[AMRadio] Re: Artificial Aerial Licence

Roger Basford roger at new-gate.co.uk
Wed Apr 16 04:37:50 EDT 2008

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2008 11:45:36 -0500
> From: "D. Chester" <k4kyv at charter.net>
> Subject: [AMRadio] Re: Artificial Aerial Licence
> To: <amradio at mailman.qth.net>
> Message-ID: <001501c89f18$21ab3900$02c3b718 at D65Y8B21>
> Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="iso-8859-1";
> reply-type=original
> I never could figure out why a licence was ever required to work a
> transmitter into a non-radiating load.
> Don k4kyv
> Hi Don and Co,

Well, what you have to remember is that after the introduction of radio in 
the early part of the 20th Century Britain and the US went completely 
separate ways with control and legislation. In the US, cable and radio 
companies were private concerns, profit-making. In the UK, all 
communications by cable and post were under the control of the General Post 
Office (GPO). When radio came along, the GPO took over the administration of 
the new medium and issued licences to all services, including amateurs. The 
whole ethos was of control, and not profit, from the outset, so it's not 
suprising that the GPO required a licence to allow one to build and test a 
transmitter, even into a dummy load.

Yes, there was a licence required for domestic radio reception; I can't 
remember when it was revoked but certainly you needed one when I was a kid 
and also, at one time, a separate one for a car radio! You must remember 
that there were no large-scale commercial broadcasting in the UK until about 
the 1970s; as a kid I listened to pop music on Radio Luxembourg on 208 
metres, because the BBC stations didn't play pop in any quantity. The spur 
to change all this came about in the mid 60s, when a bunch of pirate 
stations sprang up from ships and abandoned anti-aircraft forts off the UK 
coasts. These stations were a huge success and forced the BBC into launching 
a modern mass-appeal radio service. There is still a requirement to have a 
licence for TVs here; if you buy a TV in the local mall, the law requires 
the seller to inform the authorities of your address. If no TV licence is 
known at that address under your name, then expect postal harrassment and a 
visit from the "Detector Van"! The licence is about $275/year and goes to 
finance the BBC, even if you only watch non-BBC stations you still must have 
a licence.

Having said all that, from a ham's point of view the situation has got much 
easier in the 42 years I've been licenced. Things are lot more easy-going 
and sensible changes to regulations are generally made without too much fuss 
and hassle. The UK radio spectrum management in now done by an outfit called 
OFCOM, having passed from the GPO, through the Home Office and The 
Radiocommunications Agency "in my time".

Hope this isn't too boring!!


> ------------------------------
> Message: 2
> Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2008 12:59:03 -0400
> From: "Ed Sieb" <esieb at sympatico.ca>
> Subject: RE: [AMRadio] Re: Artificial Aerial Licence
> To: "Discussion of AM Radio in the Amateur Service"
> <amradio at mailman.qth.net>
> Cc: Don Chester K4KYV <k4kyv at charter.net>
> Message-ID: <BAYC1-PASMTP094C591CBBD975AED59B68C9EB0 at CEZ.ICE>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> It's the UK Don.  _Everything_ is regulated there.
> Ed, VA3ES
> ------------------------------------------------------------------
> Don k4kyv wrote:
> I never could figure out why a licence was ever required
> to work a transmitter into a non-radiating load.

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