Radio licence no repeaters.

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Radio licence no repeaters.

Postby Southwales » Mon May 07, 2018 9:14 pm

Hi, due to me living in a valley I can not reach any repeaters here in mid Wales, is it still worth me looking into getting my licence for when mobile, if so where do I start?
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Re: Radio licence no repeaters.

Postby m0lsx » Mon May 07, 2018 11:35 pm

For it to be unattended you will need to have a full licence & have some serious paperwork to fill out, to prove your technical competence & ability to operate the repeater competently. You will also need to provide details of a number of other technically competent people who will be on call 24/7 with full access to the repeater, so they can switch it off quickly when asked to by Ofcom.
The following Radcom article by GM8LBC is a good starting point. https://ukrepeater.net/documents/getting_started.pdf

The following form starts the vetting process.
https://www.rsgblicensing.org.uk/etccsecureforms/forms_central.php?e1typecode=N
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Re: Radio licence no repeaters.

Postby G4RMT » Tue May 08, 2018 9:20 am

I'm confused? Has the original post changed? Alan thinks he wants to set up his open repeater, but he seems to say that he can't hear any repeaters where he lives, so is it worth getting a mobile for the car?

I'll assume this is the case. With no repeaters, the first thing is to assess how busy the area is - what activity can you hear on simplex on 2m or 70cm? If the answer is nothing - then maybe the hobby in your area is going to be HF only.
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Re: Radio licence no repeaters.

Postby m0lsx » Tue May 08, 2018 11:35 am

Maybe I misread it. But I am sure that is what the question was.
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Re: Radio licence no repeaters.

Postby m0lsx » Tue May 08, 2018 11:44 am

Southwales wrote:Hi, due to me living in a valley I can not reach any repeaters here in mid Wales, is it still worth me looking into getting my licence for when mobile, if so where do I start?


Yes. Although many amateurs seem ignorant of the fact. We are not limited to use via repeaters on VHF. Simplex operations is legal on both VHF & UHF. Simplex is where a radio amateur communicates directly with another radio amateur. And, yes I know many radio amateurs seem to be totally unaware of this ability to use simplex, but it is the best way to communicate.
On 6 meters (50mhz) & above during the summer & during foggy mornings, long distances are often easily achievable using 10 watts or less, on Simplex.
10 meters is also a good & easy mobile band & again 10 watts & less gives great distances during the summer.
Also SSB is legal on the VHF/UHF bands & this again seems to be an unknown fact among most VHF/UHF operators.

Edited to add. My mother in law use to live a short distance from the Red Kite feeding place & as well as local simplex traffic, from that high point & without a lift being on, I have worked Snowdonia simplex & I believe a VHF repeater in Snowdonia too. I have also worked Ireland simplex too.
Using 10 meters & 6 meters mobile I worked several countries from mid Wales when there during the summer.
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Re: Radio licence no repeaters.

Postby Southwales » Tue May 08, 2018 11:33 pm

Sorry if I did not make the question very clear, I do hear people calling out on the 2m and 70cm calling channels now and again from my home and when I am in various places with my tourer, when driving around with my scanner I can then pick up plenty of repeaters including Newtown Shrewsbury and even Weston supermare which is a very busy repeater. Would like to even just call out on simplex or the calling channels and see who comes back to me, especially as I have lots of very high hills here in Wales that I don't mind hiking up on foot with a handheld radio, would just like to do it properly and legally, just don't know where to start or who to contact about getting my licence.
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Re: Radio licence no repeaters.

Postby G4RMT » Wed May 09, 2018 8:45 am

Start with the RSGB - it's the national radio society and hams in general either support it, or they don't. That aside - they run the training system, which involves radio clubs and societies all over the UK providing training and then the licence - on behalf of OFCOM. Some people train themselves, books, online or other ways, then book a test with the local radio club.

If you have a look at the RSGB and OFCOM sites, they'll explain how it works. There are different sorts of licences, depending on your needs and abilities.

You also need a bit of history. Repeaters, and the repeater network developed because in many areas, simplex - which was the ONLY method of radio available was a problem due to geography. If you are in one valley and somebody is in the next just a few miles away, it's tough - it doesn't work. Sticking a repeater on the peak, links the two, possible more. Nowadays, people tend to assume repeaters are the only way mobiles can work. They're not. You call on 145.500MHz and when somebody answers, you clear off somewhere else to have a chat. For convenience, most people go up or down just a bit.

You MUST have a licence, and the Government issue you a callsign, which identifies you. If you do it illegally, the hobby is not very interesting because once people discover on the net your callsign is actually registered to some person hundreds of miles away, that's that. Everyone will know you are cheating. In my opinion, ham radio is a hobby for people who are serious about it, and prepared to take the time and put in the effort. Others believe we should make getting a licence simpler, quicker with less technical knowledge required. I disagree. The system is NOT hard, but is a bit time consuming, which I feel is good - like a filter to ensure only genuinely keen people join. In America, you get husband, wife and kids all taking the test to talk to each other, and they never talk to strangers - they want a legal, long distance comms system, and use ham radio for it. We don't seem to get that here.

It can be snobby and age layered. Your callsign allows the knowledgeable to determine how long you have been licensed and at what level. You then get the British superior thing from a few hams - as in they're better than you. This has ALWAYS been the way. When I got a licence in 1980, I was the new boy. I hadn't flown spitfires, or been a spy in wartime France. I didn't like spending time on 80m chatting to the same people at the same time every day about the same subjects - and I was one of the 'new type' of hams. Now I'm their age, the same thin g happens. It's a great hobby, and look at it like joining any kind of club. There will always be the snooty ones, who have the best golf clubs, or hand re-built 1920s sports car, but the vast majority are decent people, keen on the same things you are. There will be idiots, and genuinely great people. You can also do so many things, so I'd suggest at the least you investigate.
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Re: Radio licence no repeaters.

Postby JohnUK » Wed May 09, 2018 2:29 pm

Southwales wrote:Hi, due to me living in a valley I can not reach any repeaters here in mid Wales, is it still worth me looking into getting my licence for when mobile, if so where do I start?

Yes as you will hear other stations while you are mobile.

Program in the local repeaters http://www.ukrepeater.net/ and also the simplex channels and have it on scan when you are out mobile to pick up traffic. Thats something you can do now to test the water and hear whats out there before you go for your licence
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Re: Radio licence no repeaters.

Postby lars » Thu May 10, 2018 10:36 am

I suspect that for most people with an interest in radio, getting a foundation license is so easy that it's hardly worth not doing it. I use mine very rarely because I live in a location that is highly unfavourable for radio; but I do occasionally use it, and it's nice to have the opportunity. For me the most difficult part of the process was finding a club within reasonable driving distance that could administer the test.
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