Free Radio Licence

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PanBiker
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Free Radio Licence

Post by PanBiker » 12 Feb 2012, 14:49

It's five years ago since Ofcom decided to make the Amateur Radio Licence free. I started a thread on the old site regarding this and my objections to the new regime for renewing the licence.

Heres the link to the thread on the old site

Now the good news is that I have remembered that I need to renew later this month and thought it would be a good idea to get it over with and see if I could remember my once used username and password from 5 years ago. So navigating to the Ofcom website I find this:

Image

:furious3: :badidea:
Ian

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Stanley
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Re: Free Radio Licence

Post by Stanley » 13 Feb 2012, 05:45

Life's a bitch isn't it.... When I saw the topic title my mind went back to the days when you had to buy a wireless licence at the Post Office each year for 7/6.
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Re: Free Radio Licence

Post by PanBiker » 18 Feb 2012, 16:20

The Ofcom website is now back online so I went on to validate my license an guess what? It seems that due to the expected workload that will be created by the Olympics and Paralympics, those lovely people at Ofcom have validated my licence already for an extra year so I don't need to bother until February 2013.

Extra Years Grace

Good job, for the life in me I can't remember the unique username I was issued with or the password at the moment!

I'm glad I didn't take advantage of Trips's offer of a paid reminder service all those years ago. I would have paid for nowt! :brickwall:
Ian

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Re: Free Radio Licence

Post by Stanley » 19 Feb 2012, 05:28

There is a God!
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Re: Free Radio Licence

Post by melteaser » 08 Sep 2012, 12:35

Imindoors has decided to dabble again. He was given some equipment a few months ago which sparked his interest. He's been listening in quite a lot and then last week he decided to apply for his licence. He also went to a fair at Telford last weekend and bought some bits and pieces (beyond me!). He is now legal and made his first call since about 1993 last night. Nice to see him doing something other than working.

While he has been listening in, something that has caught his attention is SOTA. Maybe I'll get him dog walking with me so he can take in some of the summits?

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Re: Free Radio Licence

Post by PanBiker » 08 Sep 2012, 14:05

Nice to hear that Mel. I was looking at my old kit the other day and also having a look as some VHF antenna designs for a self build. Contemplating sounding out the the council about planning permission before I go any further. The yagi I am maybe looking at building would work out with boom length of about 4Mtrs, not the largest design I could build but not really something that I could get away with putting up without someone noticing it. No longer like the old days when you just asked your neighbours and then got on with it!

What area is imindoors interested in HF, VHF or what. Nice to hear from you also by the way.
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Re: Free Radio Licence

Post by melteaser » 08 Sep 2012, 16:16

Imindoors says DC to light all mode but real interest is HFDX, possibly SOTA, probably VHF. Also NOAA weather satellites and HFSSTV....can you tell all this was dictated to me!!

His favourite squeaky box in the corner at the moment is his SDR dongle. It's the best £12 I've ever spent...it's kept him good for hours. Drives me nuts, sounds like the Smash men sometimes!! I love that he is rediscovering all this once more but I wish we lived in a bigger house or even had a shed so I could turf him out and didn't have to hear it too.

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Re: Free Radio Licence

Post by Stanley » 09 Sep 2012, 04:41

Mel! Lovely to see you popping in. That lot was gobbledygook to me but if it keeps Himindoors happy it's OK. Every man should have a shed!
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Re: Free Radio Licence

Post by melteaser » 09 Sep 2012, 04:53

Morning Stanley.

All gobbledygook to me too. The weather satellite stuff is interesting though. I feel like I have my very own John Kettley!

We do have plans for a shed....or a bigger house....hmmmm

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Re: Free Radio Licence

Post by Tripps » 10 Sep 2012, 12:39

"I'm glad I didn't take advantage of Trips's offer of a paid reminder service all those years ago."

Just been back to have a look. There were no smilies in those days, and my posts would have had plenty. I was amazed that anyone - especially from Yorkshire - would complain about not having to pay for something. :smile: Just a note in the birthday page of your filofax would do the trick.

Mel - are you still involved with radiopaq? (Or was that someone else? ). Just had a look. It wouldn't work with Chrome browser, then did not find my favourite USA station WDVX when I changed to Explorer. My impression - does not seem to have made its mind up whether it's a music, news or podcast site. Very good appearance though.
Born to be mild. . .

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Re: Free Radio Licence

Post by PanBiker » 14 Sep 2012, 21:47

Now that the Jubilee, Olympics and Para Olympics have finished I thought I would have a go at revalidating my licence again despite those nice people at Ofcom already renewing it for me until February next year.

I went onto the Ofcom site but it was as I thought it would be, I could not for the life of me remember my username or password. I thought I knew my username so I went down the path of asking for a password reset. This invokes a security question that I set nearly six years ago, however it is one that I have used a number of times before. Unfortunately my answer was rejected so I changed the format slightly to the other variant that I use, this too was rejected.

Not to be deterred I rang the Ofcom helpline and after about 5 minutes of button pressing and navigation through the various menus and listening to the recording telling me that I could do everything licence related via the website :surprised: and then warned that everything I said would be recorded (to protect the staff), I eventually arrived at a human voice. After explaining the situation and the fact that I could not remember my password and had failed in changing it I was told that the reason for the failure was not my fault but down to the fact that I had two accounts and the logon system could not differentiate between the two. I had one account for my licence created by Ofcom and another one created by myself, (an operation I was told I had to do when they introduced the re-validation regime). Apparently, to make the system work for me, these two accounts had to be merged. The lady told me that she would do the necessary adjustments and I should wait an hour or so before trying again. She added that I should then be able to change my password if I still could not remember it. I took the opportunity of confirming my username with her before thanking her for her assistance.

