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Time to reinstate the Amateur Licence fee

Tomorrow, I have to get in touch with OFCOM, to let them know, some Muppet, is pirating my callsign yet again, this time on HF. The first time this happened to me, was on VHF with my old M6MMM call.

OFCOM, will no doubt show little interest as Amateurs no longer pay a licence fee. In these days of austerity, I fail to see why Amateurs don’t pay a fee. AIUI, the licence fee was scrapped because it cost more to administer than it brought in. IMHO, it’s high time a realistic licence fee was reinstated and the funds used to police the Amateur bands.

Look at the abuse many of the repeaters have had to put up with.

A fee of £50 a year would certainly be acceptable to me, and with online methods of payment these days, would cost virtually nothing to collect. Lets face it, I get far more entertainment out of Amateur Radio, than I do out of the £140 odd pounds I pay for a TV licence.

Mike 2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:
Not again mike you will have to find a call sign they don;t like you seem to attract pirates with the two call signs you have had yyy and mmm all the best mike dave m3xie

In reply to M3XIE-1:

In reply to 2E0YYY:
Not again mike you will have to find a call sign they don;t like you
seem to attract pirates with the two call signs you have had yyy and
mmm all the best mike dave m3xie

Yeah, I may suggest a change of callsign to OFCOM Dave, but something tells me this may not be possible.

Mike
2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:
Sorry to hear this Mike. I too have had my callsign used on the odd occasion, also on HF. The feeling is quite strange when you get an eQSL card from someone who claims they’ve worked you. Reintroducing the licence fee would benefit other problems on the air too…

David G4TUP.

In reply to G4TUP:

The feeling is quite strange when you get an
eQSL card from someone who claims they’ve worked you.

I have had a few QSL cards via the RSGB QSL Bureaux as well as EQSL’s for contacts that I have not made, I put them down to operator error (them or me) rather than someone pirating my call.

Unless you have other evidence from a reliable source how can you say it was someone using your call ?

Stewart G0LGS

In reply to G0LGS:
Because one was absolutely certain they had the callsign correct.

David G4TUP.

In reply to 2E0YYY:

OFCOM, will no doubt show little interest as Amateurs no longer pay a licence
fee.

Let’s stamp this rumour out now. Enforcement by the RA and then OFCOM of amateur issues was never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER funded by the licence fee.

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to 2E0YYY:

IMHO, it’s high time a realistic licence fee was reinstated and the funds used to police the Amateur bands.

Must admit, the behaviour of some stations, in particular some from Europe, is appalling. Having looked at their QRZ pages and the equipment they possess, I’m not sure having a licence fee would stop the worst offenders, only put off newcomers with smaller budgets from joining the hobby. If a licence fee was deemed necessary, then perhaps a joint deal with the RSGB would be a possibility. Membership and an annual licecne with Ofcom rolled into one annual cost.

Lets face it, I get far more entertainment out of Amateur
Radio, than I do out of the £140 odd pounds I pay for a TV licence.

I’m not sure what the TV licence covers now, but didn’t you used to have to have one for any receiving equipment including radio? I’m guessing that even if you didn’t have a licence and had no TV, then you’d still need one for possesing Amateur equipment, especially as some radios also receive FM broadcast stations and the like.

Jonathan
M6HBS

In reply to M6HBS:

The radio license fee was dropped many years ago (in the 70’s?) when the proliferation of pocket transistor radios made it impossible to police. I think the present bunch in Parliament have made noises about resuming it but they probably (certainly) are clueless about how to police it.

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:

In reply to M6HBS:

The radio license fee was dropped many years ago (in the 70’s?) when
the proliferation of pocket transistor radios made it impossible to
police. I think the present bunch in Parliament have made noises about
resuming it but they probably (certainly) are clueless about how to
police it.

Thanks Brian, I wasn’t sure whether the old radio type licence was bundled into the TV licence, meaning you still needed one even if you only had radio equipment.

73
Jonathan
M6HBS

In reply to M6HBS:
Not again Mickey…it might be that you are just popular?
No - silly suggestion.
Any ideas location of your pirate.
Still have that selection of df antennas and a few spare evenings.
It might be nice to have a friendly ‘chat’ with your clone…

Don’t think OFCOM will be any help, but you could push for an investigation as they did recently resulting in prosecution in the North East. See Practical Wireless. Why not approach you old mate - it’s editor?
Speak with you later this week Mickey,
Good Luck,
From
2E0YYY

sorry…meant to say M6MMM

oops! :slight_smile:
John

In reply to G1STQ:

Call in the airforce immediatley…

Bomb the Shining Tor

One 2E0YYY is enough

In reply to G1STQ:

In reply to M6HBS:
Not again Mickey…it might be that you are just popular?

