Amateurs In Court
Pirates In Court
CB Court Cases
Other Court Cases
Spot The Loony
Barmy Barry G0GGV
New Phonetic Alphabet
History Of Swearing
Ray Withers G4KZH
The following page refers to
the FORMER, rather Draconian rules contained in the now superseded
The NEW Terms & Conditions can be downloaded
There is no comparison
between the former rules and the new rules, but this page and
remain as a historical point of reference.
Briefly, the new rules remove
the need to keep a log book and subsequently the requirement to
close your station at the end of a communication period, so it will
effectively stay established on the frequency for an unlimited time.
Gone are references to 'The
Amateur Radio Service', and added is a description of the hobby as a
Many of the rules containing the word MUST have been replaced by
similar rules, but using the term "it is recommended that", making
it completely up to you as to whether you take any notice or not -
we think it is pointless to include recommendations in a legal
Gone are the suffix requirements /M, and /MM etc. as is the former
need to give your location if not operating from your main station
Never an issue before, but gone now is the ban on religious and
political statements, plus we can now legally talk about more things
than technical investigations and remarks of a personal character,
specifically now you are "permitted to use
the Radio Equipment to discuss any topics of mutual interest with
other Amateurs, and to seek to receive and impart any
information and any ideas."
The rather sinister and nasty
new rule, that every 5 years you MUST revalidate your license,
is now cancelled.
As of July 2013 only 22,000
of 81,880 issued licenses had been revalidated. (Official OFCOM
This rule has now been
removed, quite a good idea in some respects, but in practice no
one knew about it, and how were the blind amateurs going to find
What is Amateur Radio?
In the UK, it is a hobby that requires you to obtain a
The City & Guilds of London Institute prior to
transmissions. When you have obtained this examination pass, a licence used to
be required, for a mere £15.00 per year, now FREE!. Armed with these 2 pre-requisites you can
"use the station for
the purpose of self-training in communication by wireless
telegraphy, which use (without limiting the generality of the
foregoing) includes technical investigations."
Check out the old "rules" here,
OBSOLETE since 2009!! New rules
It is a great pity that a potentially useful hobby seems to attract nothing
but a bunch of
secretive social miss-fits, and otherwise low achievers, to it's ranks.
Amateur radio seems to be a virtually
unknown hobby unless you happen to know a radio amateur. The Radio
Amateurs Exam seems to be a barrier to "outsiders" but if the
truth was known to them as to how easy it really is, we could attract
far more participants from all walks of life. The new Foundation Licence
appears to be addressing this point.
Snobbery and Hierarchy
Amongst the ranks of
radio amateurs there is tremendous snobbery and a hierarchy based on
your station's call-sign (remember it's the station's call-sign, not
and the type of licence you have.
In the past, well up to the start of the new
century in fact, this prejudice was aimed at those who had a "B" class
licence - in other words, those who had not passed their Morse exam. Now the
childish bigots have a far greater range of fellow amateurs to look down
It is also usual to look
down upon and denigrate anyone with a call sign issued after yours.
To look down upon a fellow radio amateur
merely because he/she has not passed the Morse test, irrespective of whether
they intend to operate below 50Mhz, is as preposterous as a lorry driver
looking down upon a car driver who has not bothered to pass an HGV driving
What is amateur radio?
radio is a little known hobby practiced mainly by a group of social
inadequates, you know, the sort too stupid to be a traffic warden but
craving some kind of recognition without any life skills.
Radio does naturally interest people who work in, or whose hobby is
electronics. However, as soon as they join the ranks of “The Licensed
Amateur” they quickly find they are rubbing shoulders with mostly
self-important morons. This is where The LPWS find the majority of our
members, when the educated and intelligent ones realise they are dealing
with a bunch of technically backward, squabbling, bunch of “old women”.
true to say that Amateur Radio is a hobby governed by international
treaties, as the majority of countries reserve similar frequencies for
amateurs make use of their frequencies in a number of ways but the
licence says you can only send messages relating to
technical investigations or make remarks of a personal character.
It is usually regarded that this includes:-
Telling people you have never met that “The personal this way is Brian”
(not my name is Brian!)
Saying “Hi Hi” instead of “Ha Ha”.
Using the term “Fine Business” as often as possible
Never saying “Over” when you have finished speaking. That really annoys them.
Telling people what microphone you have, what radio you have, how
many Watts you are using, and what aerial you have. (People will be
familiar with this as it is common in every telephone call to
discuss what phones you are using, which service provider and what
tariff you are on.)
Contacting people all over the world is the usual view of the hobby
but it rarely happens, and when it does is restricted to the above
plus sending each other silly postcards.
You can take part in pointless competitions to see how many other
international morons you can make contact with in a given time. This
is actually as silly as it sounds, and is usually all in "Q" codes!
We are not sure
about the origin of Q codes, and there doesn't seem to be any official
description of what a CQ call is and what it actually constitutes,
even though this term is used in both the old and new rules.
FACT! An LPWS
member wrote to the former Radiocommunications Agency to clarify this
point, the reply he received said that if he needed to ask this
question, he wasn't a fit person to hold an amateur radio license -
so they didn't know either!