I am pleased to announce that I have now successfully logged on and re-validated my licence until 13th September 2017. Not only that but I have corrected the postcode error that Ofcom made for my address when they transposed my details. :thumbsup3:

I assume that if all licensees have registered as asked when the new system started, they will all end up with two accounts and have the same problem as me which will then have to involve intervention from Ofcom to regularise the account.

K
Ian

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Re: Free Radio Licence

Post by Stanley » 15 Sep 2012, 04:10

Good, a nice example of the advantages of being able to talk to a sentient being and not a box full of gubbins.
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Re: Free Radio Licence

Post by melteaser » 17 Sep 2012, 09:31

Tripps wrote:"
Mel - are you still involved with radiopaq? (Or was that someone else? ). Just had a look. It wouldn't work with Chrome browser, then did not find my favourite USA station WDVX when I changed to Explorer. My impression - does not seem to have made its mind up whether it's a music, news or podcast site. Very good appearance though.
It is me Tripps. Still involved. Many of the USA stations have been switched off as their licence does not allow them to broadcast outside of their own territory. They put a block on the radio stream. The other problem is flash players. It's difficult to detect the streams with the software currently used. There are a few changes going on and we will hopefully get a better system soon.

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Re: Free Radio Licence

Post by melteaser » 29 Sep 2012, 06:14

Heading to Newark today for hamfest. Lucky for me that there is an antique centre nearby!

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Re: Free Radio Licence

Post by Tripps » 29 Sep 2012, 10:53

Mel - thanks for the response - which somehow I managed to miss :smile:
I had another look today, and sadly got a message first saying it did not support Chrome browser, then saying radiopaq was closing down. That's a shame. :sad:
I'm only guessing here, but perhaps the resources needed to keep up with all the technical developments outrun the income that can be generated?
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Re: Free Radio Licence

Post by melteaser » 29 Sep 2012, 14:28

To be honest Tripps, I only found out myself on Thursday. I can understand the reasoning, it was a free service but costs to maintain. Radiopaq as a company is thriving thankfully.

As for Newark, hisnibs bought aerials and wire and stuff. :confused:

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Re: Free Radio Licence

Post by PanBiker » 29 Sep 2012, 15:05

I am currently embarking on an Ebay quest to raise funds for some HF gear. I am watching right across the range of HF transceivers to see what is what after a 20 year lay off and what stuff is going for. Bits of wire and antennas will follow..
Ian

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Re: Free Radio Licence

Post by melteaser » 29 Sep 2012, 17:41

Hisnibs says he has fallen in love with a Yaesu FT817ND or possibly FT857 HF, VHF, UHF all mode transceiver. All the radios you will ever need in one box (apparently!). Looks horrible but says he'll cope with that. He doesn't mention how much these things cost of course.

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Re: Free Radio Licence

Post by PanBiker » 29 Sep 2012, 19:27

The 817 is the baby brother of the 857, they would also be on my wishlist but watching ebay for the last couple of weeks I fear that they are both a little out of reach. I have just had to buy a new (to me) car, totally unplanned but needs must as my youngest lad wrote mine off last week. I still have my VHF kit and my thinking is that the antennas for HF (not looking at beams or anything like that, not chasing DX) are less obtrusive and easily constructed. So plan is to start on HF with a suitable and affordable Ebay purchase and then maybe look at building a decent yagi with a bit of gain for 2M SSB. Would like to get back into auroral propagation, we have a decent take of to the North through East from Barlick.
Ian

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Re: Free Radio Licence

Post by PanBiker » 12 May 2017, 09:40

Revisiting this thread and reading through, it seemed that it was time to re validate my radio licence, 5 years since I did it last. To this end I went on the Ofcom website to find that they have now installed a new portal which involves re registering your details to use the online services. Having done this you get to access any licences that you a responsible for. Checking mine I find that contrary to the date I had in mind for revalidation, (September 2017) I had already done it on the old interface in March 2015, my licence is still valid until 2020 so good news there.

The new portal now allows you to apply online for NOV's (Notice of Varition) to your licence, which means that you can apply for Special Event and Club callsigns all via the portal. This used to be a bit of an onerous task in the past as it used to involve filling written application forms in and winging them about by post sometimes taking weeks to complete. All quite civilised now, editable PDF application form to request the licence type you want and Bobs you Uncle. Licences granted appear in your folio on the portal and can all be managed from there. Doing it all online is free, they still accept postal applications for licensing issues but charge a flat £20 for issuing all licence types on production of credentials (pass slips for exams via the RSGB who administer the training).

Lots of information on the portal including reasonably up to date (Oct 2016) licence category breakdown and usage:

UK Amateur Radio Licences

Amateur Foundation Radio Licence
21791

Amateur Intermediate Radio Licence
9348

Amateur Full Radio Licence
52075

Amateur Club Radio Licence
1478

Amateur Temporary Reciprocal) Radio Licence
2

Grand Total
84694
Ian

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Re: Free Radio Licence

Post by PanBiker » 07 Aug 2017, 18:10

Just thought I would drop the RSBG guide on how to become a UK Radio Amateur here:

RSGB - Guide to becoming a UK Radio Amateur
Ian

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