Steve Harrison k0xp at dandy.net
Fri Jun 29 11:15:04 EDT 2007

At 11:53 AM 6/29/2007 +0100, Paul O'Kane wrote:
>> I want to sit about 25 miles back from my radio. Why is that
>> a problem?
>It's not a problem for me.  What you're doing is
>perfectly legal and you're having fun.  However,
>distance is significant and, to the extent that
>you personally are using something other than RF
>to communicate with another person, the event
>(an amateur radio QSO) is devalued.  Why is that
>a problem?

It's a problem because the interfaces that allow you to remotely-control
your own equipment can easily be designed as PART of your equipment.

And yet, you're still going to insist "it's not the same thing as sitting
in front of the radio"???  You're right: it'd be way better to have the
radios right there in front of you; but if you're still using the SAME
interface circuitry and hardware to control the radio which is RIGHT IN
FRONT of you, then what's the difference in terms of you claiming that
you're using "something other than RF" to control the radio???

And further, those guys who have their HF radios up on a hilltop may well
be (and, in fact, most still are, for that matter) using a UHF or microwave
HAM BAND, and AMATEUR RADIO equipment, to provide the RF link by which to
control said HF equipment. Let's say there's one such UHF radio link, made
of all-ham-manufactured homebrew equipment, operating in a HAM BAND. Then
because that guy is using TWO HAM RADIOS for his HF operation, wouldn't you
agree that his HF QSOs are DOUBLY-amateur radio, and thus "worth more"
than, say, myself sitting in front of my HF radio and having to twiddle the
knobs with my fatsche fingerzes??


>The difference is that, in the signal path between
>me and you, there's something other than RF.  It's
>no longer an amateur radio QSO.  Of course, stations
>are not point sources - that's we have the 500
>meters rule for station dimensions in contests.

I'm going to connect 2.4 km of cable for my keying line, and my headphone
line. The spools are going to be placed on the floor, beside my chair. Then
I'm going to sit in front of my radio, and listen to someone try to
convince me that my control set up is "something other than RF" and thus,
I'm NOT REALLY making a full amateur radio QSO.


Come on, this is getting a wee bit extreme, eh?

Now, if you use ANOTHER service such as the internet for your remote
controlling, THAT'S when *I'd* say that you aren't using "entirely amateur
radio resources" by which to make a QSO.

But still, all you're doing is replacing that 2.4 km of CABLE with the
cable company's 2.4 km of cable, or fiber, or wireless linkage equipment.
At the terminuses, though you're STILL interfacing directly to AMATEUR
RADIO equipment which is radiating RF through the "ether" to the other
guy's antennae.

So, what's so "un-Amateur-Radio" about that, compared to the 2.4 km of
copper wire??

>Outside of contesting and award chasing, anyone can
>do what they like, subject to licence restrictions.
>Otherwise, there has to be limits or rules in the
>interests of fair play.
>For wired circuit limits in contests - 
>Is 500 meters OK?  - Yes
>Is 25 miles OK?    - Perhaps
>Is 250 miles OK?   - Perhaps not
>Is 2500 miles OK?  - Probably not

Let's go a bit further: let's say that because I have antlers right over my
head inside my radio shack, that I have to utilize lots and lots of
RFI-prevention techniques to prevent that RF from getting into my radios
and causing feedback and other such gremlins.

So I experiment and find that if I put some RF chokes in series with my
keying line, and my headphones line (and probly also some bypass
capacitors), THEN I can eliminate the RFI problems. So then I have to go
unwind all the wire on those RF chokes, and make certain that they each
contain less than 500m of wire, less you accuse me of utilizing


Let's consider the situation of some po sod who owns a hilltop that's 450m
from his house, which is at the base of the hilltop. To get his RF up the
hill to his antler farm on the hilltop, let's say the total required amount
of coax and rotor cable turns out to be far more than merely the "as the
crow flies" seperation distance between the radio room and the base of the
towers, such as, let's say, 750m.

And so our po sod has lots of feedline loss since he can't afford to
install 3" airline cable nor does all his stock ownership in Anaconda
Copper Mines allow him to afford to buy 450+ meters of multi-conductor
copper cable for each of the three rotators on the hilltop's towers. And so
since he can only afford a "reasonable size" of coax, and rotator cable,
our po sod designs and builds a few "repeater" boxes that he places along
the cable run to the hilltop. The boxes have such things as receive
preamps, and transmitter amps; and the rotator cables have sufficient
assorted analog/digital circuitry as to provide the proper, required signal
to the various rotators located up at the top of the tower at the rotors.
Our po sod even has 1500 watt power amplifiers located at the base of each
tower  8-)))))))

Now, our po sod builds all this stuff down the hill at his house, and hooks
it all up and tests it, right there at the house. He's even using dipoles
strung through his attic to simulate the hilltop antlers, eh?

So he works a contest with ALL of this cable and the associated "repeater
boxes" in-line; yet, his dipoles are still just a few tens of meters from
his radio room.

Would you claim that because of all that cable, and the ancillary
equipment, that said Po Sod is Not Really Making Amateur Radio QSOs?????????

If the answer is "Yes, he's making full-fledged HAM QSOs"; then what about
after he strings all that stuff all the way to the top of the hill and
hooks it all up to his antlers on the hilltop towers?? Would working Mt.
Athos using the stacked 13L yagis on the hilltop, through the SAME cables
and repeater boxes, change things?????

Steve, K0XP

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