I made a mistake, am I condemned to hell? ;)

Discussion in 'Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator/Upgrading Privi' started by MA3223SWL, Feb 2, 2020.

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  1. MA3223SWL

    MA3223SWL XML Subscriber

    I am still awaiting an exam date for my foundation exam (UK) and have been patiently putting together my first aerial, an EFHW80-10 which has been tricky due to my restricted garden size (tiny)

    Yesterday I finished the build and got it up. Now, I know I can't (and won't) transmit voice etc as no license yet but I did admit on the group that was helping me build the aerial that I pressed the AMU button on my rig - a Xiegu G90 just to see if it tuned on one band ok, it did.

    The AMU takes much than 2 seconds on this radio AND it was set for 1W RF output, I also followed procedure and made sure the freq was clear, the band I chose is completely dead here at that time anyway.

    So, having admitted this rookie mistake I am now being hammered by the group "internet police" ;) for breaking a ham rule etc.

    Is it that serious - did I commit a cardinal sin here? For the response I got you would think I admitted to running a pirate radio station at 500W 24/7!
  2. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page


    This subject turns up from time to time, and was more frequent during the "Good Old Days" when possessing and using a radio transmitter was "Serious Business".

    Applying a very strict interpretation, this indeed is an offence in the sense of the Wireless Telegraphy Act and the ITU Radio Regulations, but what saves you is that your QRP transmitter can be regarded as "test equipment" and your brief transmission as a measurement of the actual impedance characteristics 0f your antenna, and were not intended for communications purposes.

    Some may even regard your antenna system as an "artificial antenna" or "dummy load" which makes the whole question moot :) (Search for the term "artificial antenna licence" for some background).

    Two years ago, I was co-supervisor of an MSEE thesis project, where antenna radiation patterns were measured by drone-carried equipment. Obviously, you have to transmit in order to be able to measure an antenna pattern, and the question arose if there was legal to do so without a licence.

    My answer was that as long as safety critical frequencies such as air navigation and traffic control and public safety were avoided, and the transmissions used as low power as practicable and kept reasonably short there is no need to worry.

    N0TZU and MA3223SWL like this.
  3. MA3223SWL

    MA3223SWL XML Subscriber

    Thanks for that, helps me a lot.
  4. WG7X

    WG7X Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Remember tho the 11th commandment: It's not a sin unless you get caught!
    MA3223SWL likes this.
  5. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The “internet police” will hammer you for anything and nothing.
    MA3223SWL likes this.
  6. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    That has been my guideline for many years.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
    MA3223SWL likes this.
  7. MA3223SWL

    MA3223SWL XML Subscriber

    Thanks all, just wanted a little sanity check :)
  8. N1OOQ

    N1OOQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    If a ham transmits in the forest, and there's no one on frequency to hear it...
    MA3223SWL likes this.
  9. MA3223SWL

    MA3223SWL XML Subscriber

    Yep, I'll remember not to mention it if i ever do it again. Its not like I was on air asking for a signal check, it was less than 2 seconds of AMU sweep signal :) :)
  10. WW2PT

    WW2PT Ham Member QRZ Page

    As long as you use “minimum power,” don’t operate “off-frequency,” capitalize “HAM,” think the IC-7300 is the best radio ever, don’t send Elecraft a deposit for a K4, and never give out a “599” report when the DX is really 589, you should be safe. :cool:
    KP4SX and MA3223SWL like this.

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