Amateur Radio

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A really crap hobby to have if you live in aber. Mainly because VHF and UHF doesn't like the mountains, and there are no repeaters anywhere near either. I suppose most radio hams in aber are reduced to using the internet relay systems eQSO, Echolink, and IRLP.

Think of it as "hands free" IRC, or voice over IP, but sometimes without the IP.

There are 3 classes of license in the UK:

Foundation - All callsigns begin M3 (or MW3 in Wales), you're not allowed to transmit more than 10W (cough splutter), there are several bands (noteably 10m, and everything above 70cm) that you can't use, and you're not allowed to build your own transmitter. Piss easy to get one of these licenses though.

Intermediate - All callsigns begin 2E0 (or 2W0 in Wales), and there are some 2E1 callsigns knocking about dating back to the time when there was such as thing as a "class B" license (see below). Not quite as restrictive as the foundation license, but still limited on power (to 50W).

Full - Currently issued callsigns begin M0 (or MW0 in Wales), but you'll also hear M1, M5, G0, G3, G4, G6, G7, G8, and there are a few rarer G2s about. I'm not going to even try to remember which ones are class A or B. Basically give you as much access as you're going to be allowed, running up to 400W in most cases.

It used to be the case that there were 2 further sub-classes of license, one for those who could do Morse_code (class A), and one for those who couldn't be arsed (class B). But that's all been scrapped now.