Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some questions that we get asked on a fairly regular basis. Please do check them out before emailing with a question in case we’ve already answered it below.

Why do I need to register to take part in SOS Radio Week?


Firstly; so that we know who is taking part. We would be grateful if everyone who intends to take part in SOS Radio Week would register. We simply need a few details from you so that we can publicise the callsign you intend to use, where you will be operating from and, optionally, the Lifeboat or Coastwatch station you will be raising awareness of.

Secondly; so you can take part in the exciting SOS Radio Week Leagues. We introduced this feature in 2020 and it was very well received. You record how many stations you’ve worked on different bands, using different modes, and the website automatically generates two leagues tables; one for bands and one for modes. At the end of the event we will send certificates to the top three stations on each band and mode.

What callsign can I use?


You can use any callsign that your licence permits you to. This can be a personal callsign, a club callsign, or special event callsign.

Where can I operate from?


Anywhere that the callsign you will be using allows you to; you don’t have to be located at an RNLI or NCI station to take part. In fact, we would recommend that you don’t operate in the close vicinity to either unless you have prior permission to prevent causing interference to either’s sensitive communications and radar systems.

Many stations have been happy to accommodate amateur radio operators inside their buildings in the past. It can be a draw to the public, bringing them in to the station so they can be educated in the work these great institutions perform on a voluntary basis.

Again, though, please do not operate near, or in, station premises without first obtaining written permission to do so. And if they’re happy top accommodate you, please do not be offended if they ask you to cease operating; their primary role is to save lives.

Do I have to commit to raising money during the event?


Absolutely not; this event is all about raising awareness of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) through amateur radio.

However, both the RNLI and NCI are really grateful for any money that you can raise for them. This could be through sponsorship of your amateur radio station, or through any other fund-raising activity you can think of to run in parallel with your operation. For example, one year a young brave soul stood outside an RNLI station in the snowy depths of winter in a fox onesie, holding an RNLI collecting box, whilst her colleagues where in the warm and comfy lifeboat station making contacts.

How do you calculate the number of contacts per band and mode?


In order to qualify for awards, registered stations must enter the number of contacts they’ve made per band and mode. It makes sense that total number of stations worked per band equals the total number of stations worked per mode – because you’ve made the same number of contacts, regardless of how you split them up.

The good news is that you don’t need to be a maths genius to be able to work this out, somebody’s thought of it and written a web page that will help you work out these totals.

Qscope enables you to upload an ADIF file from your logbook. Simply choose the bands/modes statistics report and it will produce a table that looks like the one below…

Qscope enables you to work out how many stations you've worked by band and mode

The totals across the bottom of the table are the ones you need to enter for each band and the totals down the right-hand side are the ones you need to enter for each mode.

We’ve also got a video for you to watch on how easy it is.

Are you having problems viewing/editing data on our web pages?


Unfortunately, users of old browsers, such as Internet Explorer and legacy (discontinued or superseded) versions of Microsoft Edge, may experience difficulty viewing the registered stations list, league tables and editing their registered station data.

These browsers are out-of-date and represent a security threat to the data and passwords stored on your computer. They also don’t support the latest web design features we use on our website. In order to keep our website up-to-date and provide visitors with the best interactive experience, we use these modern features.

If you are using one of these out-of-date browsers then we’re afarid it’s time to update to a more modern browser – for the safety of your own data, if nothing else.