Sunday, November 08, 2015

South African Amateur Radio Licence becomes age discriminative !

ICASA RULES ABOUT ZU LICENSES FOR PEOPLE OVER 25With the publication of the new radio regulations earlier this year, the much talked about age restriction for ZU license holders was implemented. Persons under 20 years old can write the class B examination and if successful can hold a ZU or class B license until 25 years old after which, if they would like to continue with Amateur Radio, have to sit the class A examination to qualify for a class A (ZS/ZR license).
During the discussion stage of this new regulation the SARL was requested to approach ICASA to review their decision, which the SARL did at two occasions when ICASA invited comments on their proposal.  ICASA strongly believes that the class B license prime purpose was to create opportunities for young people toenter Amateur Radio and based on that premises implemented the new regulation.
 The SARL requested ICASA to allow a reasonable period for ZU licences over 25 to upgrade. ICASA agreed to this.  The Authority has announced that all persons over 25 years old can no longer renew their ZU licence from 1 April 2017. In a letter to the affected licensees, currently being mailed, ICASA recommends that the affected persons enrol for a class A license course and write the next RAE in May or October 2016 

I understand that the UK have also talked about the first examinations being time restricted so that more people go for the full licence and gain greater knowledge and skills. Watch this space!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Emergency communications in the UK to move to 4g mobile phone network.

The UK emergency radio communications system currently operates on a Tetra system provided by a company called Airwave. The Airwave contract is due to be reviewed and it appears that EE a mobile phone company has won the contract to operate on it's 4g network. Currently the Airwave contract costs the UK around £450 million a year to operate and it is expected that the EE contract will cost around £1.2 billion over a 5 year period.


This may be of interest to the Amateur Radio community as it means that many thousands of Tetra radios will become redundant over the next few years and I wonder if this digital technology will find its use in new TETRA amateur radio networks? (just another form of digital radio).

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Transmit (RF) DMR radio from your smartphone

DMR from your smart phone may be possible by adding a radio module.

DMR smartphone

Listen for a new UK prefix on the air in 2016.

Cornwall in the UK have just been given approval to us the prefix K (Kilo) in their callsign; this is the first time a UK region has been allowed to use such an identifier and it will allow the opportunity to easily recognise station from Cornwall and give them a call.
Here is more information from OFCOM:

(Click on the above for a clear image)

Here is an article from the local press explaining how it happened.

K for Cornwall

OFCOM to revoke Amateur licences

If you have not yet revalidated your British/UK Amateur Radio Licence OFCOM will remove it from you, a little time is left to sort things out.

(Click on the above for a clear image)