Chinese hams

China has grown up one of the biggest countries with respect to the economy as well as the population. The ham radio is not an exception. It is reported there are already over 90000 hams there. There are increasing number of hams getting on now. We could hear a few Chinese on around 7023KHz at night. They always sound like new comers with the prefices of BG, BH etc.

I always wonder why they won't make the ordinary QSOs. They do only in the contest syle or, at best, so called rubber stamp QSOs. In some cases, they might start QSO in response to my CQ before I reply to them. They seem to be interested only in QSLs. I know QSL collection is required to upgrade their tickets. It may hasten them to work as many as possible, that result in those contest style contacts.
But it seems they are not required to experience SWL before getting ham tickets as it used to be in the communist coutries before the cold war ended.
I wonder if this is the only reason of their shorties. I have been interested in the hams in this big neighborhood country.

A few days ago, I ran across into a novice class Chinese with the prefix of BG7 on 40m. I have seen his call in the FIST East Asia BBS sometime ago. I have mentioned it. He seemed to be delighted that I had known him. He was in Shenzheng near HK. His set up was 20W "DIY" with a wire antenna on the roof of 20 story building. Later, his mail told he had run much less power, maybe, a few W from his home brew tiny transceiver. I could not help smiling at the word DIY standing for home brew. It seemed tough for him to go on chatting maybe, I guessed at that time, due to language barrier or some other reason. I thought to correspond with him by e mail. I have never e mailed to any ham in China and was wondering if it was possible. Before I sent him my mail, my mail box had received his with a bit peculiar simple address.

He was wondering why he could not access to FIST EA any longer. He might want me to help him getting touch with FIST EA members. It was surprising to see a Chinese ham to be willing to come back to the ham club in the western world. No barrier between the western nad the eastern in consciouness any longer. He also attached a photo showing his tiny radio with the size of a paddle. My beam was  pointed off back to him then. But his signal was coming in very nicely. I knew China is a real neighborhood.

In the reply to him, I have asked him why the most of Chinese won't enjoy the ordinary QSOs and so forth. So far, no reply from him yet. I guess that the language barrier is not likely to be the main reason. I know in the field of med science, a lot of Chinese are publishing artilces in first quality magazines in English. The most young people should be well educated in English over there. QSL collection demand must be another reason as written above. I am afraid that the bands are still censored by the authority and the QSOs could be checked by them. About 25 years ago, a Korean ham friend used to visit here. While tuning around 40m in my shack, he told me there was censorship on the air in Korea even in the age out of the military government those days. Maybe, it is difficult for that Chinese guy to answer my question. The internet must be an important objects for censorship. His e mail address was a very simple one which seemed handy for censorship.

I wish we could enjoy ordinary QSOs with the people in this neighborhood country in the near future. I dream it will contribute to mutual understanding between Japan and China, which has been disturbed by the unhappy past history and the political propaganda.


  1. Very interesting observations Shin San. I am also interested and will try to find out more in time if possible. I suspect we need a CW operating simple book in Chinese. I think as amateur radio relatively new in BY could be the worry also as you said, about talking too much. Until now I did not observe good CW Operators in BY, generally seem to be very limited, or, using PC. Unlike in Japan and Russia where CW operators seem more skilled. This could again be due to langauge as in Chinese they only use numbers for each word, and have to look up in book? So they generally abbreviate their numbers. But I heard on 7023 some BY novice stations having simple QSO using CW English.

    1. It seems to me there is no strict censorship in China nowadays. I am afraid they believe short rubber stamps should be the style they go after. The language barrier must also be present with them. I wonder how I could tell them it is much more fun to converse on CW rather than to make rubber stamps. CW communication will make them feel intriguing to know the other peoples. And they must know it is necessary for them to learn English. Since the competition for higher education is very hard in China now, most young people must have good command of English. But few knows how to use their knowledge in English for CW QSO, I am afraid.

      Writing this way, I realized the same thing could be applied to most of the Japanese CW operators.

      A long way to go.