Although I agree with almost everything Pete says, I had to come back on
this didn’t I? I’ll comment where I think clarification is necessary on a paragraph
by paragraph basis.
Yes, the times they are a’changin’, as they say. As was pointed out in the
last issue, the content of the magazine reflects the contributions made to it. If
the majority of contributors have disks, then the articles reflect that. This is
certainly the case at present, and we’d welcome any articles on either mini
cassette systems or Uncle Clive’s microfloppies (when [Ed. – if] they appear) to
redress the balance. If you are using a data loading system which is fast and cheap
then let us know. On the subject of sending us articles, can we have them in
machine readable form if possible. We don’t mind either Nascom or Gemini tape
formats, or any IBM 3470 (or is that 3740) compatible disk format, we think we can
read most, either 5.25" or 8".
Now on to my article in the last issue ‘Breaking Computers’. As I think
Peter realised, it was written ‘tongue in cheak’. Dave Hunt, him speak with forked
tongue, etc. As to the ethics and legality of the suggestions I made, I hope I made
it totally clear that they weren’t either legal or particularly ethical. Regarding
the use of ‘linears’ when a cheap class C PA would do equally well if not better,
it seems most of the linears come from Italy (surprise surprise, not the Far East).
The Italians use SSB quite a lot and a linear is necessary for this purpose. You
might like to note that it is legal to import them and sell them, it’s the owner
who breaks the law by using them.
Pete attributes the frequency-agile channel changing idea to me. Sorry,
that’s not correct, it arose out of a discussion with several interested parties
over a year ago, and I don’t remember whose idea it actually was. Secondly,
contrary to Pete’s comment, above, the port controlled channel selector was about
the only ‘legal’ part of suggestions. My copy of MPT1320 dictates the frequencies
to be used (spurii, RF power, and a lot of other things), but says nothing as to
the physical changing of channels. So it seems to me that computer controlled
channel selection is totally in order. A second point stemming from the MPT1320
spec., is that the rigs do not have to be certified by the Home Office. The
supplier, importer, constructor or manufacturer simply has to certify that the rigs
meet the spec.
When I first read Pete’s letter it was the next paragraph which prompted me
to write a reply. I also had a couple of other letters on this point. Pete refers
to a ‘glaring error’, now fair’s fair, you can NOW send data on 144MHz and above
(although, as we shall see, this is not technically open to all Amateur Radio
Licence holders). But at the time I wrote that piece, way back in February, the
great February 12th debacle was about to break on the amateur radio fraternity to
cause many whoops of joy, or wailing and gnashing of teeth, depending upon whether
you had an ‘Amateur B’ or ‘Amateur A’ Licence. Anyway, up to that date, data
transmission as such was a definite ‘no go area’ as the earlier schedule was then
still in force.
I won’t dwell on the ‘Great Home Office Cock-Up’, as a long discussion
about radio topics, even about the wrong doings of those who consider themselves
our masters and who know better than we mere mortals will ‘bore the bytes’ off the
computer public who are reading this.
However, it’s interesting to note that the revised schedule of the 19th
March still technically prohibits data transmission (and also, if interpreted
strictly, now prohibits RTTY as well) by holders of ‘Amateur B’ Licences. The
classes of emission we are interested in, either automatic on/off keying of a
carrier or modulating tone or a.f.s.k. (automatic frequency shift keying) of
modulating tones, A2B, F1B, F2B, G1B or G2B, remain the domain of the ‘Amateur A’
Licence holder as it would appear that our friends at Waterloo Bridge House can’t
tell the difference between morse telegraphy and data transmission. As the new
classifications of modes includes the emission type ‘D’ this problem could be
overcome by including the following modes in the amateur schedules for use by both
‘Amateur A and B’ Licence holders: