Author Topic: Radio licence change  (Read 1902 times)

diverphil

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Radio licence change
« on: March 05 2021, 16:52 »
Has anyone out there had an email from Ofcom about a change to the radio licence conditions. I had it yesterday and was wondering what we have to do to comply. I guess This would only be people in the uk.

Clivert

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Re: Radio licence change
« Reply #1 on: March 05 2021, 17:01 »
Ring ofcom and check whether it is genuine.
I've never had one.
It may be a scam

diverphil

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Re: Radio licence change
« Reply #2 on: March 05 2021, 18:33 »
Looks real. Had a scoot on their website about emf emmisions.they have been looking into extending the commercial rules to pleasure craft. So it looks like anything that transmits over 10w has to have a risk assessment or somthing of that kind. So a radio on high at 25w or a radar 2kw or more would need paperwork to prove its safe or how close anyone can be to it.
Was just wondering if anyone else has worked out what this entails.

Salty

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Re: Radio licence change
« Reply #3 on: March 05 2021, 23:41 »
I think what it means is that the recommendations and limitations in regard to where to place transmitting aerials needs to be considered rather more carefully than was the case not very many years ago.
Within this forum, but back in about 2015 or thereabouts I wrote about the difficulties I faced in regard to where I should place the transmitting aerial for a new Class B AIS instrument that I had fitted onboard my boat, and where the manufacturers recommendations regarding the horizontal distance away from humans and the vertical separation between the base of the transmitting aerial and head height etc., meant that the transmitting aerial could not easily be sited within the confines of the aft cockpit area of my boat. The only possibility for placing a transmitting aerial within an aft cockpit area meant placing it on top of a fairly high structure that I did not have.  The end result at that time in order to avoid radio transmissions from possibly being harmful to anyone onboard my boat, was to buy and fit an aerial splitter device so that my VHF transmitting aerial located at the mast head could be used for both the main VHF transmitter, and for the AIS transmissions.

From some of the discussions at that time, it was evident that there were a number of us who felt that following the manufacturers recommendations in order to avoid a situation that might cause harm to others, was probably going a bit over the top, and was frequently ignored with transmitting aerials smply being placed on pushpit handrails. Now it would seem to me that there is to be some kind of clamp down on the installation of transmitting aerials to ensure that no innocent bystander can be harmed by radio transmissions from aerials that have not been placed in accordance with official recommendations.

For what its worth, I was not overly happy with the aerial splitting arrangement, several times the AIS instrument would post up a warning of “High VSWR,” (whatever that means) and where possibly and because of which, I felt that the performance of the main VHF radio was compromised.

diverphil

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Re: Radio licence change
« Reply #4 on: March 06 2021, 09:58 »
Hi. From past days with radio .Vswr is voltage standing wave ratio. I think its the voltage caused by reflected energy in your own system. Usualy caused by bad coax or ground plate connection. If you have a meter then 1.0 to1.5 is ok. 2 is dodgy and 3 or above can cook your own set..position of the antenna is all part of the effect on the vswr

tiger79

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Re: Radio licence change
« Reply #5 on: March 06 2021, 16:11 »
Has anyone out there had an email from Ofcom about a change to the radio licence conditions. I had it yesterday and was wondering what we have to do to comply. I guess This would only be people in the uk.

I think it's just Ofcom doing some box-ticking exercise.  You can safely ignore it.

diverphil

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Re: Radio licence change
« Reply #6 on: March 06 2021, 17:49 »
I've had a read of stuff and as salty says, it more to do with things being close to people i.e. on a rear frame on a rhib or speed boat/cruiser roof, that could lead to people being in the wrong place but as ours are mostly up the pole by about 13mtr or more  so it wont make any difference.
we may just have to have a written bit of paper on board showing you have done the risk assessment and concluded no/low risk just to avoid any fines.
I will see if I can get any sense out of Ofcom when ime off next week then post any info I get on here.
regards
Phil

GeoffV

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Re: Radio licence change
« Reply #7 on: March 07 2021, 12:30 »
Apparently they have had quite a bit of pushback on this due to the complexity of calculations and are to update the EMF section on the website shortly to help - hopefully!

