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Ofcom guidance

Hi All

Just come across this which may be of interest.

Usefully, clarifies that the requirement for being contactable by phone when operating on 5MHz is still in effect. I have heard some discussions which suggest this is not fully appreciated.

73 de Paul G4MD

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So if operating from a summit with no cell phone coverage, does that mean you can’t operate 5Mhz?

Ed.

Sadly it does Ed… the cause of some very frustrating omissions :frowning:

Fortunately surprisingly large numbers of summits do have coverage :slight_smile:

73 de Paul G4MD

Who knows?
The guidance says:

2.122 In order to resolve any interference caused by a Radio Amateur’s use of frequencies
between 5.2585 MHz and 5.4065 MHz, we (or others) must be able to contact the
licensee by telephone. We believe that telephone is the only means of contact that
provides reliable and immediate access to the licensee. The licensee is therefore
responsible for ensuring that he or she can be contacted promptly. This includes, for
example, ensuring that the battery of a mobile ‘phone will last for the duration of the
transmissions and that he or she is not in a mobile ‘phone ‘not-spot’.

I suppose I have a few issues with that.
I have no issues being contacted by telephone, however I’d question whether it is reliable and immediate!

  • I never answer my phone from an unknown or withheld number.
  • I don’t answer my phone whilst operating
  • I don’t check my mobile signal at regular intervals.
  • I rely on people who actually want to speak to me to leave a voice mail or text me and I’ll return their call when convenient to me.
  • I NEVER answer my home phone. I only respond to voice mail messages (I’ve had one genuine call in the last 6 months).

The obvious reliable and quickest way to contact me, whilst operating on 5Mhz, would be to call me on the mode and frequency I am currently working :relaxed:

Contact by telephone may not get a response for many hours after the event.
Pete

And hopefuly the licensee has registered their (current) mobile phone number with Ofcom, not only their landline number.

Actually I wonder if OFCOM have thought about 5Mhz portable (aka “temporary location”) operations or only think of Amateurs using the band from their home QTH?

While reading through the clarification notes (a good thing for me to do as I got my, still active, G8GLM call back in 1974!) - I see that the points 2.45 & 2.46 clearly state that only those holding a UK call can be “secondary operators” as I would call them - i.e. someone operating the station call sign under the supervision of the licensee.

I can see this perhaps being an issue when amateurs from none CEPT agreement countries come and wish to operate, for example, a club station under supervision.

The clarification 2.46 (it appears to me), stops JOTA and similar operations in the UK, where scouts and guides wish to talk to each other via Amateur Radio but do not have a call sign. Or do all Amateur Radio club stations supporting JOTA apply for a special NoV to allow this for a specific period of time?

Ed.

The critical point for things like JOTA is that the scouts etc are not operating the station. They are only permitted to pass a greeting message and must not touch any part of the radio

So they shouldn’t even press the PTT on the Microphone?

Ed.

I’ve found another interesting paragraph in the explanatory notes, 2.107 that should be noted by Non_England_based UK full stations operating abroad (i.e. on the way to Friedrichshafen). The RSL should not be included, so for example GW3ABC should sign as DL/G3ABC and not DL/GW3ABC and MM0XYZ would be DL/M0XYZ not DL/MM0XYZ.

Ed.

Ed

The licence says

3(4) Only where this Licence is a Full Licence may the Licensee permit a non-licensed
person to send a Message using the Radio Equipment provided that the Radio Equipment is
operated by the Licensee.

It used to be the case that only SES stations had this privilege but this was changed some time ago. There used to be a limitation on the destination of these messages ie UK & USA but this seem to have changed as well.

The bit about “the Radio Equipment is operated by the Licensee.” I have taken to mean who holds and operates the mic.

Peter
G1FOA

Hi Pete,
The following two paragraphs in the document are also relevant to you as operator being reachable in a short period of time when operating on 5MHz:
2.122
In order to resolve any interference caused by a Radio Amateur’s use of frequencies between 5.2585 MHz and 5.4065 MHz, we (or others) must be able to contact the licensee by telephone. We believe that telephone is the only means of contact that provides reliable and immediate access to the licensee. The licensee is therefore responsible for ensuring that he or she can be contacted promptly. This includes, for example, ensuring that the battery of a mobile ‘phone will last for the duration of the transmissions and that he or she is not in a mobile ‘phone ‘not-spot’.
(I would interpret a “non-spot” to be no cell coverage).
and 2.123
It is also important that we have up-to-date contact details in our systems. If the MOD suffers interference and has the station call sign, they may contact us to get the address or telephone number of the licensee. The quickest way of updating contact details is via our online licensing portal46. If this is unavailable, licensees may send an e-mail notification to spectrum.licensing@ofcom.org.uk.

If the MOD contact Ofcom to get your address when they have interference, this infers that you DO need to send Ofcom your intended portable location when activating a summit on 5MHz,

Ed.

Correct, they are not actually supposed to even hold the microphone. See all the ISS Schools videos - they use a mic on a stand and just talk into it.

Correct, they are not actually supposed to even hold the microphone.

This is not the case Colin. How would any student ever complete the Foundation Practical Record of Achievement tasks if it were?

No, the requirement is that the non-licensed person must be under the direct supervision of the Licensee.

