I finally have an official fixed amateur radio station! Isn’t it great! I’m tickled pink. (Calm down Hans, don’t get too excited here).
Yesterday two people from the NCC (our local version of the FCC) came to inspect my station for the official fixed station licence. An hour late, but we’re in Taiwan, so get used to it. There were two guys and one started off with a strange question: if I had any questions about the radio regulations? Ehh…no! I passed the exam, so I know what they are. And then again, I ignore them when I feel like it, because that is what we do in Taiwan, right? But the guy asking the question was Mr. Liu and he wasn’t so bad at all. In fact, he was interested in the examination procedure in the Netherlands and he wanted my e-mail address so he could consult me on changes in the examination question pool, which is going to be changed in November. He is also the man who put together the statistics I mentioned in my last post here on AmateurRadio.com.
In the mean time the other guy tested my TS-440S. He hooked it up to a Bird clone and a spectrum analyser, fed into a dummy load. On 80 and 40 meters my harmonics suppression was only just 40 dB, but on the other bands around 50 dB: good enough. The power output was measured at around 80 Watts, but I saw that the SWR of the whole set up was 1:1.5, so then it’s no surprise that the rig didn’t show its full potential. They looked at my antenna, which is on the balcony, but other than that they weren’t interested in anything. After an hour they left and the licence will be coming in the mail.
You would have thought that inspecting a radio station would be more thorough: electrical safety, structural safety of antenna’s, equipment that can only transmit on designated frequencies, etc. My TS-440S can transmit on any HF frequency, but they didn’t even check or notice. So what is this farce about? Unfortunately us hams in Taiwan know more about amateur radio than anyone working for the NCC. But there need to be rules and regulations, thought up by people high up in the chain of command, who want to be listened to (just like the Emperor, a hundred years ago. Really, little has changed). It doesn’t matter if they are right or wrong, propose something realistic or not, you just have to obey them. But once you have shown that you have played by the rules then there is a solution: ignore them. You know that you will never be bothered by them again, so you make your own rules.
Example: the Ministry of Transportation and Communication devises a national frequency allocation table. The NCC (which is a subdivision of the MOTC) extracts the amateur radio frequencies, allocates them according to type of licence and puts it in the official rules and regulations which we are to obey. Now the MOTC frequency allocation table is already inaccurate due to contradictions within the MOTC. The NCC uses an old version of the FOT and the MOTC doesn’t bother to let the NCC know of the updates. The result: most hams in Taiwan use the IARU region 3 frequency allocation table for HF. The NCC knows that Class 2 and 1 amateurs are serious people and we are never checked apart from the time you set up a station, so live and let live. On VHF and UHF there is a little tighter control because of the great number of sausages and inexperienced Class 3 amateurs. So, do what you want on HF and be a bit careful on V/UHF. That’s the way we do it in Taiwan.
I am careful by nature and I want to enjoy the hobby for as long as I can, so no worries about me. Besides, amateur radio is more about listening than transmitting, not? So after the NCC folk were gone the TS-440S was still on 10 meters and I tuned that band for a bit. Heard beacons from DU1EV/B on @28195 (very weak) and HS0BBD/B on 28205.9 (in OK03, strong at times). The DU1EV beacon is in testing phase, running 1 Watt into a Yagi pointed to Japan. Eddie hopes to relocate it to a better spot, with a GP antenna instead of a Yagi. Stay tuned.