Q7. Regional Secondary Locators (RSLs)

Discussion in 'Ofcom Licence Review - Consultation' started by RSGB Forums, Sep 11, 2014.

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  1. RSGB Forums

    RSGB Forums Administrator Staff Member

    Given the current uncertainty amongst Radio Amateur licensees in relation to Clause 2(2), do you believe that it would be a practical solution for Ofcom to remove this Clause and to insert additional wording into Clause 13, as proposed above?
  2. Gerald Davison

    Gerald Davison New Member

    What a mess!
    Think this just makes it worse. You could choose to use them or choose not to use them. Total confusion. As for using GW1ABC when in Scotland, well that is just perverse. If you want people to use their "home" station RSL when in another UK region then operate like you would is abroad.
    Eg GW1ABC goes to Scotland and operates as GM/GW1ABC or GM/GW1ABC/P
    I don't particularly favour that but it is better than using the "wrong" RSL when operating in another region.
    Either that or abolish RSLs completely and re-issue all intermediate callsigns, compelling everyone to operate as Mx123 or Gx123, with appropriate optional suffix.
  3. g3ypp

    g3ypp New Member

    The proposal to make RSLs optional seems a complete nonsense to me. Any confusion has only arisen from Ofcom changes over the years to "clarify and make things simple" The reverse has happened. Making RSLs optional will be more confusing particularly for overseas operators.

    My original 1969 licence (still pristine) is crystal clear -

    9. Call Sign and Notification of Location

    (1) Whenever the Station is used the call sign mentioned on the first page of this Licence shall be transmitted: Provided that when the Station is used -
    (a) at an address other than the main address the Licensee shall, in order to indicate the country or place of use, vary the prefix letter to the call sign by using the prefix letter(s) appropriate to that country or place , being G for England, GM for Scotland, GW for Wales, GI for Northern Ireland, GC for the Channel Islands and GD for the Isle of Man:

    (b) at the temporary premises the suffix "/A" shall be added to the call sign
    (c) at the temporary location the suffix "/P" shall be added to the call sign.

    This is very clear and unambiguous and should be reinstated in my view.
    (for the youngsters /M and /MM are missing because separate licences were required for mobile and maritime mobile operation, and we don't want to go back to that :) )
    G3VGZ, Larry and G3ZOD like this.
  4. Gerald Davison

    Gerald Davison New Member

    Hear, hear!
  5. M0LEP

    M0LEP New Member

    I don't believe there's any significant uncertainty among radio amateurs regarding the use of RSNs at present, and I am certain that Ofcom's proposal will introduce a great deal of uncertainty that isn't there at present. I don't doubt the present wording could be clarified, but the suggested change is pretty much exactly not what's needed.

    73, Rick M0LEP
    G3ZOD likes this.
  6. G4TJC

    G4TJC New Member

    I think this stems from Ofcom's interpretation of what an amateur station is, as opposed to other licensed stations. The station is licensed by virtue of the licensee having obtained the necessary qualification. Therefore identification of the station is synonymous with identification of the licensee, not the physical station itself. Consequently it relates to the main station address rather than the current location of the hardware. It seems to me this is a legalistic interpretation of the internationally-accepted definitions / agreements, rather than a real-world understanding of how stations are identified and any practical use thereof. This is what Ofcom think they've signed-up to and they want to stick to the letter of the law. They don't care which side of the border you're on when up a hill / driving down the road. Of course everybody else does - everybody that actually uses call signs.

    I say they should stick with the current clause 2(2) and 2(3), perhaps relaxing it slightly for e.g. APRS &c, by replacing "shall" with "should" or "shall, when reasonably practicable".
  7. Andrew Marshall

    Andrew Marshall New Member

    I firmly believe that there is no need for any change to the RSL rules as they stand. The RSL indicates the regional location of the station, whether at home, /A, /M, or /P, and this is very important to people using the bands, either within the UK or elsewhere. To use, and especially to be obliged to use, an RSL which does not match the operator's current regional location, would be highly confusing and most unwelcome!

    73, Andrew G8BUR, M0MAA.
  8. G8HGN

    G8HGN New Member

    The theme seems unanimous, that the system at present is understood and works well, for amateurs.

    The problem lies, it seems, with Ofcom & previous regimes issuing licenses WITH the RSL, rather than WITHOUT e.g. Gx8HGN and allowing the station to insert it's RSL as necessary, dependent on where it was. So ALL full licenses should have been G, a number, and 3 letters, registered at the home address, and you insert the RSL as necessary, be that at home or away.

    This is how the Intermediate licenses are issued, apparently, and so compulsorily continued use of the RSL is required, as their licenses are of the non- embedded format.

    Rather than make it optional for full licensees to use RSL's, Ofcom should get it's own house in order and fix it's database or re-issue those licenses that have an RSL embedded. It may only need a letter stating the callsign is ammended to G9XYZ from GM9XYZ for instance, and the licensee can continue as he/she already does.

    Under the proposal a 2 tier system will exist with Full licensees having the option and Intermediates compulsory. Not the way to standardise.

    I gather all of this had been discussed with RSGB prior to the document coming out, but seems to have been ignored.