Ed

It’s clear Ofcom have considered operation from a temporary location:

From the notes to schedule 1:

(viii) The Licensee shall operate the Station only at the Main Station
Address or at a Temporary Location within the United Kingdom.

And from section 17 Interpretation

(jj) “Temporary Location” means a fixed location in the United Kingdom which is not the
Main Station Address or an Alternative Address;

Clearly a Temporary Location does not have an associated address, so you can’t be expected to notify anyone of it :-s Indeed operation from a Temporary Address is explicitly excluded.

The requirements are quite specific, again from the notes to Schedule 1, paragraph g :

(ix) At a Temporary Location within the UK, the Licensee shall give the
location of the Station every 30 minutes to an accuracy of at least 5km
by a generally used identifier as indicated in Note (e) to the “Notes to
the licence”;
(x) The Licensee shall only operate the Station to the extent that the
Licensee can be contacted on a telephone which is located in close
proximity to the Station.

Welcome to Pedant’s Corner :wink:

73 de Paul G4MD

Hi Pete

Guess it depends on the interpretation of “can be contacted” :wink:

73 de Paul G4MD

Because a Foundation student is not passing a Greeting message, they are indeed operating under supervision, this is because they are undertaking an approved course of training and are in possession of a “Record of Achievement” Form EX311which explicitly gives permission for them to “Operate under supervision”.

[quote=“M1EYP”]
No, the requirement is that the non-licensed person must be under the direct supervision of the Licensee.[/quote]

Normally only licenced people are permitted to operate under supervision, the Foundation practicals are an exception.

Indeed, I can always be contacted. However it may take time for me to respond. I don’t see anywhere where it specifies how quickly you have to respond to their telephone call :wink:

Peter - From point 2.122 (5MHz contact related):

We believe that telephone is the only means of contact that provides reliable and immediate access to the licensee.

Immediate means immediate to me.

Paul,
“Welcome to Pedant’s Corner :wink:

  • actually I think I was here first…

I still think that Ofcom has not “fully” thought out how to control 5MHz operation from a “Temporary location” given that the MOD need to have the details should interference occur to their operation on 5MHz.

As a minimum I would recommend that all activators intending to operate on 5MHz from a portable location make sure they have lodged their current mobile phone number with Ofcom, that they have cell coverage at the portable location before they start transmitting and that the phone is on and has sufficient charge in the battery for the period of transmission.

Individual amateurs can make the decision, whether to also give the GPS coordinates of the summit and estimated time of operation to Ofcom either via their website or via an email (both links are given in the guidance notes). Should a problem occur and Ofcom were unable to contact you via mobile phone, you would then have the fallback of saying that you had given them your location.

In reality, the short duration of activations will most likely mean that you have stopped operating by the time the MOD have contacted Ofcom and they have tried to contact you, to tell you to shutdown.

If you don’t give the location and the MOD contact Ofcom, unless the MOD have your callsign, they will be looking incorrectly at other amateurs in the area who they think may be causing the interference.

Ed.

Obviously we all need to make up our own minds on this. I’ve noticed amongst radio amateurs a tendency to search out obstacles and difficulties in conforming to the rules, when in other walks of life (most notably driving) they take a far more pragmatic view.

I always have my mobile with me when operating. I’m not sure that I have ever told Ofcom the number (I’ll check that later) but if they leave a message at home it will alert on my mobile. Of course I might not notice the mobile ring, especially if it is buried under umpteen layers of clothing and I’m operating in a howling gale. Mobile signals on hills are often intermittent and I don’t feel I have a duty to keep checking.

In practice I think any harmful interference is more likely to be caused by my 100W chasers than me with my 5W. At worst they may want me to close down, but I’m going to do that in the next half hour anyway. In fact, by the time the MoD (or whoever) have noticed a problem and gone through whatever procedures are necessary to get my contact details from Ofcom, chances are I’m long gone from the summit.

It is not at all clear how anybody calling for a closedown would authenticate themselves. It is hardly unknown for telephone callers to be not who they say they are. I don’t think Ofcom have really thought this through.

I don’t think I’m likely to lose much sleep over this.

Martyn M1MAJ

3 Likes

Morning all.

Why is it that ofcom word there documents you have to read it in a mirror to understand it let alone head or tale of it.

Now surely if you in say near on in a MOD area, like one of the local summits here is a firing range and there are days you can;t go there.

Now surely they know whom is causing say a possible interference to there systems BUT due to fact the Operator in this case a Sota operator is giving out his call and the Sota Ref . So surely they know where you are with in so many meters as we have to operate within a zone of the summit and if its that important to them a military chopper be dispatched and if it pays you a visit on the summit be idea to shut down till you know what going on. But having the Mobile surely be better and as one person pointed out if its an unrecognized caller number and many won’t answer too will go unanswered. Surely be better for Of com if phone is unanswered to text said phone number .

I quite understand why the fact only full licence holder allowed on 5mhz was president to prevent interference to neighboring spectrum users such as the military. But again Sota ops use low TX power anyways.

But end of day need to be careful when operating on 60m as it can be withdrawn from radio ham spectrum and that would be a shame .

karl

[quote=“DD5LP, post:17, topic:12955, full:true”]

Take it from me that “MOD immediate” means immediate if not sooner!

Peter
G1FOA

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