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G8TDU
17th Apr 2015, 23:58
Can someone tell me what the exact definition of 'Portable' actually is? One school of thinking says its a small piece of equipment carried like a hand held, and at the opposite end of the scale, half the shack in a wheel barrow with a portable generator..!

I have a piece of kit that weighs almost 35Kgs and the power source is a car battery, i can just about lift it, so would this count as 'portable'

John

2M0ROT
18th Apr 2015, 05:11
Portable is classed as a station operating away from home and without mains power, wether it's on hf, vhf or pmr 446.
Part of my portable set up is my transit van, yaesu 857 and a 100w solar powered generator. I also use an 817with a 7ah battery and 10w solar panel for activating trigs etc.

M0LMK
18th Apr 2015, 08:46
I've added a new definition to the rules which (I hope!) makes it easier to define a Portable Station for the purposes of the award scheme...




Portable Location - A location that is not a registered address.
Standard Exchange - A minimum of call sign, locator and signal report in RS(T) format must be passed by both stations.
At Sea - A vessel located in tidal waters at least 1 Mile away from land.
Portable Station - A station that can not move without modification, has a self contained power source and is located at a Portable Location.



So, for the purposes of claiming awards:


Operating from a station in a car with a mag mount antenna = /M (you can drive away whilst still operating)
Operating from a car with a 30' mast attached = /P (you can't move without changing something)
Operating from your back garden = None (use no prefix)
Operating from a holiday let back garden = /A (you are at a registered address)
Operating from a cruise liner at sea = /MM (and you can claim /P as long as you are not using ships power)
Operating using a hand held with a built in antenna = /M (you can move whilst still operating)
Operating using a hand held with a antenna tied to a tree = /P (you will have to modify the antenna to move)

Does anyone have any other suggestions/improvements/criticisms?

G8TDU
18th Apr 2015, 10:14
Call me pedantic, but there are a couple i would disagree with as they are. Operating from a cruise liner and claiming /P You are within the confines of the vessel or vehicle in this case so it should be /MM and never/P Just imagine the head scratching for someone receiving a /P QSO in the middle of the Indian Ocean. You could argue the same logic, when aboard a bus and walking around the bus, you arent /P but /M

Definition of Portable Station 'has a self contained power source' Ive operated a few sets which have had external batteries on a belt like arrangement worn around the waist and not internal. Would it not be better to say 'or connected to and moved with external power source as well as/or internal power source' ?

M0LMK
18th Apr 2015, 15:51
Call me pedantic, but there are a couple i would disagree with as they are. Operating from a cruise liner and claiming /P You are within the confines of the vessel or vehicle in this case so it should be /MM and never/P Just imagine the head scratching for someone receiving a /P QSO in the middle of the Indian Ocean. You could argue the same logic, when aboard a bus and walking around the bus, you arent /P but /M
Yes, I think you are right and would say that on something the size of a cruise liner you should be signing /MM. You could still be classed as a /P station but would that count towards the awards if you were using a handheld on a boat?


Definition of Portable Station 'has a self contained power source' Ive operated a few sets which have had external batteries on a belt like arrangement worn around the waist and not internal. Would it not be better to say 'or connected to and moved with external power source as well as/or internal power source' ?

By "has a self contained power source" I guess I mean that it should be operating for a power source that is independent of the grid or mains provider. Power from a car battery or small generator yes. Power from a building site generator, no maybe? I think maybe a better breakdown of that is needed.

mu0chn
19th Apr 2015, 22:35
OK so lets throw the catfish among the penguins


At Sea - A vessel located in tidal waters at least 1 Mile away from land.

But in section 2 of the licence it says


“Vessel at Sea” means a Vessel operating on the seaward side of the low-water
line along the coastline as marked on large scale charts officially recognised by the
relevant coastal state;

Is there any reason for it being 1 mile


By "has a self contained power source" I guess I mean that it should be operating for a power source that is independent of the grid or mains provider. Power from a car battery or small generator yes. Power from a building site generator, no maybe? I think maybe a better breakdown of that is needed.

I don't think it should matter what size the generator is as long as it can be moved. I was looking at one the other day that would be ideal for field day, it was a lighting set. Remove the flood lights and put an antenna on top, wind it up and away you go.

