"For members only"

Notes of Meeting with Amateur Radio Societies

Held on 11 October 2000 at OFTA's Conference Room  

Present: Mr. T.Y. Chan OFTA (Chairman)
  Mr. Paul Anderson HARTS
  Mr. Stephen Tse HARTS
  Mr. Steven Beesley HARDXA
  Mr. Charlie Ho HARDXA
  Mr. Brett Graham ELARCS
  Mr. T. Nagata JAROC
  Mr. S. Nagayama JAROC
  Mr. W.L. Ho HKARA
  Mr. K.C. Chan HKARA
  Mr. W.H. Chiu CARSC
  Mr. W.P. Tang CARSC
  Mr. Y. C. Leung OFTA
  Mr. Eric Lam OFTA
  Mr. K.M. Tam OFTA
  Mr. K.T. Seto OFTA
  Mr. Y. L. Li OFTA (Secretary)



Confirmation of Notes of Last Meeting  

  The notes of the meeting on 10 May 2000 were confirmed without amendment.
    Purpose of the Liaison Meeting 

2. The Chairman informed that the liaison meeting was to serve as a communication channel between OFTA and the local amateur radio societies for discussion and exchange of views on various amateur radio matters. However, as a majority of the amateur community was not represented by the existing clubs and societies, OFTA might also need to consultissue consultation papers to individual licensees to seek their views when it considered appropriate.

Use of Hilltop Sites

3. The Chairman informed that hilltop radio sites were scare resources and there was big demand for use from both government and commercial users. Normally, only essential services and public utilities were allowed to use hilltop sites.  Therefore OFTA would unlikely approve the use of hilltop sites by amateurs.  However, HARTS would be permitted to maintain the existing repeater station at Tate’s Cairn and operate a temporary station in Tai Mo Shan for annual Trailwalker activity. Mr. Anderson asked if OFTA was willing to allow operation of a repeater at Pumphouse 9, Tai Mo shan on a seasonal basis (i.e. during the Trailwalker activity period).   The chairman replied that the temporary use of Pumphouse 9 by amateur for the annual Trailwalker event would be supported.  Mr. Anderson proposed OFTA to support HARTS to keep the equipment cabinet at Pumphouse 9 after the Trailwalker event so that installation of equipment would be easier in the next year.  The Chairman said that OFTA did not have any objection but this was a matter for GPA to decide.   On request by the GPA on the issue, OFTA would indicate no objection.

4. Some amateur societies questioned that OFTA had shifted its policy toward the use of hilltop sites by amateurs. The Chairman reiterated that hilltop radio sites were scarce resources and only essential and public utility services would be permitted to use hilltop sites.  Some amateur societies expressed that OFTA should review its policy decision again.  In response the Chairman said that amateur societies might wish to write to OFTA to provide justifications.     (Action : All societies)

  Guideline for Temporary Amateur Repeater Station 

5. The Chairman said that guidelines for temporary amateur repeater station would be ready in the following week. (Action : OFTA)

  ATO Format

6. Amateur societies requested OFTA to put the photo of ATO holder on the ATO to prevent illegal amateur activities. The Chairman suggested to put the ID number of the ATO holder on the ATO instead as the ID card could be used to verify the ATO holder.  Mr. Anderson said that they would accept either the photo or the ID number being put on the ATO.  The Chairman further pointed out that consent of the licensees were required in accordance with the Privacy Ordinance and he would seek legal advice.

(Action : OFTA)

7. Mr. Tse expressed his concern that newly issued ATO was not laminated. This made it difficult for the holder to keep the ATO in good shape for five years. The Chairman agreed to review the arrangement.

(Action : OFTA)

  Illegal Operation/Interference on Amateur Bands

8. Some amateur societies submitted that RMU had not been acting seriously to stop reported interference/illegal activities on amateur bands. A typical scenario was the RMU staff reported to the complainant, saying that the occurrence of interference/illegal traffic was transitory and not frequent; and proposed to close the case.  Mr. Tam informed that RMU always endeavoured to crack down unauthorized transmission, though relatively higher priority would be given to essential/security/public services.

9. Mr. Lam added that OFTA would not tolerate any unauthorized radio installation.  For fixed stations, he expected no great difficulty to clear them up within a short period of time.  For interference from mobile radio stations, there was some practical difficulty and OFTA would have to rely on roadblock operation.  He encouraged amateurs to provide further information and OFTA would follow up all reports on unauthorized radio installations or interference upon receipt of information.

10. The representatives of the amateur societies opined that roadblock operation was not an effective means to eliminate illegal mobile operation. Mr. Beesley suggested that OFTA might consider tighter control on the radio importers and radio dealers.

11. Mr. Anderson asked if RMU could help to locate an illegal phone patching station in Sha Tau Kok.  Mr. Tam replied that RMU would follow up the issue if sufficient details were given.