Specifically, from the BR68:-
1(4) The Licensee shall address
Messages only to other licensed amateurs or the stations of
licensed amateurs and shall send only:
(a) Messages relating to technical investigations or remarks of
a personal character; or
(b) Signals (not enciphered) which form part of, or relate to,
the transmission of Messages.
radio amateur you can transmit on quite a number of frequencies, or
bands, and there are NO official restrictions on what mode you transmit
where you do it. (Depending on your license of course.) For instance, if
a frequency is free you can use AM, sideband, Packet Radio, or anything
you like even if the common mode of communication on that frequency is
FM. The "calling channel" and numbered frequencies setting out the 2
metre allocation into channels has no basis whatsoever in law and is
another imaginary regulation though up by RSGB Limited.
RSGB Limited, a
magazine publishing company, does produce a “Band Plan” but the
licensing authority do not recognise this. The usable frequencies are
published by OFCOM in the BR68 leaflet that accompanies your license.
(Now it's the Terms & Conditions)
The ONLY rules
that apply and actually mean anything at all, are those printed and
distributed by OFCOM, anything RSGB Limited have to say has as much
relevance to the hobby as would speed limits and traffic regulations
suggested by either the AA or RAC, or for that matter, Green Flag!
correct amount of boredom and money you can also transmit rudimentary
pictures of a piece of card carrying your station’s call sign; this is
called Amateur Television or Slow Scan TV, and defies logical explanation here. For
extremists, you can attempt to use amateur radio satellites or
communicate with the International Space Station.
Something that will never happen, but is the “Prime Mover” for the hard
core nutters, is providing emergency communications in times of some
kind of horrendous disaster that has taken out all telephone lines,
all mobile telephones, the Internet, satellite phones, and GPS. If this does happen, we hope your aerial has
survived and that you still have mains electricity to use it.
Limited website says “There is no better way to explore the fascinating
world of radio communications than by becoming a radio amateur.” They
forget to say that they make their entire income from within the hobby,
and so need as many new customers as possible!
The Postmaster General (either Sidney Buxton or Herbert Samuel, we are
not sure which) licensed experimental wireless stations,
which is still the main reason for term in the BR68 referring to “Technical
There are many rules and regulations, but none of these
are enforced these days, The last prosecution we have confirmation of,
was in 2003 and the last
Radio Amateur to have his license revoked, had it reinstated shortly
afterwards. It seems that the most severe action taken since 1995 was
when a prolific repeater jammer was written to and asked to “please
you imagine being a radio amateur is, you are wrong. Remarkably,
comedy playwrights Ray Galton & Alan Simpson captured the essence of the
true Radio Amateur when they wrote their famous episode of Hancock's
Half Hour, “The Radio Ham”.
Broadcast on BBC TV on 9th June 1961, it was later recreated
in audio at the Pye Telecommunications factory. Essential listening or
viewing, both can be found on our website with the later 1996 remake
starring Paul Merton.
What can I do with Amateur Radio?
Under the BR68 (now obsolete) it was surprisingly little really:-
1(4) The Licensee shall address Messages only to
other licensed amateurs or the stations of licensed amateurs and shall
(a) Messages relating to technical investigations or
remarks of a personal character*;
(b) Signals (not enciphered) which form part of, or
relate to, the transmission of Messages.
In these days of the Internet, social
networking, VOIP, Skype, and instant messaging, amateur radio is fast
becoming as superfluous as Morse code, so you may wonder what
fascination it holds for you.
can listen to Amateur Radio, in fact apart from broadcast radio, it is
about all you can legally listen to on a scanner. You need a license to
transmit however, but extensive testing has shown that the radio waves
travel just as far without one. Luckily for you, it is now relatively
easy to get a license, a minimal amount of study and a simple test will
see you on the air. In the old days, 2 City & Guilds exam passes were
required, with a further examination in Morse code to allow you to use
the HF band (High Frequency) which is actually another amateur radio
anomaly as they are in fact LOW frequencies.
Employers in the technology industries often seek people who can
combine the theoretical understanding of electronics with practical
ability. By becoming a radio amateur you are virtually ensuring that, if
you were to disclose this at an interview, you can kiss the job goodbye!
someone a "cunt" was not regarded as a remark of a personal character!
See the case against G7GDR.
Under the new rules, we can now
expand our range of conversation a little:-
11(1) The Licensee shall be
permitted to use the Radio Equipment to discuss any topics of mutual
interest with other Amateurs, and to seek to receive and impart any
information and any ideas
Please refer to note
(h) to this Licence.
(h) The Wireless Telegraphy (Content of Transmission)
Regulations 1988 make it an offence to use any station for wireless
telegraphy or any wireless telegraphy apparatus to send a message,
communication or other matter in whatever form that is grossly offensive
or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character.
For some inexplicable reason,
the use of abbreviations in amateur radio
communications within the UK is restricted by the terms of the BR68, and
still now under the relaxed Terms & Conditions.
Ofcom (formerly The
Radiocommunications Agency) publish a list of abbreviations
approve, as reproduced below, but it is our opinion that using this list
is in contravention of the rule:-
Licensee may use codes and abbreviations for communications as long as
they do not obscure or confuse the meaning of the Message. So why
obscure and confuse a casual listener with preposterous codes?
used to interrupt a transmission in progress
call to all stations
wave (Morse code transmission)
used to precede the call sign of the call station
It has always been a mystery to us why a phrase
like" FINE BUSINESS" should be used at all, let alone to such an extent that
it needs an officially sanctioned abbreviation!
Before entering "amateur
radio" circles, we had never heard anyone ever use the phrase!
For a hobby with rules
forbidding the use of codes in messages, there seem to be rather a lot
that are acceptable.