Another idea could be solar power and a small battery (limited size). I know it could be done with just solar but that would limit the power too much.

M0LMK
20th Apr 2015, 09:33
All good points mu0chn.

With regards to the definition of "At Sea", the definitions here are for the purposes of the award and don't have to be in line with licence requirements (so long as the individuals licence conditions are met). I'm trying to make the rules simple and applicable to everyone, worldwide. If we went with the UK licence conditions wording then it may exclude other countries from participating and I think saying
at least 1 Mile away from land is clearer and simpler than saying
operating on the seaward side of the low-waterline along the coastline as marked on large scale charts officially recognised by the
relevant coastal state

Happy to hear opinions about either.

I'm 100% with you on the power source. I was thinking about the large shipping container sized generators when I wrote that but yes, a generator like the one you mentioned would be fine. Any suggestions on how to improve the wording?

G8TDU
20th Apr 2015, 09:59
Can i suggest, in keeping with the term 'portable' that the generator is the same, ie something that can be picked up by one person and moved, or possibly a generator that could be moved by one person on wheels.

With the 'at sea' and aboard a boat, i still feel that operating on board a boat or ship should come under maritime mobile. Simplifying the rules down to 'at least one mile away from land' also has problems. The east coast where i grew up had a beach which at low tide was almost 2 miles from the sea to land, when the tide came it it advanced rapidly to the land. I think at least one mile from land AT LOW TIDE would be a safer bet.

M0LMK
20th Apr 2015, 17:40
Thanks John That all makes perfect sense to me.

G4YVM
22nd Apr 2015, 19:01
I would also take issue with operating from my back garden.. If I sit at my picknic table using my KX1 and a wire in the tree, exactly as I would if I were out in the forest, then I sign /P and I believe that I am.

David

AA9SD
22nd Apr 2015, 19:03
I would also take issue with operating from my back garden.. If I sit at my picknic table using my KX1 and a wire in the tree, exactly as I would if I were out in the forest, then I sign /P and I believe that I am.

David

I also think that would qualify as /P as long as you aren't connected to mains power.

--Sherman AA9SD

M0LMK
23rd Apr 2015, 09:44
Now that we have a nice number of members, maybe I should create a poll with the different options and see which definition is preferred?

Does that sound like a good idea?

G4YVM
23rd Apr 2015, 11:44
Yes it does, but we need to be aware that OUR definition of portable will not be the OFCOM one. Technically when we sign /P we are in contravention of our licences almost always. I won't spell it out here because users can look it up.
My feelings are that OFCOM are wrong and out of step with the amateur radio fraternity, so I shall continue to sign /p when I probably ought to sign /m.

Therefore , for the poll, my definition would be

"the radio transceiving equipment is powered by batteries either internal or external to the radio set, which have been carried on site by the operator. The batteries must not be recharged during the period of operation. The only exception is that human powered generators may be used, eg hand operated or from a bicycle. No fuel burning engines are allowed in this category during the period of operation

Natural power is also permitted, so solar panels, hydro electricity if established by the operator, wind generator (also if carried by the op) etc are permitted. The caveat is that nothing must have existed prior to the stations arrival and nothing must be left behind.

The aerial must not be a permanent fixture, it must not have existed prior to the operator establishing the station and it must not be left in place once he has gone. All aerial fixtures and fitting must have been carried on site by the operator and must be removed when he leaves, also by the operator. For the purposes of the awards 'carried' also means in the operator's car or van, horse, bike or other means of transport. It is accepted that there might be two or more operators.


For the purposes of the award it is the spirit of the /p that counts, not the literal letter of the rule. Hence it is firmly in mind that a portable station is usually one person, man handling his equipment to a remote location for enjoyable operation using battery power and temporary aerials. It is his skill at establishing and operating small low powered amateur radio stations that is being celebrated, not his cheque book. Any station deemed to be invoking the letter rather than the spirit will be disqualified.

It is accepted that our definition of portable is not ofcoms, it is not our intention to challenge OFCOM nor to try to change them. We are defining portable ops solely for our own awards needs. Challengers need not apply!"

That's my penny worth.

