I do agree with Jay Heyl's opinions here. In short to open the door to circumventing the rules invites opinions not wanted/desired/within the scope of the group. I too also believe that DSP radios with multiple BW selection is an automatic unlimited class, as well as radios that have more than a wide/narrow BW selection or rf boost. After a few years I've seen why the no-SSB/no-synchro requirement stays intact.
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Jaypolicow may indeed be correct in stating that one could hack an SSB/synchro into an allowed radio and be unlimited, rather than unacceptable. IMHO that should considered carefully if true.
Something here really does look and feel like needing a third class of operations; an Advanced Class, for DSP's and PLL's saving the Standard Class for the Analog radios that started the phenomonon.
Thanks for hearing me out on this.
Paul S. in CT
--- In ultralightdx@..., Jay Heyl <yahoogroups@...> wrote:
On Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 12:11, dhsatyadhana <dhsatyadhana@...> wrote:
For me, part of the problem is that the "definitions" are rather
Thank you for your post. Perhaps a few words of explanation may be
helpful. Some here on the Group have expressed dissatisfaction with what is
and is not an Ultralight before: that is fine, and I truly mean that.
However, I ask members to bear in mind that the definition of an Ultralight
has been established for some time and to be realistic about their own
preferences being incorporated, and at some point I believe it's time to
stop belaboring a particular issue.
wishy-washy. Perhaps it's my background in aerospace and the medical device
industries coming into play here, but words like "approximately" and
"usually" don't make for particularly good "definitions". I think everyone
would agree there needs to be a limit. The definition should clearly and
unequivocally state that limit. "The volume of the radio shall not exceed 20
Rule #2 states, "It is an entertainment-grade radio, as opposed to
enthusiast's radio. As such, it will usually not have AM synchronous
detection, SSB clarification or other specialized features." The "usually"
opens the door to maybe, sometimes, it *might* have one or more of these
features. If the definition is intended to exclude any radio with sync or
SSB it should clearly state exactly that. Saying it "usually" doesn't have
these features opens the door to endless discussion of the topic.
In regards to this rule, I would argue the variable bandwidths afforded by
several of the DSP-equipped radios would qualify as "specialized features"
typically found only in enthusiast's radios. I know of only a few portable
radios I would consider consumer grade that offer even two bandwidths, and
none of them are remotely close to pocket-sized. Aside from the DSP-equipped
radios, the only radios I know of that offer more than two bandwidths are
enthusiast or communication grade receivers. This is an advanced feature
that places these radios head and shoulders above the capabilities of the
more pedestrian ultralights
Aside from the number of filter bandwidths available in these radios, I
would submit that any radio providing only a 2 or 3 kHz filter would not
provide much in the way of "entertainment" listening and would necessarily
be disqualified as not being an entertainment-grade radio. Indeed, I would
place the narrow bandwidths in the same category as SSB and sync insofar as
offering reasonable reception of exceedingly marginal signals that would be
impossible without these advanced features not typically found in
entertainment radios. The fact that the DSP chips make these features
available at comparatively cheap prices should not be a consideration.
Theoretically, some cheap circuit might make it feasible to add SSB or sync
to a sub-$100 pocket radio. To exclude that radio and not the ones providing
five filters with bandwidths down to 1kHz strikes me as inconsistent and
Please note, I'm not so much arguing for the inclusion of radios offering
SSB or sync as I am for the exclusion of DSP-equipped radios offering
multiple filter bandwidths. This is an enthusiast type feature included only
because the DSP happens to make it cheap to do so.
Rule #3 says the radio must be "readily available to the hobby in new or
used markets at the time of its approval". "Readily available" is another of
those imprecise phrases that can create confusion. The SRF-59, being
available at K-mart and other department stores, clearly qualifies as
readily available. I'm not so sure a radio available only from a small
handful of ebay merchants located halfway around the world can reasonably be
called readily available. Same for radios available only in one island
nation and from a single obscure merchant for the rest of the world.
I'm not sure this is all that important, but it's one of the rules, so...
Not that it will be the source of any confusion, but I'm interested in the
reasoning behind rule #6, no "novelty radios". What possible difference can
it make what the outside of the radio looks like? As long as it meets all
the other criteria, should it really matter if the case is made to resemble
a pack of Camels?
Though perhaps arbitrarily selected, the limits in the definitions form the
basis of the approach to this niche of the hobby. Again, opinion posts
disagreeing with that basis are fine, but at some point they start to
detract from the operation and enjoyment of the Group. If a post goes
further and, in my opinion, essentially dares the Moderator to either take
action lest the protest continue, at some point a decision has to be made.
I'm not aware of the history of Neil's discussion of these issues. Obviously
that does enter into the situation. I guess I would have expected to see
some type of clear warning that continued discussion of the topic would be
grounds for suspension. Maybe I missed that.
I've been a moderator in a couple other groups for several years. Over that
time I've only suspended two individuals (not counting spammers). One was
repeatedly warned that his behavior was out of line and would result in
suspension should it continue. The other replied to a technical message
rejection with a suggestion that I do something rude and anatomically
impossible. That resulted in immediate and irrevocable loss of posting
Getting back to what does or does not qualify as an ultralight, Neil brought
up something I've long had issues with. It seems inconsistent to allow
modifications to official ultralights in the "unlimited" category while
still excluding those radios that have certain features that for some reason
at one time struck someone as going beyond their concept of ultralight. In
other words, assuming I had the technical ability, I could modify an
official ultralight to have SSB and sync, and my loggings would be accepted
in the unlimited category, yet a radio that came from the manufacturer with
those same features would never be qualified as an official ultralight and
loggings from it would therefore be disallowed even from the unlimited
It seems to me a reasonable compromise to the SSB controversy would be to
allow loggings in the stock category only from unmodified versions of those
radios on the approved list. For the unlimited category, any radio that met
the under 20 cubic inches criteria would be allowed. I suggest the
multi-bandwidth DSP radios would properly belong in the latter category.