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Virtual Tourist

Brooke Allen (N2BA) on February 4, 2003
View comments about this article!

A big part of Ham Radio for me includes travel, and operating from foreign locations. I just recently re-discovered the Virtual Tourist web site, which has grown spectacularly since I first saw it in the earliest days of the internet.

It appears to me it could be a spectacular resource for the traveling Contester and DXer, as well as an opportunity for us hams to provide exposure for our hobby to non-hams. The site allows travelers to describe both their own QTH, but their travels. There seems to be significant sharing of tips and help.

Additionally, you can create your own home page. I've done one for my ham activities, visible at: Please give it a visit. Then let me know: 1) How can it be improved, 2) ways you might use this service to promote our find help on our Contest expitditons.


Brooke, N2BA

Member Comments: Add A Comment
Virtual Tourist Reply
by SM0JHF on February 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The information you gave on your VT site is not correct. There are actually many countries that you, and I, are allowed to operate amateur radio from without obtaining a permit. Providing, you hold a valid licence in the USA or most of the European, and some other, countries.
Virtual Tourist has probably more members than the ARRL and it is a mine of information. Not always of good quality and reliable, but still it is there.
RE: Virtual Tourist Reply
by N2BA on February 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
What SM0JHF is referring to is that on the web site, I say:

"When a ham travels to another country he is not permitted to operate his radio equipment without first obtaining permission."

It is his point that many countries, like the CEPT countries, grant permission to hams that bring the appropriate documentation without requiring specific application for permission. I believe that my satement is still correct in that when I operate in a foreign country that grants blanket permission, I have still been granted permission, and if I disobey the rules, that permission can be revoked. This is different from not requiring permission.

If people who see my site feel my wording is truely misleading, I'll change it, and I'm open to suggested improvement in wording. (Perhaps I should change "obtainging" to "being granted".) I am trying to give a general description to the non-ham, not be a definitive source of legal advice for hams.

What are your thoughts?


Brooke, N2BA
RE: Virtual Tourist Reply
by wa6st on June 17, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Hi Brooke – I see this is now several months old, but I’ll plunge in anyway! I think you are technically correct, but it’s generally a good thing (I speak as a long-time editor) to change wording which CAN be misread. Changing it to “being granted” would help some, but this still could imply that one needs to take some new action. Why don’t you just spell it out? Something like this:

“When U.S. hams travel to some other countries, particularly in Europe, reciprocal agreements between governments let them use their radio equipment (if they take it along, that is!). In many other countries they must apply for and receive specific permission from the government to get on the air.” Or words to that effect.

(As a minor point – though not minor to women like my wife – note that this language is “inclusive.”)

Your site on the Virtual Tourist looks really good; so does your antenna farm! On my computer, at least, all the apostrophes and quotation marks come up as question marks (as in I?ve and ?hams? in your first sentence). This could just be my machine and/or software and/or provider; but I sampled a few other places on this site and they don’t seem to have the same problem.

Anyway, for whatever they’re worth, them’s my thoughts. All the best

Stan WA6ST
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