Yes, I am still alive. With the end of the year and the end of a semester at school there was too much going on to sit down and write something properly. But if you have followed the blog on my website you know I have been a bit busy with the hobby after all. The itch has to be scratched somehow.
Chinese New Year is upon us, which means a lot of festivities here in Asia. Expect some more activity on the bands from China and Taiwan as this is the only time of the year that people get some longer time off from work. The coming year is the year of the Dragon and I live in Longtan (meaning Dragon Lake) so my new QSL card will have to be based on a dragon as well. Stay tuned.
After a busy half year it was time to relax a bit and so we went to the southern tip of Taiwan last week. Temperatures were such that the kids could play on the beach and me and my wife could lounge on deck chairs. I didn’t take a radio with me, but still had an interesting encounter with amateur radio.
In the taxi to the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium I noticed the driver had a 2m/70cm rig in his dashboard. So I asked him for his call sign. Instead he gave me his on-air handle. So I asked him again, explaining that when he applied for a licence he got himself a call sign beginning with BM (which is the prefix for the third or entry class station licence). He didn’t remember, because it was over ten years ago that he took the exam and why use a call sign anyway, everybody knew him by his handle? He only uses his rig to communicate with other drivers to warn where the police has put up speeding and alcohol checks.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how amateur radio works in Taiwan. Or as I saw it on a Taiwanese forum: “The third class licence is simply to legalize the ‘sausages‘ out there.” CB radio, but with a licence. Happy Chinese New Year to you all!