Amateur Radio FAQ

Amateur Radio FAQ

General

Call RSGB technical and licensing advice on 01234 832 700 (Choose switchboard option #4), or contact your local RSGB Regional Representative. You'll also find a lot of useful information in the Operating section of the RSGB website.
Find details on the RSGB Planning Advisory Committee pages where you can also send your questions directly to the Committee
Download this application form (2-page/36KB PDF) from Ofcom’s website, complete it and post it back to them.
Information about repeaters and packet nodes and full details of how to make applications can be found on the UK Repeaters website at ukrepeater.net.

Licensing

You can find out how to get started in amateur radio by going to the Get Started section and the Becoming a Radio Amateur FAQ on this website.
Go to Ofcom Online Services and fill in the online form. You will be issued with a user name and password. This allows you to log into Ofcom’s licensing service and apply for your lifetime licence which requires revalidating at intervals of not more than five years.
At intervals of not more than five years, or if your personal details change—such as name and address. To revalidate, log in to Ofcom Online Services and amend any details as soon as possible, this will automatically revalidate your licence. If you have not yet registered to use the Ofcom Online Licensing Service you will need to do so in order to access your licence online. When registering for the first time you will need to have details of your lifetime licence number, which can be found on page one of your 23-page licence document.
You can download an OF346 application form (11-page/466KB PDF) from the Ofcom website, or contact Ofcom and ask for an OF346 application form. Please note that Ofcom will only permit a licencee to hold one Full Licence. If you wish to renew a Full Licence that has previously lapsed you will be required to surrender a current Full Licence if you hold one.
Airborne transmissions of any kind are specifically prohibited in all UK amateur radio licences. The official information on radio controlled models is OfW 311 - Radio Controlled Models. Section 11 of the page discusses amateur radio, airborne operation and licence exempt video transmission. When we checked in February 2015, airborne transmissions were legal from compliant equipment—see links from ofw311—operating on the 2.4GHz band with a maximum power of 10mW EIRP and on the 5.8GHz band with a maximum power of 25mW EIRP. Using a medium gain receiving aerial and a sensitive receiver, a video range of around a mile should be quite possible—but note that it is generally illegal to fly your model beyond unaided visual range. Further useful information about legal first-person view (FPV) video is provided by the British Model Flying Association (BMFA).

RadCom and GB2RS News

Send your news articles to gb2rs@rsgb.org.uk
Log into RSGB Membership Services at rsgb.org/members and check your email address is up-to-date in Update Details. If not, update it. Then go to Manage Preferences and tap or click the Subscribe link next to GB2RS email alerts. The alerts will begin the next Friday afternoon. To unsubscribe from the mailing list go back into Manage Preferences and tap or click the Unsubscribe link next to GB2RS email alerts.
Details of upcoming rallies and other events can be found in the UK Events Planner or the latest edition of RadCom.
Log into your club’s Membership Services account and complete the form in the Events Planner section, this will also display your rally in the online UK Events Planner. Alternatively, you can email details of the rally to radcom@rsgb.org.uk which covers both RadCom and GB2RS, but not the online Events Planner.  When submitting rally information for the print magazine, please note the RadCom copy deadlines.

Operating issues

Check out the technical advice in the RSGB EMC Committee technical section, and if that doesn't help, visit the EMC Matters forum.
You can report abuse to the RSGB's Operating Advisory Service (OAS). OAS can be contacted by sending email to oas@rsgb.org.uk.