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Black_Ice931

Radio License

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Good morning guys.

I was thinking to get a radio to play and my second question was: do I need a license in UK?

Then I went to read some posts and comments; at that point the only thing I got was: chaos.

Some of them said "as long as you use the free frequencies it's ok (but which ones are those free fr?)", others "you always need a license".

 

So who I should believe?

 

I'm thinking to get a BaoFeng UV-82 or UV-6R, if that makes any difference.

 

Thanks.

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I believe that strictly speaking, you'll want a "Simple UK Light" licence for anything over 500mW, at £75 every 5 years.

 

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/manage-your-licence/radiocommunication-licences/business-radio/guidance-for-licensees/business-radio-faqs

 

 

However, I'd note that the allowed frequencies for that do not overlap with the PMR frequencies used by low powered licence-free PMR radios.

 

This is significant since I can't see any legal way to have PMR and non-PMR devices talk to each other.  I've seen both in use at my local sites, by necessity using PMR frequencies to talk to each other.  The non-PMR devices (BaoFengs for the most part) cannot be legally licensed to use these frequencies.

 

The thing is, if you stick to PMR frequencies in a typical airsoft location (remote or enclosed) then you're vanishingly unlikely to bother anyone else, or even if you do, Ofcom will not normally investigate problems [on PMR or CB frequencies] caused by congestion  since it's an amateur hobbyist frequency.

 

I'm not going to suggest or encourage any course of action, but on my own part I've used an unlicensed BaoFeng on PMR frequencies and not lost any sleep over it.

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2 minutes ago, Rogerborg said:

I believe that strictly speaking, you'll want a "Simple UK Light" licence for anything over 500mW, at £75 every 5 years.

 

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/manage-your-licence/radiocommunication-licences/business-radio/guidance-for-licensees/business-radio-faqs

 

 

However, I'd note that the allowed frequencies for that do not overlap with the PMR frequencies used by low powered license-free PMR radios.

 

This is significant since I can't see any legal way to have PMR and non-PMR devices talk to each other.  I've seen both in use at my local sites, by necessity using PMR frequencies to talk to each other.  The non-PMR devices (BaoFengs for the most part) cannot be legally licensed to use these frequencies.

 

The thing is, if you stick to PMR frequencies in a typical airsoft location (remote or enclosed) then you're vanishingly unlikely to bother anyone else, or even if you do, Ofcom will not normally investigate problems [on PMR or CB frequencies] caused by congestion  since it's an amateur hobbyist frequency.

 

I'm not going to suggest or encourage any course of action, but on my own part I've used an unlicensed BaoFeng on PMR frequencies and not lost any sleep over it.

So if I avoid 446mHz frequencies and I stay under 500mHz everything should be ok?

Sorry but I dont know what "mW" means in this case and how to relate it to Hz. lol

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16 minutes ago, Black_Ice931 said:

And are Baofeng over 500mW?

I believe so, depnds on the model but I have seen people say they are between 2 and 5W.  Which is over 500mW.

 

Cheers


G

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2 minutes ago, MisterG said:

I believe so, depnds on the model but I have seen people say they are between 2 and 5W.  Which is over 500mW.

 

Cheers


G

The ones I'm watching at are around 5W :P

Which, I believe, is a bit over 500mW...lol.

 

But I might get one anyway then..and then will see ahah

 

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To add some more info, PMR licensed radios CANNOT be tuneable radios. Basiclly you cannot use baofeng to legally work on the PMR frequencies. Those frequencies have a hard limit on power and set frequencies from manufacturer.

 

However that said, Baofeng are REALLY cheap, buy a few, buy a UK Light license and use those frequncies and you'll be sorted. Not only will you not have to compete with others (as theres more to be used) you'll also have a nice 4W of power to use.

 

The UK light license is also pretty damn cheap, £75 for 5 years and you can use it anywhere in the UK.

https://secure.ofcom.org.uk/busrad/

 

If you need anymore help or details I'd be happy to help.

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as above, i did this a few years back, took about 10mins online and my frequencies were emailed out instantly.

also, recently i believe they have given people more, 5 i think but will need to double check that as it was provisional 

 

personally i would just pay the £75 (thats £15/yr, £1.25/month, £0.29p/wk!!!)  and avoid any issues that may arise causing us license payers issues in the future with increase in fees!.....like car insurance premiums going up do to uninsured drivers etc. 

 

plenty of info on here though if you need any advice on accessorises as well :)

 

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You get 7 UHF Frequencies to use and 5 VHF that are usable with the BaoFengs (12 VHF technically but most of them are mid and lower band which aren't usable with that specific type of radio)

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did you get a letter saying they were opening up more?, i never heard any more from it?

 

Logged in online and usual 5 Low, 2 mid, 5 high and 3 UHF1 still showing....better see if i can find the paperwork!

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I only bought mine this year (previously I had used the company I had worked for license) so I assume that's the most up to date set? I'd say either email or ring them and get them to send you an updated list. Or to be honest... I could just PM you the frequencies if you've already got the license?

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9 hours ago, djben9 said:

avoid any issues that may arise causing us license payers issues in the future with increase in fees!

 

As far as I can tell, OfCom never refuse to issue a "light" licence, so they're not managing that part of the spectrum, and not even creating artificial scarcity: they're just levying a tax on physics.

 

 

9 hours ago, djben9 said:

like car insurance premiums going up do to uninsured drivers etc

 

A common misconception.  The MIB will pay out to third parties so that nobody else loses out, and can then pursue the uninsured driver personally to recover the entire cost of the claim.  That's actually better for the rest of us than someone who's paid a couple of hundred in premium and then has the same crash.

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On 07/08/2018 at 18:33, Rogerborg said:

 

As far as I can tell, OfCom never refuse to issue a "light" licence, so they're not managing that part of the spectrum, and not even creating artificial scarcity: they're just levying a tax on physics.

This was a lot of peoples reasoning for not purchasing a Channel 69 license for radio mics. And until the spectrum buy out happened they were right... Then suddenly they were left with unusable equipment and nothing to show for it...

Also use licensed spectrum without a license regularly enough and you might find someone from ofcom sniffing around that area...  Though I admit its probably massively unlikely for the light license spectrum, they care more about the TV "interleaved" spectrum or stuff interrupting vital equipment (i.e. planes and EMS).
 

TL:DR Rodgerborg is right, you're unlikely to get caught or for anyone to care, but you should buy one, to both stay legal and it shows use of the spectrum to ofcom (so maybe they think twice about selling it off)

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Moderator Comment

 

AFUK does not support and/or condone the breaking of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 through criminal activity of using non-PMR radio equipment on PMR frequencies.  

 

Forum rules currently cover this point under "other illegal activities" - You cannot discuss anything that will help someone break the law in his or her locale.

Posts that infringe rule this will be removed. Remember that this forum has public access and we do not want to damage the reputation of airsoft or show it as a hobby needing more restrictions.


Use authorised radio equipment on PMR freqs or buy telegraphy license (at £75 for 5 years) for non-exempt radios.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Jedi_Master said:

Use authorised radio equipment on PMR freqs or buy telegraphy license (at £75 for 5 years) for non-exempt radios

 

It's also worth noting that if you do get caught you'll almost certainly have your equipment taken at the very least or face a massive fine and there's very little you can do about it in terms of litigation (i.e. ignorance is not a valid defence).

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