David

G4YVM
23rd Apr 2015, 11:52
The diving world has a phrase, "take only pictures, leave only bubbles". I'd say we use "take only pleasure, leave only footprints"

D

G4YVM
23rd Apr 2015, 11:54
Note that I haven't mentioned in my definition WHERE the station may be. That's because it doesn't matter does it? The challenge lies in the kit, not the location. Like I say, sometimes in my garden in the summer, twenty foot of wire thrown into a tree doesn't know where it is at all...wire is wire and I'm still on the kx1. The aerial was carried by me and will be removd before my wife gets home!

D

AA9SD
23rd Apr 2015, 13:59
Now that we have a nice number of members, maybe I should create a poll with the different options and see which definition is preferred?

Does that sound like a good idea?

Yes, I think it does. I have my ideas of what constitutes portable operation but I'm sure other will disagree or have other ideas. Here are some of my thoughts in no particular order-

* I like the idea of the equipment being transported by human power to the final location
* Equipment must be powered by something other than mains power. Could be battery, solar, wind, generator or a combination
* Antenna must not be a permanent installation

Some of these ideas do conflict with using a vehicle mounted radio and antenna which could be an issue for some. It will be interesting to see what the definition becomes!

M0LMK
23rd Apr 2015, 17:15
Great suggestions for all.

I'll have a bit of a think and put up a poll so members can vote on the best definition for the purposes of the award.

MI0PYN
23rd Apr 2015, 22:59
I believe none of the awards should exclude any amateur with a full license from their jurisdiction's regulating authority. Essentially, all awards should be achieveable by any full call sign holder from any jurisdiction.

The "On the Air, In the Air" award is not accessible to UK Amateurs, as the license terms expressly prohibit operating from the air.

I also do not think we should exclude multi operator type expeditions, these also have a place in Portable operating, although each member of the group must meet the individual criteria to achieve the award.

Just some points off the top of my head...

73s

Stefan MI6PYN

G4YVM
24th Apr 2015, 08:25
Couple of points:

UK Amateurs are NOT excluded from /AM operation, as has been confirmed by OFCOM IN WRITING to a colleague of mine. However, /AM ops are NOT permitted in the UK. So, if you care to fly in any CEPT state that does permit airborne ops, in a G reg OR locally registered aircraft, you may do so. My colleague does this pretty frequently as do I. So for most UK operators the award will be really hard, but for a few lucky ones, at least possible.

Furthermore, our licences do NOT expressly forbid operating from aircraft. The regs state "the equipment shall not be installed in an aircraft".. Nowhere can I find what "the equipment" is and it certainly doesnt say "you cant do it". My "office" has a wonderful SSB radio fitted which alas is only USB so is a bit restricted, but HF ops work just fine.


I was thinking over night about my "no fuel burning" comments and would now withdraw them. I personally prefer the sort of ops where I walk or cycle (or maybe drive) to a location and use simple gear and batteries, but on reflection, so what if I hike or drive or get my Father's helicopter to fly me, to the most out of the way place and stay there for a week. Clearly I'll need food and petrol for the genny, I might hoist up a beam or three and have a real blast /P on 500 watts from my Honda fourstroke before packing away and leaving nothing behind to show I was ever there. I was letting my own preferences cloud my thinking.

D

G4YVM
24th Apr 2015, 08:32
Yes, I think it does. I have my ideas of what constitutes portable operation but I'm sure other will disagree or have other ideas. Here are some of my thoughts in no particular order-


* Equipment must be powered by something other than mains power. Could be battery, solar, wind, generator or a combination
* Antenna must not be a permanent installation


This needs thought: On the aircraft I fly ships power is called 'mains'. My aerials are pretty permanant. In fact they stand up to wind better than my home QTH, so are probably MORE permanent. The same would apply to a boat or ship. But I know what you mean, hence my original statement about things being in the spirit, not the word.

Oh this is going to be fun

D

M0LMK
24th Apr 2015, 08:47
Maybe a definition for the purposes of the award that includes /M /AM and /MM? That would make it a lot easier and still within the spirit of "getting out there".

