Amateur Licence types?

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GW7MGW

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I remember when I first got my licence there were two types, special two meter £5 (VP8XBHZ in my case) which licensed radio, with a frequency restriction not whole of two meter band, and full licence £10 (VP8BKM in my case) which covered all frequencies.

On return to UK I had to sit a test, again two licences, for a full licence I required a Morse code test, and the number on your licence told everyone what licence it was, so GW7 was VHF and up, GW0 was full, there were some odd call signs so GW8NT was a HF call sign even with the 8 as only two letters after the call sign.

I am told Morse requirement was dropped, so now even as a GW7 I can use all frequencies, however new call signs seem to start with M not G and I have not a clue what the call signs mean? I read there are now three types of licence, however not a clue what they can't and can do, or how you get them?

My VR2ZEP call sign was got by producing my C&G exam certificate, and I should think a visitor from the Falklands would still have to take an exam in the UK even when they have been a Ham for many years, I know many a ships radio operator would sit the exam at same time as their marine one, it was only knowledge of frequencies which were extra to their marine training.

Oddly 70 cm not permitted in Hong Kong yet they sat the British exam. So what happens today, and what happens if you let the licence lapse, my son for example has passed the RAE, got a call sign but lost interest, if he wants to take it up again, can he get his old call sign and how does he do it?

And what are the rules as far as Ham with RAE certificate who visits? As it was even without renewing his call sign my son could use my radio if I was with him, not just greeting messages.

So today if some one for example comes to UK from Hong Kong who has passed his RAE but never got a UK licence although he has held a British licence, can he simply apply for a British licence or does he need to take further tests?
 

morfis

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The ITU allocates G, M and 2 as UK callsign prefixes

G7xxx was a class B licence
G0xxx was a class A licence
G8xx would be rare as it was only used briefly in the 1930's and at that time there was only one licence type

The W in your examples is the regional identifier for Wales and not relavent to frequency or power

In 1964 the RAE was introduced and with it a new licence...Class B
For class B you needed an RAE pass but had no access to HF
Class A was an RAE pass plus 12wpm Morse test
Since that time all individual amateur callsigns have had three suffix letters (most were only two letters prior to that...but not all!)

Over time the RAE changed to multiple choice and Morse test dropped to 5wpm

In 2003 CEPT removed Morse as a requirement so the UK dropped it. At this time the Good Buddies Radio Company took over administration of the multiple guess test and changed it's name.
They now have a three tier licence system based on collecting cereal box tops
Foundation (currently allocated M7xxx)
Intermediate (currently allocated 2c0xxx where c is the regional identifier)
Full (currently M0xxx)

The idea is you train and do each in turn so that Radio Society of Good Buddies employees don't go hungry.

Callsigns beginning with 2 are the only ones where England uses a regional identifier so you can have E, W, M, D, I, J, U.
M and G calls never use the E regional identifier

Far too complicated to go into the full history and usage here as the bulletin board would time out before I typed it all even if I did remember every nuance.

Now to your son - he can apply in writing to OFCOM (not Good Buddies Co. and not online) with proof of his entitlement and a crisp £20 to grease the wheels and he'd then get his old call back (as long as he also proves he held that, else he'll get a current equivalent).

Overseas licence holders:
UK accepts other CEPT T/R 61-01 and T/R 61-02 licences. The rules for each are slightly different but in short CEPT T/R 61-01 licencees can use their home call prefixed with M/ for three months (they can also apply in writing for an extension in which case a UK call would be issued). For CEPT T/R 61-02 I think a UK call has to be applied for but I've never come across one.
 

morfis

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I've never looked at Good Buddies website but I'm sure there will be one advertising their wares and explaining why they need three licence types. I think attendance at their training is compulsory (some clubs don't charge for that...some do).

The OFCOM website will have the guidance for amateur radio licensees which replaces the old BR-- booklets. It will also have details of the requirements for recovering a 'lapsed' callsign, CEPT T/R 61-01, CEPT T/R 61-02 etc. Unfortunately they'll change the URL just after you find the bits you want...it's standard Government web policy to break web links regularly (possibly to keep a couple of buildings full of ex civil service IT consultants in jam doughnuts....though maybe I'm just cynical)
 

GW7MGW

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Llanfair Caereinion, Mid Wales
Thank you, I did at one point join RSGB, however they were against the dropping of Morse, so when UKRS started up I left RSGB and became a founder member of UKRS, when Morse was dropped, UKRS disbanded and I never bothered returning to RSGB.

And I kept up licence but only every used radios on RAYNET events, today one RAYNET event a year, we still do lifeboat firework display covered by their insurance, but nothing else.

This year my radio failed, so time to replace it, so I thought time to update what has been going on, will not be using HF, but it seems things have changed, specially with old CB sets, only likely to use two meter and 70 cm but trying to catch up.
 
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