A Direct Entry to Full Licence: RSGB Consultation

By Tony Kent, G8PBH, Examination Standards Committee Chair

At the beginning of 2021 the ESC/ESRG consulted the UK Amateur radio community on the draft Direct to Full (D2F) syllabus. Over 1,200 responses were received.

About 86% of respondents felt the scope of the syllabus (range of topics covered) was appropriate for D2F, with 8% thinking it was too narrow and 6% thinking it was too broad. On the question about the standard (level of difficulty) of the syllabus, 80% thought it was about right, the remaining 20% split equally between too easy and too hard. A clear majority, 75%, thought the proposed number of exam questions is appropriate, while 17% thought there were too few and 8% too many……………..read MORE.

Members see POST#2513 .

New VP0 Prefix For South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands

Licences for amateur radio stations operated in the British Antarctic Territory have previously been issued under the provisions of the jurisdiction of the Falkland Islands Communications Regulator.

During 2020, the Falkland Islands Communication Regulator undertook a process to revalidate Falkland Islands Amateur Radio Licences, primarily to bring the Amateur Radio Licences into compliance with the Falkland Islands’ Communications Ordinance 2019. This process identified that the British Antarctic Territory was no longer covered by the provisions of the jurisdiction of the Falkland Island Communications Regulator, and that the Regulator no longer had the power to issue licences for amateur radio stations in the British Antarctic Territory……………Read MORE .

WoSARS Goes On Holiday To Fife And Comes Back With A Souvenir

Well it all started with an email from James 2M0RMP ………..

“…………..26th Oct 20……………….Jack can you email me your number I have a wind up mast that needs a new home…………..”

In discussion with James, he said he’d met a nice lady who lived just outside St Andrews in Fife and had a tower in her back garden with a ‘protrusion’ upon it; both were required to be removed.

A VersaTower with a ‘Protrusion’

Well what else could we do but help out this nice lady with a trip though to the sunny ‘Fife Rivera’.

And indeed, in June the ‘gang’, Alan GM4TOQ, Sam GM4BGS, Ted 2M0VGY and yours truly headed through to the ‘sunny’ east coast to administer the necessary surgery.

The Fife ‘TEAM’ (Picture Courtesy of Alex Paris)
‘Dropping’ The Tower
Sam & Ted Perform Surgery – Removing The ‘Protrusion’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sparks ‘Fly’ As Alan Cuts The Ground Post

It was intended to try and remove the Ground Post from below the surrounding grass level but this proved beyond the kit we had with us on the day, resorting to cutting it off with a grinder. Not ideal but it did the trick.

And WoSARS would like to thank Alex Paris and family for allowing us to remove their elaborate ‘flagpole’ 🙂 and return it to it’s rightful place in the hierarchy of radio towers. Thanks folks!

And discussions are initially on-going within the Committee as to the use that the tower will be put to. These will be presented to the Members in due course as to their own thoughts.

And, who was the original amateur that owned the house? Alex had no information but did have some communication from Ofcom – with just a reference number on it, but no amateur callsign – a fat lot of use that is! Well I carried out a wee bit investigative work using QRZ.com’s search facilities and tracked GM4DPC ; still listed on QRZ, though a SK for many years? (he left the QTH many years ago). I contacted Ofcom on Alex’s behalf, to inform them that GM4DPC no longer lived at the QTH. They acknowledged accordingly and as a consequence his entry in QRZ maybe removed?

Oh the ‘Protrusion’? Not too sure, but I think it’s was being used as part of a Wi-Fi node for the village years ago when there was limited landline/mobile internet facilities? I have it at my QTH and at the time of writing this article, I have still to ‘sweep’ it?

73

Jack(;>J

Snips – News For Scotland – 23rd May

The news headlines:

  • Final details on EMF from Ofcom
  • Cathryn, M0IBG inducted in to the CQ Hall of Fame
  • RSGB National Radio Centre re-opens

GB2RS Script – HERE .

