Update on acquiring my UK call

As a followup to my last post regarding the steps needed (if any) to acquire my UK amateur radio call once moved there. I do want to  thanks all those who posted comments and who emailed me regarding this question. It would seem I have just a few readers in the Uk as I did have loads of emails from there and some fantastic contacts were passed on to me. Well the verdict is in right from the Ofcom office. It would seem I have to start from the beginning and get my foundation, intermediate and then my full licence. Until the time I pass my first step the foundation licence I can apply for a reciprocal permit for 20 pounds and renew it every 6 months if need be. I'm not at all disappointed having learned this, in fact I am excited to get the old grey matter going again and I am very sure that once I have made it all the way to the full licence I will have gained some good knowledge and awaken some lost knowledge. I also became a member of the RSGB (Radio Society of Great Britain) my welcome packet arrived the other day and I was very impressed. There was a copy of the RSGB's magazine RadCom, a very nice members certificate, RSGB lapel pin and a cool key chain. I was on their website and like the ARRL it is full on amazing information and links. I spent an afternoon with a nice cup of tea navigating the information and links of their site. I also found links were I could now start warming up my grey matter for the licence adventure. The foundation licence theory is not a problem at all I just have to bush up on their rules and regs. Once I get the foundation licence is seems I have access to all bands and a power limit of 10 watts. Heck my main mode of operation here is QRP at 5 watts. With the foundation I am good to go and just keep upgrading and adding more privileges and output power.  In my retirement this will be a great way to pass the time, learn and meet the great hams of the UK.
Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

12 Responses to “Update on acquiring my UK call”

  • Phil G6DLJ:

    Look forward to working you Mike, just remember we drive on the left and for some reason pronounce the word router as rooter!
    73 de G6DLJ

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning Phil, the street in England my mother in law lives on there is a driving instructor whom I plan of taking full advantage of to master the driving. Yes along with “rooter” there is lift, jumper and so on.
    73 and have a nice week.

  • Richard KWØU:

    Good luck, Mike. Sounds like a very worthwhile project. I was surprised that the Intermediate Licence require a demonstration of soldering. Interesting requirement (in the States I could see some legitimate questions being raised about physical ability to do this). But I bet you will do that just fine.

  • Chris 2e0xch:

    A brilliant, intelligent article Mike, thank you for sharing it with the rest of the community.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Hi Richard, the soldering is not an issue at all I have soldered 2 Elecraft K2 kits along with many add on kits. You do have a very valid point regarding those with disabilities.
    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Chris thanks very much for your kind words.
    Thanks for stopping by

  • Trevor Baker G4CLE:

    Hello Mike and welcome to the UK. Look forward to meeting you on the bands and even face to face over a cup of tea or a beer!
    Trevor G4CLE

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning Trevor thanks very much for the offer we are very much looking forward to our move there.

  • Colin GM4JPZ:

    Great stuff, Mike. You are a fine example of how positive thinking can get you anywhere (or at least back on the air!). I had to do the same to get my US licence and was glad of the opportunity to brush up quite a few details of theory that I’d allowed to get rusty. I look forward to hearing you on the bands from G-land (somehow ‘M-land’ still doesn’t feel the same!).

    Just a quick note on the soldering requirement for the Intermediate exam (quote from the forerunner to Ofcom, but I believe the same rules apply today):

    “Arrangements can be made for candidates with disabilities to demonstrate skills and knowledge by whatever means is judged appropriate. Where a physical disability renders a particular process unreasonable, the candidate may describe the process or talk somebody else through it in the presence of a competent assessor. Applications for special arrangements should be made well in advance of the
    examination to the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) and will normally require a medical certificate.”


  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Collin very nice to hear from you and thanks for taking the time to comment, it does not bother me in the slightest to get back to the books. As said in the post I am rather looking forward to it and during that time (until I get the foundation licence) I can still operate under a temp permit. As for those with disabilities I was sure that Ofcom had it somewhere on how they dealt with this area……..and they do thanks for sharing that. Well with my RSBG membership now I have access to the material I am expected to know and understand. So it’s back to school!
    Thanks again Colin for stopping by.

  • Mike G4KXQ:

    Mike Looking forward to seeing you this side of the pond. The sample exam papers on The RSGB website should give you a good idea of the levels involved. I teach all levels of the Licence and you will quickly navigate your way to the full licence. This will give you other extras in addition to the higher power such as access to 60 meters and unattended operation. You will need access to an approved accessor to sign off the practical section of the Foundation and intermediate but that will be a breeze as it consists of conducting a QSO on VHF and HF along with some apprieciation of morse code at about 5 rods per minute.
    Good luck in your move
    73 Mike

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning Mike and thanks for stopping by, it’s great to be getting all this info and yes I too hope to breeze through things and at the same time pick up some new things and dust off my brain with remembering the old. The HF CW part will be a given as that is all I do, I will have to jump back into VHF to get the hang of it again as the repeaters here are dead and I have not been on VHF for close to 15 or more years. As for SSB same 15 years absent but I think getting back into it for a test would not be an issue. Thanks Mike for all the good info!

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