Ofcom guidance

I think that “sooner” would be “most immediate”!


These are not just “rules” rather legal conditions of the licence, so a little more important than, for example conest rules.

As I stated earlier, with the short time that we normally activate for, it is highly likely that you have packed up your 5MHz station and are heading down the hill before any message would get to you from the MOD via Ofcom.


Hi Karl,
I’d be VERY surprised if Ofcom new what SOTA references are, let alone the MOD! I could be wrong however, given the number of amateurs working at Ofcom.


From the first page:

“The Guidance is not legally enforceable. It does not impose additional licence conditions or modify the effect of the existing terms and conditions of the Licence.”

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Yes, 'tis why they are called guidelines.

That’s reasonable based on the licence conditions.

There is absolutely no substantiation for this being necessary in either the licence conditions or the guidelines

Licence conditions require the transmission of both callsign and location. If they can hear you, they know who you are and where you are doing it…

Pedantry has a long history here Ed, be assured that you are a very recent addition to our ranks :wink:

73 de Paul G4MD

The problem OFCOM have is how to be taken seriously should they call anyone. As part of the SMS spotter I have many UK ham mobile numbers. I know many use 60m. How would they know it was OFCOM calling them and not me pranking them?

Moreover, you could have got a NoV in the past without giving a mobile number when this experiment was much more likely to have been an issue. I’ve not heard of OFCOM contacting 60m ops by phone in the last 12 years so it’s hardly likely to be an issue now with more and more and more countries coming on line.

OFCOM have a number for me and I have the phone with me. Whether I will answer it when activating is not known.

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I don’t see anywhere in the licence where it says the MOD will try and contact me.
The contact details I have provided are to Ofcom and if they pass them on they are probably in breach of the data protection act.
Ofcom are a public sector organisation.
From my 36 years of working in the public sector, “immediate” therefore could easily be next working day or whenever you, or they, can get a round tuit!

MOD are a military/defense organisation. They plan, exercise and practice in readiness for hostilities and military action.
If their capabilities are such that a relatively low power transmission from a Licenced operator renders them useless, then we really need to be asking what they are spending our money on.
During real military action an adversary, who wishes to disrupt their operations, is not going to be

  • bothered with niceties
  • licenced
  • giving Ofcom their contact details
  • attempting not to interfere with them
  • operating for 30 minutes from a desolate hillside
  • discussing their operations on the internet

They are more likely to be state sponsored with equipment, funding and secrecy to match.

So I’ll continue ensure that my station does not cause any interference to primary band users and also will abide by the guidance and keep my mobile switched on and answer it, when possible, as long as the number is not withheld and is recognizable :slight_smile:
I still maintain the most effective way to contact an operator is to call them on the mode and frequency they are working.

To be honest, I’d have thought that the MOD would welcome QRM, deliberate or accidental, so that they can practice honing their skills, operating and mitigating against these intrusions in a peacetime situation.

You wouldn’t would you Andy :wink:??

As far as I recall every one of my 5MHz NoV’s has required a mobile number to be given. Though the first was a long time ago, and my memory isn’t what it was :-s

But if you only give your location as the SOTA reference, I would not expect the MOD or Ofcom to neccessarily understand what that is. If the name of the Summit is also given, that is probably reasonable.

All good points Peter - as you say if the MOD are bothered by a SOTA activator, it doesn’t say a lot for their capabilities. However the Ofcom clarification of the licence conditions, specific to 5MHz operation state that you must be reachable immediately if they wish to contact you. So the need is defined to have an operational mobile phone with its number registered with Ofcom.


A very valid point Martyn (echoed by Andy later). As I said earlier, I also don’t think Ofcom have considered portable operation on 5MHz or as you say, they haven’t thought it through fully.


Has anybody here been asked (or rather told) to QSY/QRT by the MOD (or other local primary user elsewhere) over the air? I’ve heard of one case.


I remember having to give a mobile number in order to make use of the old NoV /P, and that number had found its way into the Ofcom system when I checked after the latest licence change, though it was not in the most obvious place…

Pragmatism and practicality… it’ll never catch on Martyn… :grinning:

History is littered with “amateur” infractions causing embarrassment to powerful government organisations - A German teenage amateur pilot “defeated” Moscow’s air defence system to land near Red Square during the cold war; computer hackers have defeated several firewalls to access places they shouldn’t…etc
Slightly OT but linked - Don’t get me going on the vulnerabilities of GPS and the potential implications of jamming.

Jamming GPS needs “enough” RF to swamp out a broad chunk of spectrum. It gives the jammer a fairly obvious EW signature and can result in the jammer receiving an ALARM or AGM-88E. They tend to arrive at supersonic speed and contain many kgs of explosive and shrapnel. Don’t by stand by a jammer during a conflict, you may suddenly turn into something resembling flying mince.

Not exactly what I had in mind (but potentially true nonetheless) :grinning:
I was referring more to how wide spread is our use of the GPS signal in modern life. GPS (or GLONASS) has become our “goto” source for PNT (position, navigation and timing). Just think how many systems rely on an accurate timing signal from GPS (far more than most people realise) and the effect of losing those systems on modern society.

But very little power especially for a local effect.

There, I told you not to get me going. Cold shower time! :sweat:

It’s ubiquitous and cheap. It’s also why there will soon be GALILEO, a European system running in parallel with GPS and GLONASS.

Hmmm, reading through this thread got me thinking of the times when I have been on a summit and my mobile phone has indicated full signal strength, but I have not been able to self-spot by SMS. One of those things that happens now and again. Clearly to only way to make sure you are 100% “clear to go” would be to attempt to make a call before operating on 60m and how many times have either of us done that? . :wink:

73, Gerald G4OIG