CLUB NEWS & NETS

No Scottish updates this week

A listing of all known nets in Scotland, collated by RSGB Regional Rep Tony, MM0TMZ in association with Jack, GM4COX and the West of Scotland ARS and published at www.wosars.club/radio-nets.

TAGS: (Within GB2RS Script)

EMF from Ofcom; M0IBG; Contesting and DX Halls of Fame; Bletchley Park will re-open; 50MHz awards; GB7LA; thousands of new people gained their Foundation licence; 3A/IW1RBI from Monaco; 5R8RP; F5TRO; FR8UA and FR8TZ; SM7/OZ3ACB; GB1SCW as part of SOS radio week; another wild week with Sporadic-E; Transatlantic multi-hop sporadic Es brought contacts in the USA

FINAL DECISION ON VARIATION OF LICENCE(S) – CONTAINS IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Dear Licence Holder,

We are writing to you again as we became aware that two of the hyperlinks in our previous email did not work. The links to the Final Decision and EMF compliance flowchart have now been corrected. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

As stated in our previous correspondence, we are writing to make you aware of some important changes to your radiocommunications licence(s) issued by Ofcom. The changes mean you may now need to take action to make sure your radio equipment complies with a new licence condition to protect the general public from exposure to Electromagnetic fields (EMF).

We wrote to you in March this year to let you know we were proposing these changes. They apply to virtually all licence holders. We gave licensees until 18 April to submit any representations they wanted to make about the changes. We have listened to licensees’ concerns and made some changes to the new licence condition and guidance document as a result.

Full details of our Final Decision are published on our website. The Decision means your licence has now been changed to include a requirement to comply with internationally recognised limits on EMF exposure.

Alongside the Final Decision we have published Guidance on what you should do to ensure compliance. We have also produced a simple EMF compliance flowchart which tells you whether or not you need to take action and, if you do, what action is needed.

To help further, we will also shortly publish an updated version of our on-line calculator which you can use to work out an appropriate compliance distance for your equipment.  We are also preparing a new simplified version of the full Guidance, plus specific advice for holders of amateur, ship radio and aeronautical licences. We expect to publish these documents on our website by 8 June.

All documents – plus other relevant information – can be found on a dedicated EMF webpage.

Licensees will have the following time periods to make sure they have up-to-date records in place:

a) Until 18 November 2021 for any equipment which operates on frequencies at or above 110 MHz.
b) Until 18 May 2022 for any equipment which operates on frequencies above 10 MHz but below 110 MHz.
c) Until 18 November 2022 for any equipment which operates on frequencies at or below 10 MHz.

To view and download your new terms, conditions and limitations please click the appropriate link below:

Amateur Radio Licence Terms, Conditions and Limitations

Ship Radio and Ship Portable Radio Licence Terms, Conditions and Limitations

Please note: if we make any further changes to licences in future, we may not contact licensees individually. For that reason we urge all licensees to subscribe to email spectrum updates by going to this page on our website.

If you have any questions about this change and what it means for you, further information can be found on the dedicated EMF webpage using the address provided above.

Yours faithfully,

Ofcom

Cooperative Effort to Resolve Potential 70-Centimetre Interference Issue (US)

The FCC, and the US Department of Defense are cooperating in an effort to eliminate the possibility of amateur radio interference on 70 centimetres to critical systems at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) in New Mexico. The Defense Department’s Regional Spectrum Coordinator contacted the FCC in March, seeking information on whom to contact regarding detected amateur transmissions it believed could pose a threat to a critical WSMR system operating on 70 centimetres. The FCC, in turn, asked ARRL to be involved in the discussion and any necessary remedial efforts. It is to be noted that the Amateur Radio Service is a secondary service on the band…………READ MORE  .

Snips – News For Scotland – 21st March

The news headlines:

  • Get ready for Summer time
  • RSGB Youth Award
  • Blue Ham this weekend

GB2RS Script – HERE .

NEWS & NETS

Now the listing of all known nets in Scotland, collated by RSGB Regional Rep Tony, MM0TMZ in association with Jack, GM4COX and the West of Scotland ARS and published at www.wosars.club/radio-nets.

