[AMRadio] Re: US General class licence no longer accepted for

D. Chester k4kyv at charter.net
Thu Feb 7 11:58:18 EST 2008

IIRC, the CEPT agreement has two tiers of reciprocity: VHF and above, and 
full HF.  Even though our General class carries "incentive licensing" 
restrictions that apply inside this country, those restrictions are limited 
to HF subband allocations. Within the General Class subbands, US amateurs 
are allowed full legal power on all HF bands, and have access to all modes 
permitted within those subbands, so by definition, the assumption is that 
General Class licensees are fully competent to operate with full privileges 
on HF. Our Incentive Licensing debacle is of no concern to the Europeans.

Ever since the US began to accept reciprocal licensing agreements, General 
Class has conveyed full HF privileges in the reciprocating country. 
Reciprocal licensing in the US became possible only following an Act of 
Congress. Prior to the Act, licensed radio operators in all radio services 
in the US were required by federal law to be US citizens. Somehow, a special 
exemption was in place only for Canadian amateurs. The issue was employment 
security for commercial radio operators; a result of lobbying efforts by US 
trade unions, the citizenship requirement was in place to prevent 
"outsourcing" US jobs to non-citizens, but the law as written applied to all 
radio services, including amateur. After decades of unsuccessful attempts by 
ARRL and others to get the law changed to exempt amateurs, Sen. Barry 
Goldwater, K7UGA, finally managed to introduce the enabling legislation that 
allowed reciprocal licensing in the US. Once we got reciprocal licensing in 
this country, the General class was recognised world wide as qualification 
for full reciprocal privileges for HF.

So the issue is not whether one would wish to operate ham radio while on a 
trip to Europe, since Extra class is no longer all that difficult to attain, 
but the fact that our General class ticket has been downgraded in the eyes 
of the CEPT countries as unworthy of HF privileges on their soil.  And I 
repeat, the code requirement has nothing to do with this, since most CEPT 
countries have also eliminated their code requirement.

BTW, I managed to work a couple of European AM'ers on 3705 kHz the other 
night, F6AQK and PA3HCO, my first successful two-way trans-Atlantic AM QSO. 
Their 80m band goes from 3500 to 3800; they have no amateur privileges above 
3800 kHz.  Germany's amateur regulations contain a bandwidth limit of 3 kHz, 
so, if strictly enforced, prohibits AM altogether in that country.

Don k4kyv 

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