[AMRadio] 10 meters

Donald Chester k4kyv at charter.net
Fri May 30 14:42:01 EDT 2014

>>>I've heard Riley Hollingsworth and Laura Smith speak on the subject of
enforcement and it comes down to money and "human" resources.  They just
aren't there except for critical issues that arise.

Tom K3TVC >>>

And radio 'hobbyists' aren't very high on their priority list unless there
is harmful interference to 'critical'  services like aviation or police
radio, or to broadcasters, which although not necessarily critical, there's
commerce, employment and substantial money involved.

>>>A ham buddy of mine who was the Icom sales and service rep for many years
in South Africa told me this.  Communications agencies in many South African
countries are understaffed and lax in rules enforcement, and when Icom  sold
HF radios to anybody that wanted them, they really didn't understand what
they were getting many times.  So, companies and individuals who purchased
Icom gear, and knew nothing about it other than it was a comm set, all ended
up on 3.5, 7, 10.1, 14.0...etc, all the low end of the ham bands or whatever
preset was installed for other modes.  It  took them a while if ever to
figure out they could change freqs.

Charlie, W4MEC in NC >>>

Last  sunspot cycle, I recall that the bogus activity on 10m sounded like
CB, not freebanders - the latter don't consider themselves CBers. Most of
their activity is unlicensed pseudo-ham hobby type operation, and they
generally follow unwritten rules evolved within their clan, one of which is
to avoid the legitimate ham band. The 10m interlopers I heard were nearly
always engaging in CB type operation. Most were truckers who had purchased
bogus transceivers with 'extra channels'. Many of them had no idea what was
going on, except that they had bought special  radios and those extra
channels weren't filled with QRM like the 'regular' channels.  When the band
opens up, the legitimate CB channels may inundated with hundreds of stations
transmitting at the same time, leaving nothing but a loud roar with few
readable signals, and the range of coverage may be limited to less than a
mile even with a leen-yar, so they switch to their extra channels in the 10m
ham band, where the frequency is usually clear. Many were probably unaware
that their operation was even illegal.

I recall that in some countries south of the border, the amateur bands are
officially shared with fixed/mobile radiotelephone services. There is
limited landline and cellular telephone infrastructure in rural areas, so
these radiotelephones are used by the general public, undoubtedly with
relaxed licensing requirements. This probably explains a lot of the
Spanish-speaking jabber we hear on 10m and sometimes in other amateur bands.
In some east European countries, taxicab drivers are notorious for using 10m
transceivers for  their radios.

Back in 1980-84 I  ran the service department of a two-way  commercial 'Land
Mobile' radio business in Kentucky. They also sold a line of amateur
equipment and were an official Yaesu dealer, so in addition to the
commercial VHF FM rigs used by farmers and small town police and fire
departments, I worked on my share of ham transceivers of about every
description. One of the more  popular transceivers at the time were the
FT-101E series. I'd say that well over 95% of the FT-101s I encountered had
11m crystals installed. In those days the FT-101E was the CBer's and
freebander's dream radio, and my boss  couldn't keep enough of them in
stock. As I recall Yaesu had discontinued the FT-101E line by then, so he
mostly dealt with used ones. I had plenty of work to do, replacing toasted
finals and repairing the work of golden screwdrivers. 

The CB boom fizzled about the same time that the FCC deregulated the Land
Mobile and other radio services. A 1st or 2nd class  (later downgraded to a
combined 'General' ) radiotelephone licence was no longer required to
install and service commercial two-way.  Users could legally buy their own
radios directly by mail order with their frequencies pre-programmed in.
Failed radios were simply swapped out with good ones and the defective unit
sent back to the vendor for replacement - most were dirt-cheap and not worth
the cost and trouble of fixing. Our business went bankrupt within a few
months, and that's when I got completely out of radio and started the
22-year teaching gig - a smart move that gave me work that was more
rewarding, and a state pension after I retired.

Don k4kyv

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