Sunday the 25th of Feb 2024:
The news headlines:
- New amateur radio licence conditions are effective
- Amateurs are reminded to carry out EMF assessments
- The 2024 Band Plans have been published
Ofcom has released its final decisions following its consultation on the amateur radio licensing framework last year. Revised licence conditions became effective on Wed the 21st of Feb 2024. The changes to licence conditions include the optional use of Regional Secondary Locators, increased transmitter power levels es provide greater opportunity to bring newcomers into amateur radio. There are approximately 100,000 amateur radio licences issued by Ofcom in the UK. Ofcom says that it will shortly be contacting all licensees to provide each with their new licence document. Ofcom is aiming to reissue all UK amateur radio licences by the autumn of 2024. To help this process run as efficiently as possible, please ensure that your contact details are up to date in the Ofcom licensing system. Further updates to the amateur radio licensing framework, including the issuing of M8 es M9 Intermediate callsigns, will be rolled out in two more phases later this year es in the 2024/25 year. A video entitled Updating the amateur radio licensing framework: RSGB overview of key changes is available in the Ofcom playlist on the RSGBs YouTube channel which you can find at youtube.com/theRSGB In it, RSGB General Manager Steve Thomas, M1ACB es RSGB Spectrum Forum Chair Murray Niman, G6JYB discuss the impact of the new rules. They also describe how the RSGB wkd with Ofcom before es during the consultation period to arrive at the best outcome for all UK amateurs. Steve, Murray, es many people across the RSGB, have also wkd hard to engage with individual amateurs, es amateur radio clubs es groups, to help them prepare for the licensing changes. The RSGB will continue to release info es support for radio amateurs as we all adapt to the new arrangements. You can read more details es guidance on the Ofcom website at tinyurl.com/ARFEB2024 or via the RSGB website at rsgb.org/licensing
Given that increased transmitter power limits are now available to UK licensees, all amateurs are reminded that they are required to carry out EMF assessments. To help you do this, advice es an online EMF calculator can be found at rsgb.org/emf
The RSGB Band Plans for 2024 were published in the Mar issue of RadCom. They are also available via the RSGB website at rsgb.org/bandplans This years changes support the new Ofcom licensing framework es guidance, particularly in the VHF es UHF bands. All amateurs are reminded to consult the Band Plans before operating.
The list of amateur radio events taking place in British Science Week es the resource suggestions are growing. GB3RS, the radio station at the RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park could be available for QSOs with stations operating as part of British Science Week. Contact the RSGBs BSW coordinator, Ian Neal, M0KEO at bsw at rsgb.org.uk and he will link you with the NRC Coordinator Martyn Baker, G0GMB to make your arrangements. Please continue to send to Ian the resources youd like to share es details of British Science Week events youre organising, including the times youll be on the air. The RSGB would like to inspire as many people es groups as possible to get involved. You can access all event es resource details on the RSGB website at rsgb.org/bsw
The RSGB has been trialling paper wrappers for RadCom as part of its plans to be more environmentally friendly. The Society has been collating feedback es is aware that there have been particular problems with the gluing of the RadCom wrappers this month. Please be assured that the RSGB is discussing this with its supplier to try to resolve the problem before the next issue.
During a year when the global landscape shifted once more, with conflicts across the world es economic difficulties touching the lives of individuals, the RSGB was pleased to see that the amateur radio community continues to thrive. It may have changed shape es adapted with the times, but the Society has been there not only to support its members but to defend the spectrum es provide info for all radio amateurs. In the Mar RadCom there is a feature called A year in numbers which shows some of the great things to celebrate, in which RSGB HQ staff have often led the way. There is an infographic es a short video with the highlights, es you can read the fuller story from page 40 in RadCom es on the website. Go to rsgb.org/strategy-updates es click on -2023 - a year in numbers-. The Apr RadCom will show in detail the work of the RSGB committees es other specialist volunteers.
The amateur radio licence exams will be updated in line with the new licence conditions decided by Ofcom this week. Further info about the timing of those changes can be found on the RSGB website at rsgb.org/syllabus2019
Registration is open for the Mills on the Air event which will take place on Sat the 11th es Sun the 12th of May. To read more about the event, register es view a list of stations that are taking part, visit ddars.net es follow the -mills on the air- link.