Thanks, you may have a valid point there, John.

No - silly suggestion.

Oi!!!

Any ideas location of your pirate.

Nah, G4DKY has heard him about four times on 20m.

Still have that selection of df antennas and a few spare evenings.
It might be nice to have a friendly ‘chat’ with your clone…

May be worth try. However, ISTR, even though we won the last two club DF contests, they both nearly ended in punch-ups :-)))))

Don’t think OFCOM will be any help, but you could push for an
investigation as they did recently resulting in prosecution in the
North East. See Practical Wireless. Why not approach you old mate -
it’s editor?

Haven’t spoken to G3XFD for about 6 months.

Speak with you later this week Mickey,
Good Luck,
From
2E0YYY

Yeah, ok…

sorry…meant to say M6MMM

Whatever…

73
Mike SWL

In reply to 2E0YYY:

As a fully fledged Pirate Captain with a flotilla of ships and a hearty band of cut-throats under my command can I object most strongly to your use of the word ‘Pirate’ to describe someone misusing your call.

This person misusing your call may just have your interests at heart and you may find out shortly that you have worked DXCC without ever making a single CQ call and you will have the QSL cards to prove it.

Joking aside paying a licence fee never effected the disinterest shown by Ofcom, The DTI, the post office or who ever had the contract at the time.

Although there are those that use fake calls I have found that most reports of spoofed calls were misheard. On several occasions I have been told my call was being used and on tuning to the frequency have found it to be someone with a similar call, but who was not too clear.

One guy a few years ago posted to various forums, Southgate ARC Newsline and in Radcom to say his call was being spoofed. He included times and frequencies of when some of these so called offences took place. I had been listening on some of these QSOs and he was mistaken. The calsign of the station he was accusing sounded like his call because of the chap’s accent and the fact that the letters were very similar.

You could be being targeted but to say “G4DKY has heard him about four times on 20m” means the only evidence is hearsay and as such is inadmissible in even in my Kangaroo Court, therefore the chances of getting Ofcom to listen are somewhere between zero and none.

The first stage would be to get a recording and then you might have a chance of proving it was a spoofer.

Not long ago during a HF contest there was a lot of confusion when a station with the call (something like, I can’t be sure) GM0MMM/P was working another station G0MMP/M for about ten minutes they were accusing each other of pirating. They had a good laugh about it and then M0MMM/P called them and it started again. Apologies to the owners of those calls if it wasn’t you.

Splice the mainbrace. Yohoho and a bottle of rum! Sixteen men on a dead man’s chest. If anyone fakes my call they will kiss the gunners daughter, 200 lashes.

Heave to and prepare to be boarded.

Captain S - GW7AAV

In reply to GW7AAV:

How do you operate the rig with that hook, and does the parrot shout CQ? Enquiring minds want to know!

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:

In reply to GW7AAV:

How do you operate the rig with that hook, and does the parrot shout
CQ? Enquiring minds want to know!

The hook ain’t the problem, it is seeing through a haze of Jamaica Rum with that damned eye patch. Yes, but only during contests. With a parrot who needs a voice keyer?

In reply to GW7AAV:

With a parrot who needs a voice keyer?

I once worked through a parrot repeater on 4m !

:slight_smile:

73,
Walt (G3NYY)

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Unfortunately there are some amateurs who would, for financial reasons, have to reconsider retaining their licence if the fee were reinstated at too high a level.

Ian
G6ENU
Unemployed for two years, with a long-retired G3 for a father and a G6 living on benefits due to ill health for a brother. Oh, and a low-paid XYL who is half-way through working for her M3/M6/whatever-they-are-now-issuing.

In reply to G6ENU:

You’ve no need to worry Ian. It’s a common misconception that paying a license fee would get better service. It never did when we paid. The cost of “policing” the band comes from a grant to OFCOM (or the RA in the past) from central government. Moreover people fail to realise that the unless there is an overwhelming chance of successful prosecution and that the person will stay prosecuted i.e. they wont re-offend then there is no public benefit to OFCOM spending tens of thousands of yours and my money chasing up idiots who are only affecting what is a hobby.

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to MM0FMF:

You are of course quite correct Andy, it is only a hobby. Nevertheless, it is a hobby that is treated very generously by .gov

A large swathe of the very valuable radio spectrum, is simply handed to Radio amateurs on a plate…FOC

If you wish to spend your days dangling a hook and line in the River Thames, you are obliged to purchase a rod licence, if you wish to fly light planes, you require a pilots licence, if you wish to purchase a shotgun to blast grouse out of the sky, you require a shotgun certificate. IIRC, none of these are free.

Of course, even if the licence fee were reintroduced, amateurs being amateurs, some of them would make their own, 'cos it’s much cheaper :wink:

73
Mike 2E0YYY