Ham Radio

Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Views on changes to Portuguese Licensing system
I was alarmed to hear this news on the weekly RSGB news broadcast. For those that can’t be bothered clicking the link I’ll summarise: they are introducing a new licensing system in Portugal whereby Foundation licensees have 5 years to upgrade to an intermediate license or they lose it.

I think this is incredibly short sighted of the Portuguese licensing people. As an M3 who’s had her license for 3 years if they introduced this ruling here in the UK (which some G stations have recently been arguing for in the letters section of Radcom, much to my annoyance) this would mark the end of my hobby. In fact you’d probably hear me on CB frequencies instead - I’d be the only operator not swearing their head off.

I’ll say it loud and clear for all to read: I have absolutely no intention of getting an intermediate licence. Why you may ask? Well my Foundation licence gives me everything I need, I can operate 10 watts. I have the shop bought Yaesu FT-847 plugged into the shop bought length of co-ax plugged in to a shop bought hustler 6-BTV. Plug it all in and off you go.

In my opinion the next classes of licences are out-dated and overly technical. Spend £500+ on a radio and you have no interest in opening it up soldering on some extra parts and seeing how much better, or in fact how much you’ve buggered it up in the process. The licence in this day and age should be all about operating practices and procedures, making sure people use it correctly, safely and so you understand how to prevent interference. If I wanted to do electronics I’d enrol at the local tech, I don’t, I want to talk to people and work stations all over the world, which, with today’s technology you can manage to do perfectly well on 10 watts.

As for the G station who keeps writing to Radcom moaning about Foundation licensees, he should be more welcoming to the hobby. I see older stations as Yoda figures, helping to train the youngsters into good, professional amateurs, encouraging people to want to be on air. However, there are all too many who want to knock others confidence and keep it just for old-timers only.

People need to realise that Ham Radio is quite literally a dying hobby, you only need to compare the Silent Key section of Radcom to the new licences issued to realise that if more people aren’t attracted to radio soon, more portions of the bands will be left unused and eventually sold off for commercial use. Which, to a sceptic like me is probably why the Portuguese are introducing the ‘use it or lose it’ rule in the first place.

de M3TLL
posted by Simon Davison @ 3:04 pm  
4 Comments:
  • At 6:25 pm, Blogger Phaze58 said…

    Here Here, Author Author

    I always try and help the new M6's as much as I can . there have been a few that I have been able to help and there are a few that do not need my help but would like to know more about the MGM or machine generated modulation eg:- psk , rtty ,etc
    I tell them of the wonderful ham radio deluxe , and that for just a few pounds outlay and a bit of soldering they to can use this mode of operating. I agree with you about the short sightedness of some people.In this day and age it would be wise to encourage not Piss people off.
    Rant over
    de M1PAC

     
  • At 5:58 pm, Blogger g4ilo said…

    I totally agree that this is a short-sighted move. As someone who is more interested in the tinkering about with radio aspect than the talking to people aspect I do think there is a lot of interest to be gained by going for a higher license level with more privileges. But that should be incentive enough. If people don't want the extra privileges, there is nothing to gain by forcing them to get them. This is probably a sop to the Portuguese old farts brigade who didn't agree with foundation licensing in the first place.

     
  • At 4:11 pm, Blogger The Elusive Loo said…

    M1PAC - exactly. The hobby should be all about helping people

    G4ILO - Funnily enough after writing this I was discussing the technical aspects with 2E0HTS. We agreed that a technical license would be a good idea for those who wanted to tinker.

    De M3TLL

     
  • At 1:34 am, Blogger CT1ENQ said…

    Isn't that simple as it may seem.
    In a quick explanation, the class you mention it's basically a SWL class (can own a station but cannot transmit). I also don't agree with the new law but for other reasons.
    Keeping it short, it is not what you may think it is. Ham radio in Portugal is quite different from that in the UK.

     
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