something I will lose sleep over. I am losing sleep over the fact that Cabrillo logs that seem Cabrillo logs are not always Cabrillo logs… I’ve compiled a nice series of ‘how do they do that???’ logs. Back to the Big Project Code!

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