Sad news, long-time West of Scotland ARS Member, Glasgow-based Bill, GM4REF has become a Silent Key after a long illness. He worked for the GPO and then BT before his retirement. Our condolences to his family.

Mid Lanark ARS (MLARS) Net: Controller Kevin (2M0KVM) on 28.475MHz each Sunday @ 2100Hrs has Indicated this Net will end. with the his last session being on Sunday March 21st 202. Kevin thanks all who have called in over the past year.

To have your net listed on the WoSARS website or to report any changes to existing nets, please email rr1@rsgb.org.uk. Remember also to keep GB2RS updated via email to radcom@rsgb.org.uk. Please note that the deadline for submissions is 10am on Thursdays.

Snips – News For Scotland – 14th March

The news headlines:

  • New Ofcom EMF guidance
  • Direct to Full – respond NOW
  • Blue Ham Event next weekend

GB2RS Script – HERE .

NEWS

“…………CQ magazine has introduced a contest category to enable a multi-operator team entry during the Covid-19 pandemic. This new category will be permanent, not just for the duration of the pandemic. Basically, the Multi-Distributed category allows up to six single operators, each in a different location within the same country, to form a team. Each station uses the same callsign but must operate on different bands. Scores are added together. Ofcom have confirmed that operating a club station in different locations using the same callsign simultaneously by club members is permissible. Only club members who hold a Full Licence in their own right may operate the club stations. Please read the rules at CQWPX.com. The next such contest is the CQ World Wide SSB contest on the 27th and 28th of March……………” 

Good news for Clubs and Contest Groups.

CLUB NEWS & NETS

The listing of all known nets in Scotland is collated by RSGB Regional Rep Tony Miles, MM0TMZ in association with Jack Hood, GM4COX and the West of Scotland Amateur Radio Society. These are then published at wosars.club/radio-nets.

New this week:-

We start with details of a new net on 4m being operated by the Mid-Lanarkshire Amateur Radio Society every Thursday from 8 to 9pm using 70.425MHz.

Site/Pic_Diary
Mid Lanark ARS – 4 Metre Net

For this week only Edinburgh & District Amateur Radio Club’s  Monday net on 15 March will be on 144.350 MHz USB from 8 pm This is a change to the normal 433.525MHz. Contact Norman, GM1CNH, on 07-740-946-192 for further information.

Ofcom And New EMF Guidelines For Spectrum Users

Ofcom is introducing new licence conditions for spectrum users, to ensure their equipment continues to operate within international electromagnetic field (EMF) guidelines.

All use of spectrum generates electromagnetic fields.

There are international safety guidelines – developed by the International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) – that set the maximum levels of EMF exposure for protection of the general public. These levels are endorsed by Public Health England.

Manufacturers, installers and operators of wireless equipment should already be aware of the ICNIRP guidelines and factor them into how they plan their services.

To ensure this always remains the case, we proposed new conditions for spectrum licensees earlier this year. Following consultation, we have now decided to introduce the new licence conditions.

This means licensees using equipment that is authorised to transmit at power levels higher than 10 Watts must operate within the ICNIRP guidelines as a condition of their Ofcom licence – including keeping data and records of any testing to demonstrate their compliance.

NEW ONLINE TOOL

While most spectrum licensees should already be factoring the ICNIRP guidelines into their services, we will be launching an online tool (our EMF calculator) to help make it as simple as possible for people to check whether the use of their radio equipment is likely to comply with the guidelines. This will be available on a trial basis initially and we will take account of the feedback we receive before launching the full version.

NEXT STEPS

Alongside our decision to introduce the new licence condition, we have published a consultation covering the updated wording of the condition; our updated Guidance on EMF Compliance and Enforcement; and a trial version of our new online EMF Calculator. We welcome feedback to this by 16 November, after which we will then begin varying the relevant licences to include the new condition. We will also launch our finalised online EMF calculator

Colin M6BOY