How you may Activate an original 1920s Call Sign

We would like every RSGB member with a Full Licence and access to an HF station with computer logging, to join the team of activators during December. It doesn’t matter if you can only help for brief periods, every contribution will be key to the success of the tests.

Intermediate and Foundation Licensees are not excluded; you can also operate with the supervision of a Full Licensee – either at a Club station or at a Full Licensee’s home station.

Taking part is very simple and we would really appreciate it if you could volunteer for one or more sessions. You can operate from home, a club or a public event, or maybe even out portable (but then don’t use /p after the call sign please).

Each call sign has a volunteer coordinator who will be responsible for allocating operating slots in the Operating Schedule and will collect the log files from those who have been activating.

The Operating Schedules are held on Google Spreadsheets (as shown above) and are linked both from the page for the particular callsign and on the table below.

To take part you must please first check the relevant Operating Schedule for a slot to suit your availability. Then contact the call sign coordinator, who will be keen to help. They will book you in and update the Schedule.

Let the coordinator know the DATE, TIME, BAND & MODE that you want to activate.

Call sign coordinators have the discretion to allow frequent activators to have direct access to the Operating Schedule. This will be during December only so please don’t ask to share the spreadsheet first thing – please ask for the coordinator to book some slots for you first.

The full table of call signs with links to the pages, the email addresses of coordinators and the Operating Schedules, is…

QRZ page Coordinator Email Address Google Spreadsheet Schedule
England G5WS G5WS Schedule
G5AT G5AT Schedule
G6XX G6XX Schedule
G6ZZ G6ZZ Schedule
G3DR G3DR Schedule
Isle of Man GD5WS GD5WS Schedule
Northern Ireland GI5WS GI5WS Schedule
Jersey GJ5WS GJ5WS Schedule
Scotland GM5WS GM5WS Schedule
Guernsey GU5WS GU5WS Schedule
Wales GW5WS GW5WS Schedule

Activation Rules

So what are the rules governing activation and how can you qualify to activate or supervise others who wish to activate one of these call signs?

You must be a full licensee, an RSGB member, and you must be on the membership list for the RSGB Contest Club, to be able to operate under the terms of each licence (joining is a very simple process that does not oblige you to take part in any contests or affect your membership of other contest groups). The call sign coordinator can enrol you in the RSGB Contest Club if you are not already a member.

If you are a Full Licensee, please consider allowing Intermediate and Foundation Licence holders to take part, either from your Club station or your home station.

If would like to join the RSGB Contest Club please send an email with your RSGB membership number to

Each call sign may only be activated from the Nation or Crown Dependency denoted by the prefix – for example G5WS is exclusively for England.

Providing your call sign or that of your group is shown on the Operating Schedule for the call sign in the appropriate time/band/mode slot, you can operate.
You must use computer logging and must send your log as an ADIF file to the call sign coordinator at the end of your activation slot. They will be able to offer you advice with this if you are unsure.

To allow others to operate, you may book no more than three slots in any one time column. (In England that also means three slots total across the five available call signs). If on a particular day, a slot is unreserved, you may take that slot at the time, providing you keep no more than three slots booked in total and the schedule is updated either by the coordinator or by you.

Use of the call sign and any risk assessment or EMC calculation required is the responsibility of the station activator.

Having sent in your ADIF file log, as an activator you will have no responsibility for Paper QSL cards, Club Log uploads or LoTW uploads, as these will be carried out by other RSGB volunteers, with Charles Wilmott, M0OXO, kindly agreeing to be the QSL manager for the call signs.

Which call sign should I use?

For members and clubs in England there is a choice of which call sign to activate. Although the main focus is on activating G5WS and its regional variants, (this was the first call to get across East to West), the much higher amateur radio population in England means that we are choosing to activate four additional historic call signs from England only. This is planned to ensure that anyone who wishes to take part, will have plenty of opportunities, wherever they are located in the UK and Crown Dependencies.

QRZ page RSGB Region Description
England G5WS 9 &
London & Thames Valley
South and South East
Historic Allocation
G6XX 4 &
North East
East Midlands
G6ZZ 12 &
East and East Anglia
North West
G3DR 5 &
West Midlands
South West
Isle of Man GD5WS  35 Isle of Man
Northern Ireland GI5WS 8 Northern Ireland
Jersey GJ5WS 115
Scotland GM5WS 1 &
Scotland S & W Isles
Scotland N & N Isles
Guernsey GU5WS 116 Guernsey
Wales GW5WS 6 &
North Wales
South Wales

It is not essential to keep strictly to this RSGB Region schedule – some calls will need to be activated by members in other regions to balance QSO totals – but for operators in England, this allocation does help with the initial decision of which call to activate as a priority. From England, a second call sign to activate might be G5AT. Please refer to the Latest Scores (Club Log), total logged QSOs, when selecting a second call sign to activate – the lower the totals, the more demand there will be for QSOs.

For further instructions on activating a Transatlantic Centenary Tests call sign please download our frequently asked questions document: Transatlantic Centenary Activators FAQs. (467kb pdf file)