More than just a Ham radio blog.
is an informative, cynical and sometimes humorous look at what is happening in the world of amateur radio.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Power struggle for big guns

Reading G4ILO’s blog I picked up a link to a thread on QRZ asking how much power should radio amateurs be allowed to run. Our American cousins are allowed 1.5kW while over here in Blighty we get a mere 400w. Over here you are considered anti-social if you even own a linear amplifier, while over there bigger is always better. The thread makes interesting reading despite the presence of the usual trolls.

The stateside attitudes seems similar to their attitudes to guns, why buy a pistol when you can buy a Magnum, why buy a handgun when you can buy an assault rifle, why buy an assault rifle when you can buy a rocket launcher.

If we all ran 5kW, as some on the thread suggest, 40m could be divided into about ten unusable channels which would be not much fun, and the Italians would probably all run twice that. Okay not that much difference really! However if the truth was told I think most of us would probably like to run a bit more power, but only if all our neighbours could be prevented from doing so. Having someone running high power in the next street or even a couple of miles away can do the front end of your rig no good at all and good mates suddenly become the enemy. I see your 500 watts and raise you.

If we raised the power limits over here would it lead to a free for all rush to buy big linear amplifiers? I do not think it would, those with the cash to splash might, but most of us would carry on the way we always have running 100 watts or less on HF.

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