MI0PYN
24th Apr 2015, 08:48
Couple of points:
Furthermore, our licences do NOT expressly forbid operating from aircraft. The regs state "the equipment shall not be installed in an aircraft".. Nowhere can I find what "the equipment" is and it certainly doesnt say "you cant do it". My "office" has a wonderful SSB radio fitted which alas is only USB so is a bit restricted, but HF ops work just fine.


I respectfully must disagree with this section of your comment.

From the most recent license document:


2. Location
2(1) The Licensee may only operate the Radio Equipment in the United Kingdom (including its
territorial seas) subject to sub-clauses (a) – (c):
(a) Where this Licence is a Full Licence only, and unless it is a Full (Club) or
Temporary Licence, the Licensee may operate the Radio Equipment from a
Maritime Mobile location;
(b) Where this Licence is a Full Licence only, and unless it is a Full (Club) or
Temporary Licence, the Licensee may operate the Radio Equipment in
countries which have implemented CEPT Recommendation T/R 61-01.
(c) The Radio Equipment may not be established or used in any Aircraft or
Airborne Vehicle.

Subclause C specifically states that Radio Equipment may not be used in any aircraft or airborne vehicle under the terms of the Amateur Radio License. I agree that this only applies in the UK and accept that a UK amateur may operate /AM in other jurisdictions, but airborne ops in the UK are specifically prohibited.

73s,

Stefan MI6PYN

MI0PYN
24th Apr 2015, 08:50
Maybe a definition for the purposes of the award that includes /M /AM and /MM? That would make it a lot easier and still within the spirit of "getting out there".

That sounds like a good compromise, but perhaps qualify that /M in a vehicle refers to static operation rather than, say, a QSO while driving?

M0LMK
24th Apr 2015, 08:58
Thank you both for your comments. I think we all have different interpretations of how the licence is worded and that is fine but this is not the place to discuss the UK specific licence. Let's get back on the topic of discussing the definition of "Portable" for the purposes of the award please.


That sounds like a good compromise, but perhaps qualify that /M in a vehicle refers to static operation rather than, say, a QSO while driving?

Yes, that sounds good.

Maybe there needs to be separate awards for HF and VHF/UHF operation too? That's a question for the "Award Curators (http://www.arpoc.org/news-and-announcments/89-award-curators.html)" group.

G4YVM
24th Apr 2015, 16:46
I respectfully must disagree with this section of your comment.

From the most recent license document:



Subclause C specifically states that Radio Equipment may not be used in any aircraft or airborne vehicle under the terms of the Amateur Radio License. I agree that this only applies in the UK and accept that a UK amateur may operate /AM in other jurisdictions, but airborne ops in the UK are specifically prohibited.

73s,

Stefan MI6PYN

I am sure thats what they want it to mean, but it does say The Radio Equipment. What is that? If my aircraft has already got radio equipment fitted which already covers amateur bands, I can see no reason not to use it. Mind you, Ofcom and the CAA disagree. When I write to ofcom they say "its not us its the CAA" and when I write to the CAA they say "its not us its ofcom".

This argument by the way goes nowhere, so as a thread let us let it die.
D

G4YVM
24th Apr 2015, 16:50
Reference what is portable.


We run the serious risk here of over defining. It might be better if we agree what /P is NOT.

"/P is deemed to exist when the station uses no fixed base power, equipment, or aerials. All station equipment must be carried to the site and removed away afterwards."

I think all of us know what "fixed base" is, especially as we are looking at the spirit of the thing. I would suggest that if anyone wishes to claim /P from a place they consider might be dubious, they should ask first.

D

M0LMK
24th Apr 2015, 17:32
That sounds like a great definition and prevents just sitting in a car and using the fixed set and a mag mount but would allow using a radio fitted to a car and an antenna that has been erected temporarily.

Any objections if we go with that?

MI0PYN
24th Apr 2015, 18:57
Sounds like a fair way to go, with the option for people to check if they're not sure. Let's go for that.

mu0chn
15th Jun 2015, 22:41
I mentioned in post#6 using an old lighting set for portable work and it turns out a local amature has done just that, but he removed the mast. I have uploaded a photo to my Album.
I think I would of kept the mast.

M0LMK
16th Jun 2015, 08:50
That's one heck of a power supply. Perfect for KW mobile!