The calculator link is: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/manage-your-licence/emf/calculator

Salty

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Re: Radio licence change
« Reply #8 on: March 07 2021, 22:17 »
Thanks GeoffV, I just had a quick read of the part about “Guidance on EMF compliance and enforcement” available on the website your posting lead me to, and which backs up my earlier posting along with that of diverphil in regard to transmitting aerials being sited at safe distances away from any person not actually a party to the fitting and use of onboard radio transmitting equipment, and where it went on to explain that this could include family members.

The guidance also explains the possible consequences for those in a responsible position but who wish to simply “just ignore it(the guideline,” where it refers to criminality, fines and imprisonment.

For most of us whose only transmitting aerial is at the top of the mast, it appears we may have little to worry about, but the guideline does include a requirement for the responsible person to carry out a risk assessment, and to have that assessment written up somewhere so that its existence can be sighted in the event of an inspection by a relevant authority.

Keweetoo

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Re: Radio licence change
« Reply #9 on: March 08 2021, 11:00 »
There is an explanation from Digital Yacht on how the requirement effects AIS transponders here https://digitalyacht.net/2021/03/04/changes-wireless-telegraphy-act-comply-icnirp-guidelines-emf-exposure/

"From the 18th of May 2021, boat owners may have to assess the safety of their radio transmissions.   The new proposed conditions only apply to wireless equipment that can transmit at power levels above 10 Watts EIRP (or 6.1 Watts ERP). License holders will be given a grace period of at least 6 months to comply.  The good news is that Class B & Class B+ AIS products only transmit with a 2 and 5W power output so don’t require an assessment."

Effectively as the new regulation only applies to equipment broadcasting above 6.1W it does not apply to AIS Class B transponders or handheld VHF. The issue would only likely effect powerboats and RIBs with a low antennae and also broadcasting frequently at 25W.

diverphil

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Re: Radio licence change
« Reply #10 on: March 10 2021, 19:43 »
had a message from rya and there looking into it, to come up with an answer as to what if any paperwork we would have to carry on board

diverphil

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Re: Radio licence change
« Reply #11 on: May 21 2021, 19:47 »
just had another email from Ofcom saying pleasure boats have to comply, basically doing the calculations and having a copy on board showing safe distances, they work out to be about 2mtr. showing that at 10+ mtr up the mast there is no danger to public.
there is more info on the rya website.
do the calc print it off, keep it with the radio licence, save the off chance of a fine.

tiger79

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Re: Radio licence change
« Reply #12 on: May 21 2021, 20:23 »
As I said in Reply #5, it's just a box-ticking exercise.  They're going through the motions because they feel they have to. You can safely ignore it.  When was the last time anyone wanted to board your boat and examine your radio licence?

diverphil

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Re: Radio licence change
« Reply #13 on: May 22 2021, 09:23 »
never, had the boat 2 yrs, covid put a stop to last year, last time we were boarded was by R.N. bomb disposal bringing us a case of beer for towing them back into Oban ( they were training  and both engines packed in) we were diving and towed them back with our rhib. around 20 yrs ago.

Keweetoo

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Re: Radio licence change
« Reply #14 on: May 22 2021, 11:35 »
It's more aimed at the mobile phone masts operators and high powered ships radio operators.
If you fill in the on-line calculator https://www.ofcom.org.uk/manage-your-licence/emf/calculator

Power 25 (Watts)
Frequency 174 (MHz) - max range

You find the 'safe' distance is 1.6m. This is before any allowance for percentage of time in use is taken into account. For most of us with the transmitting aerial 20+ m up the mast no further action needed - just print and keep on board. I suspect Ofcom will have better things to do than chase up leisure boats for their paperwork though!

AIS transmitters and hand-held radios are below the 10W threshold