UK Licence changes announced. (Part 2)

Continuing the discussion from UK Licence changes announced. (Part 1) - #100 by M1EYP.

Previous discussions:

It’s not exactly a new problem; it’s come up almost every time a special RSL has been authorized, for a start. GB special event callsigns also don’t have an exact DXCC definition apparent within the callsign…

Yes, I am aware of the existing issue with (for instance) GB calls. I don’t recall whether GB calls have been permitted as entrants in the FMAC/UKACs. I think they have - but their appearance has been obviously very rare with participants accruing points for their own personal callsigns. Obviously, GB calls would now be precluded from these events - unless a specific exception is made.

Moreover, while it would be something for SOTA to consider also adopting, there would be no pressing need to discuss the matter as summit references will continue to identify the DXCC anyway. (With a few exceptions where the summit is on or close to a border, with the AZ stretching into a different DXCC).

I suppose it would become technically possible to operate from Scotland as M1EYP/IAMINENGLAND on G/SB-004… (Hope I’ve not just given anyone any daft ideas…)

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Hi Tom, perhaps not, but the freedom of adding any extension to the callsign and not requiring the RSL has given operators a chance to use the system used in some other countries.

For example, when as VK2JI I travelled from NSW and operated in South Australia, I operated as VK2JI/VK5 (or VK2JI Portable VK5). In the US (this I think is no longer mandatory but followed still by many) someone with a NY state call e.g. KD2ABC travelling to California would sign as KD2ABC/W6 (there are similar rules in Japan, Spain and elsewhere I believe).

Following this well-known structure, I as G8GLM could sign as G8GLM/GW when travelling to Wales (or G8GLM/MW if you prefer). I chose the Gx option as with Scotland G8GLM/MM sounds as if I am maritime mobile.
Just some ideas - what individuals (or contest organisers) do (as long as the extension is not offensive) is their choice.

73 Ed.

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You assume software authors will not be applying a “clue hammer” to people using such bizarre constructs.

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I would be offended by “G8GLM/MW” :wink:


I had an interesting time trying to have a QSO with a station in Texas last summer whilst up Black Mount (GM/SS-158). They heard the MM part of my callsign and thought it was a Maritime Mobile station calling in from Canada. I didn’t manage to complete the QSO to Texas but KD2FKV in New York state could hear me clearly enough.

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Hi Andy,
I’m not assuming anything. I am talking about what, with the revised regulations is to be allowed.

As for software - when talking about International contest scoring or cluster spots etc - They already have a multitude of different formats to handle. The construct I have suggested falls in line with existing standard systems.

Of course, an optional / variable format means a nightmare for software writers/maintainers. It looks like the RSGB Contest Committee would not be able to handle it and have made the use of the RSL mandatory in their contests. For contestants, that’s a rule that will have to be followed but others that they contact on-air who are not entering the contest can use any format they like - this would then be interesting to see if the RSGBCC say a contact with G8GLM while in Scotland using just G8GLM not GM8GLM would be invalid or simply only count as if I am in England? As long as a locator is given as part of the contest exchange, this should not be a problem, I would have thought.

I’ll be interested to see how this all works out. My personal opinion (and choice) would be to continue to use the RSL as it’s not been banned. (but I wont be adding E in to my call when in England).

73 Ed.


/MW Maritime Wreckage?

Im sure the novelty will wear off soon.


What about the various special RSLs? Were they likewise permitted in the past? Of the ones I remember, I think “K” (for Kernow) was the only one that was tied to a single DXCC, but there may be some I’ve forgotten. :smiling_imp: I guess, for the FMAC/UKAC contests it wouldn’t make much difference, as there doesn’t appear to be a DXCC multiplier, but obviously it would in some of the other contests…

Yeah, I’ve come across quite a few calls where the operator’s been visiting a different DXCC and appended the DXCC code as a suffix. I gather that was the “old” way, and it’s still required (or tolerated as an alternative) in some parts of the world, and all the loggers I’ve used have accommodated it to some degree. The last time I visited Australia with a radio there was some confusion on this, as some parts of the official site said “use VK/homecall” and other parts of the same official site said “use homecall/VK”. Thankfully they do now seem to have achieved a higher measure of consistency, with “VK/homecall” being the specified form…

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Hi Rick,
The last time I looked on the WIA site, both were still stated in different places. The ACMA site is currently being updated for some revised rules for visiting amateurs caused by the swítch from apparatus licence to class licence for Australian citizens and permanent residents.
The CEPT rules are clear that the Country code comes before the foreign callsign, however in the case of Australia (and several other countries) it has older individual reciprocal arrangements between themselves and other countries. My understanding is that the one between Australia and the US said that the /VK came after the foreign callsign. Hopefully, with these latest changes by the ACMA, this will all be unified to the CEPT standard.

So if you are a foreigner visiting Australia, the VK/ comes before the foreign call, while a resident / citizen travelling to a different state adds the state /VKn code (VK1, VK2 … VK9) after their Australian call sign. Indeed I think as of recent changes that addition is no longer needed (but is still allowed).

73 Ed.

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I rest my case! My initial objections to the proposed RSL change is well evidenced by the endless circular debate that has followed. I believe the existing system wasn’t broken so didn’t need to be fixed. It is no surprise there is apparently support (or disinterested apathy) for the proposed RSL change in England, where it makes little or no difference, but it is a much bigger change for those who currently have mandatory RSLs and from where, I suspect, most of the objections (but also a plenty of apathy, too,) come from.
Given recent governmental moves such as changing the “GB” plates on motor vehicles to “UK” ones, it is unsurprising that anything hinting at strong regional or national identities is currently as popular with administrators, including OFCOM, as raising an unearthed mast tower in a thunderstorm.
However, in the spirit of the season of goodwill, perhaps it’s time to move on and let the new proposals settle down, flawed though they might be. Merry Christmas all. Vy 73 Mike :christmas_tree::grinning:


Yeah, the July 2023 version of the “Radiocommunications (Overseas Amateurs Visiting Australia) Class Licence” says, in the bit about callsigns:

An amateur station must not be operated unless a qualified person operating the station identifies the station by using the person’s call sign preceded by the letters VK.

…so I guess if you hear a visitor using a “/VK” suffix then you know they’ve not checked the visitors licence recently. :upside_down_face:


Exactly that Mike.

Climb a mountain.
Every Day.

Nothing else matters.


Precisely Mike. We live in a society subject to change for the sake of change. In all spheres of life we are at the mercy of pen pushers keen to justify their existence, who have absolutely no connection to the practical impact of what they are presiding over and it’s a recipe for utter chaos. On the positive side, everyone I’ve spoken to about the RSL issue intends to maintain the status quo. Hopefully common sense has come back after leaving in… hmm, if I recall correctly about 1997. :grinning:


Yeah, but it’s Ofcom making the changes, and I guess that change gives them one less thing to be bothered about enforcing, so from their point of view it’s an improvement…
:smiling_imp: :upside_down_face: :face_with_open_eyes_and_hand_over_mouth:
(…and TBH, the way amateurs have leapt on the various special RSLs, most of which have had nothing regional about them, weighs in Ofcom’s favour.)