(Action : OFTA, all amateur radio societies)

  ITU Asia 2000 in Hong Kong

12. Mr. Anderson informed that the Chairman of IARU Region 3 would visit Hong Kong during the ITU Asia 2000 exhibition period. HARTS would have the pleasure in having OFTA to meet with the Chairman and have dinner. HARTS would send an invitation letter to OFTA in due course.

(Action : HARTS)

  Recognition of Amateur Licence

13. The Chairman announced that work had been initiated for the recognition of amateur licences by foreign administrations. The first batch of targets would include Australia, Canada, Japan, Macau SAR and the USA.

14. Mr. Anderson reported that Taiwan had already recognized radio amateur licence issued by OFTA and requested OFTA to include Taiwan and Mainland China in the list. The Chairman said that these might be considered in the second round.

(Action : OFTA)

  Use of 430 - 440 MHz by Amateur

15. The Chairman informed that one operator had been licensed to provide vehicle location information service on 431.1 – 434.9 MHz. Enquiry had also been received from prospective operators on the availability of UHF frequencies for the operation of public radiolocation service. In this connection, 436 – 440 MHz had been reserved to serve the purpose.  The request to permit mobile and portable to operate in 430-440MHz was not acceptable as it would cause interference to those radiocommunication services in the UHF band.  In addition, the same problems experienced in the VHF 144 MHz band would repeat in the UHF band if mobile and portable operating modes were permitted.

16. The amateurs raised strong objection to OFTA’s policy. They thought that it was unfair that they had to be penalised by depriving their right while those illegal users were free to operate without any restrictions. They considered that was a bad policy and would complain to the appropriate authority.  The Chairman replied that OFTA had no intention to penalize amateur licensees and the decision was made solely based on enforcement and EMC considerations.

17. Mr. Charlie Ho requested OFTA to relax the existing restrictions and allow them to operate SSTV on 430 – 431 MHz and 435 – 436 MHz.  OFTA requested HARDXA to provide futher justification for consideration.

(Action : HARDXA, OFTA)

  Amateur Bands in 1.2 GHz and 2.4 GHz

18. HARDXA requested OFTA to open up 1.2 GHz and 2.4 GHz band for amateur satellite service on a secondary basis. OFTA was reviewing the allocation of the bands for radio navigation satellite service and IMT2000 respectively. HARDXA was requested to advise OFTA of the exact frequency slots in these bands and provide further justifications for OFTA's consideration.   (Action : HARDXA)

  Proposed Class A/B Licence and Amateur Morse Test 

19. HARTS had indicated its interest to take up OFTA’s role to perform Morse test for amateurs. HARDXA expressed its concern that in this way the test would not be conducted in an unbiased manner. It would only support an independent body but not any amateur societies to take up the Morse test function. HARTS would explore if it could coordinate with the vocational training council or other educational bodies to organise the Morse test. It would report progress to OFTA.   (Action : HARTS)

20. The amateurs requested OFTA to introduce the Class A/B licence which would allow the licensees, who had passed a 5wpm Morse test, to access all amateur bands with limited power. The Class A/B licence had been issued in US, Canada and Australia. Furthermore, they would also like to ask OFTA to allow Class B licensee to operate in CW mode on VHF, UHF and SHF bands.  OFTA would consider the requests in detail.

(Action : OFTA)

  Hong Kong Table of Frequency Allocation

21. Currently, CAD and HKO radars operated in 1260 –1270 MHz band and 5650 – 5670 MHz band respectively. The 2400 – 2450 MHz band was allocated for the operation of wireless LAN/Bluetooth equipment. The 3400 – 3700 MHz band would be used for the fixed satellite service.

22. The amateurs were requested to advise OFTA the exact frequency slots in 3.4 GHz band which might be used for amateur satellite service in this region for OFTA’s consideration.

(Action : HARTS)

  Any Other Business

23. 165-195kHz for Amateur Use

HARTS requested to open up 165 – 195 kHz for amateur operation. OFTA pointed out that the band was not allocated for amateur service in region 3. HARTS claimed that the administrations of Australia and New Zealand had allowed the amateurs to operate on the band. It would gather information on power limits, mode of operation and licensing conditions of other countries for OFTA’s consideration.

(Action : HARTS)


New Amateur Station Licence Format

The Chairman pointed out that, as a result of the enactment of the Telecommunications Ordinance, the TA would be required to gazette the format of all telecommunications licence.  OFTA might take the chance to add minor improvement to the existing Amateur Station Licence, including the renewal period, permitted emission mode, etc.  In this connection, a consultation might be conducted later.

 (Action : OFTA)

25.   The next meeting was tentatively scheduled in mid January 2001. There being no other business, the meeting adjourned at 4:20pm.