    I am NOT in favour of this proposal (Q7)

    73 Bob G8HGN
    Andrew Marshall likes this.
  9. Max M0VNG

    Max M0VNG New Member

    Leave as is, we know how it works.
  10. M5AKA

    M5AKA New Member

    I thought the problem stems from the current licence which, when legally interpreted, stipulates the home fixed station callsign should be used in other Regions. BTW this is exactly the same as the situation in the USA and Territories as well as France and Territories which seemingly doesn't cause any problems.

    The Ofcom consultation paper permits Foundation and Full licence holders to continue with the traditional practice of swapping the RSL.
  11. g6jyb

    g6jyb Moderator Staff Member

    >The Ofcom consultation paper permits Foundation and Full licence holders to continue with the traditional practice of swapping the RSL.

    It indeed proposes they become optional - but that use would then be subject to as yet unpublished guidance. Para 2.72/2.73 look key though.

    This is one example where we get extra complexity from the way this one interacts with Q8 on Intermediate RSLs (which, as proposed, would change to be defined/mandated as main station only and so might influence that guidance too) - and indeed aspects of Q6 on 'unambiguous identification'


    Murray G6JYB
  12. G0DRN - Malc

    G0DRN - Malc New Member

    Going to be a lot of confusion over this if it gets implemented, which knowing Ofcom it probably will.
  13. Peter Chadwick

    Peter Chadwick New Member

    The lack of RSLs won't be much help for foreign amateurs. With all the separate DXCC countries that currently comprise the UK, differentiation is required for the DX bands.

    Peter G3RZP
  14. Stewart Wilkinson

    Stewart Wilkinson New Member

    I cannot really believe as Ofcom seem to imply that we (UK Radio Amateurs) continue to not understand the requirements for the RSL - all training material and examination questions on this part of the licencing requirements that I have seen on this have bene very clear since I took the RAE (1985) and I understand has been the system in use in the UK for very much longer than that.

    If they really are convinced that this has always been wrong then the answer is not to fudge it in a way that makes things even more confusing as well as breaking so many other things, but fix it properly and require us to follow the CEPT method of prefixing the home callsign with the appropriate operating Country prefix. So as G0LGS I would operate as MW/G0LGS in Wales and MM/G0LGS in Scotland etc, and GM4PPT would operate as M/GM4PPT in England, MW/GM4PPT in Wales etc.
  15. Ron The One

    Ron The One New Member

    The RSL is used as a country-identifier for DXCC and other purposes. It is important to retain RSLs. Or will it be simpler if we do away with RSLs and everyone in the UK is plain old G or M? All the Intermediates can be 2E0.

    On the topic of UK callsigns, if Scotland is unfortunate enough to vote for independence , what prefix will they be assigned by the ITU? Once outside the UK they would need a different prefix from G or M. Perhaps Scotland will have its own version of OFCOM (SCOFCOM?) and therefore will not be subject to a licence review. Maybe they will get 1 kW licences.

    In summary, it's better we retain the RSLs as they are and use the one appropriate to where the operating is being done. No change required. And I hope Scotland stays as GM.
  16. Trevor Day

    Trevor Day New Member

    I am at a loss to understand why OfCom believe there is confusion over the use of RSLs, in over 40 years of operating in the UK I have yet to hear anyone get this part of their call-sign wrong (suffixes may be another matter). We are uniquely privileged in the UK to be able to operate under seven separate entities with our call-signs; as previously stated there is no confusion amongst those who take advantage of this.
    I trust that the RSGB will lobby OfCom to ensure that these proposed changes do not go ahead.

    Trev, G3ZYY
    Peter-G8BCG likes this.
  17. Colin Hall

    Colin Hall New Member

    I defy anyone to find a UK radio amateur who has experienced confusion regarding the use of RSLs. If Ofcom's proposal were to become reality, they would drive a coach and horses through our DXCC applications and people's claiming credit for any one of the (at present) seven DXCC entities in the UK and Ofcom-regulated territories. A legalistic argument would of course be that the DXCC programme has no legal standing, and is therefore irrelevant to the discussion, but in reality it is of vital concern to many practising radio amateurs. In addition, how do Ofcom think people would react if someone were to give their callsign as GJ9XYZ, location Cardiff? Scepticism? Disbelief? Anger? If we in Scotland decide in five days' time to become independent (and I do not believe that this forum is the correct place for an expression of sentiment on that matter, either for or against) then the point will be moot, as we will of course be setting up our own licensing agency and regulator. However, until then, consider my vote to be for retaining the present, crystal-clear rules.

    Colin, GM4JPZ
  18. Stewart Wilkinson

    Stewart Wilkinson New Member

    Can you imagine trying to explain to some Spanish / Italian / Brazilian etc that your callsign really is GM4xxx and that you really are in Guernsey ?!

    What a nightmare that would be !

    Stewart G0LGS
  19. DrTeeth

    DrTeeth New Member

    Things are fine as they are. If somebody is confused, they should return their licence with a note that they are too thick to hold one.
  20. Rob Styles

    Rob Styles New Member

    Total shambles, just leave it alone, it's not broke.
    Rob M0TFO
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