Re: France


From: Bernard Seront (
Date: Wed Mar 06 1996 - 11:15:53 EST

At 08:19 PM 3/5/96 EST, David Adams wrote:
>Well, I am being sent to France next month to assist at our Lyon
>Facility. I'm toying with the idea of a recpricol operating permit.
> I'll call the ARRL for the forms and procedures, but does anyone
>know anything about French ham radio? What (other than a 2 meter
>ht) might be a useful rig to bring along?
>73 de dave...

Well I've never been ham in France (license is somehow more difficult to get
there: you don't know the questions, nor the answers, before the test,:-),
but did a lot of listening (and some transmissions, but: shut ne le repetez

So I would say ham radio in France is pretty much like here: 2m, 440MHz
chatting, repeaters, 40m or 80m daily activities : nets, dx on 20 when open,
some cw, a lot of SSB (or BLU, bande laterale unique, in French) (same
proportion between cw and phone as in the US).
So just bring what you need for you preferred activities.

One nice thing about France is that maximum power is 250W, I know some KW+
amps are used, but overall ham waste less energy than in the US. I believe
QRP is not that popular (I don't remember having ever seen a QRP related
article in "Megahertz", one of the French ham radio magazines).
Don't be surprised: you won't find a lot of people speaking English, so it's
better to have some French knowledge.

A few things to know:
2 m repeaters are coordinated, and you open them with a 1750 tone (no
ctcss), so if your radio doesn't have the option, you have to start practice
to whistle at 1750 Hz (it works), or just find one of these gizmos you can
record 10s of message on it an record a 1750 Hz signal. 2m is restricted to
144-146 MHz, you'll find illegal activity (tolerated) between 146 and 148.
There is no 220 MHz band in France.
440 MHZ, is as far as I know not that popular, except in big cities.
I have a list of the repeaters, frequencies ... somewhere on my disk, just
ask me.
50MHz is alive but there is some zone restrictions, and per heaps a special
license or authorization is required, I don't know exactly what the
situation is right now.
For HH, it is almost the same as here, except for the band limits.

Phone patch, closed repeaters, ... are not allowed in France. And officially
you are restricted to technical conversations on the air, it's ok to ask
about the weather (technical), but not to ask about the children health! (I
said officially).
This is because telephone is a government monopoly in France.

Well don't know what else to say; 2 me is nice: with good repeater coverage
and a small country you would be amazed at what can be done (a contact from
Lyon to someone trekking up on the Alps with an hand held via repeater is
And if you get a ham radio license (or reciprocal license) you have the
right, -by law-, to put out an antenna, even if you rent an apartment (yes:
there is some restrictions, it's sometimes not easy with co-tenants, but the
right is protected by the law).

I don't think you'll have to get into the trouble of getting a French
license (unless you want). But if you get problems with the forms, or
translations, need an address or phone number, or a way of sending money,
you can ask me directly, I'll try to help.(As a side note: do you know that
you can get, via the web, the phone number and address of anybody listed in
the French phone book!)

OK I guess it's enough general information for a list message; details, if
any, can be handled privately to save bandwidth.

Soixante-treize, Soixante-douze de Bernard, KB deux TGH.
(Too bad you can't get this South French singing accent on the 73 72 :-)

Bernard Seront,

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