News

17 May 2021 – Discover more about amateur radio direction finding by ARDF Chair Bob Titterington, G3ORY

7 June 2021 – An Introduction to Meteor Scatter Communications, by Gavin Nesbitt, MM1BXF

5 July 2021 – Assessing your station against ICNIRP EMF levels, by RSGB EMC Chair John Rogers, M0JAV

Without wishing to state the obvious... these free lectures all start at 8pm and are live-streamed via both the RSGB channel on Youtube, and via the BATC website.

 

Good news indeed. Apparently, we came very close to losing this genuine national treasure for good due to the financial impact of Coronavirus.

No news yet on the reopening of the RSGB National Radio Centre, but radio amateurs are welcome to join the 80m NRC net which runs weekday mornings at 10.30(UTC) on +/- 3.727MHz and all are welcome to call in.

 

 

 

At the beginning of March 2021, Ofcom put forward draft proposals to vary the vast majority of Wireless Telegraphy Act licences. This is in order to formally require licensees to comply with the ICNIRP (International Commission for Non-Ionising Radiation Protection) general public limits and thereby ensure spectrum users continue to operate services which will not adversely affect peoples’ health.

Whilst the main thrust of these measures is undoubtedly aimed at high-power wide-coverage transmissions by broadcasters, mobile phone networks and other large scale RF facilities and utilities, amateur radio licensees as well as maritime radio licensees have been caught up in the scope of the implementation. As much as we may disagree with the new requirements, you can see why we've not been granted an exemption even if it does seem like overkill.

These are still early days, and the proposals as well as the guidance notes are still all in draft format, but this is coming and coming fast. It's likely to be fully applied and enforceable before the end of the year, so it's time to take an interest and start your planning.

The RSGB are currently working with the ARRL (who are also facing the challenge of ICNIRP compliance) to provide both practical tools and advice to help to minimise the impact on amateurs whilst allowing each licensee to be able to demonstrate individual compliance with the new licencing condition.

General information from Ofcom can be found here: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/manage-your-licence/emf

whilst guidance on compliance can be downloaded in .pdf form here: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0025/214459/guidance-emf-compliance-enforcement.pdf

and information including the above flowchart specifically prepared for the amateur can be downloaded here: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0026/215657/What-you-need-to-know-as-an-amateur-radio-licensee-Draft-version.pdf - UPDATE the above document has been removed by Ofcom awaiting revision.

The RSGB support page is here: https://rsgb.org/main/technical/emc/emf-exposure

Everyone should be mindful that the EMF calculator spreadsheet that both Ofcom and the RSGB have been working on is NOT APPLICABLE for transmissions below 10MHz. That's not to say that you don't have to bother, rather that you must use alternative methods to demonstrate that your station is in compliance at those frequencies.

UPDATE

The most recent update from Ofcom is that 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. 

Further updates on these changes will be posted on the MSARS website as new articles, so please search the website for those - including an updated version of the above flowchart.

Phil Brown M5BTB has had a fair amount of ex-GB3HY repeater equipment stored in his garage of late.

That was until today, when it was collected by Gavin G6DGK.

I believe that the intention is that if enough of it can be restored to working order (some of it has suffered from sitting around) then it will be donated to the Hastings Repeater Group.

Gordon King G3XTH writes:

"Just a report from Ian G0TJH relating to the Tait equipment. As I expected the storage over many years would possibly have caused problems.

Interesting to note that GB7ZE is both an analogue and a DMR repeater. As it uses only half the channel's bandwidth, it will support both at the same time. It's well worth looking at the GB7ZE Facebook page for more information.

The TX is working but none of the RX`s worked (not tested the second TX yet). All have suffered from the common fault of leaking caps on the CTCSS board. Replaced these and got two RX's working.

One set of filters re-tuned to RB2 with no problem. The second set need stripping down and the finger stock requires cleaning...... a job for another day. The Callsign of the repeater is GB7ZE - Hastings, and the keeper is Jamie Somerville
M0JBR"