UK non-amateur cadet stations on 5MHz (60m)

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G3PLX
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UK non-amateur cadet stations on 5MHz (60m)

In the UK, the 5MHz channels are shared with cadet stations which are affiliated to one of the three armed-forces. They are permitted to use WSPR on the 5288 kHz channel which is designated for WSPR activity but since the WSPR coding scheme can only handle regular amateur callsigns, these stations cannot use their real callsigns on WSPR.

To avoid misleading or confusing reports, the cadet organisers have agreed that these stations will modify their actual callsigns to appear in the form of an initial letter M followed by two digits followed by one or two letters. This format will make it clear from the leading M that the station is in the UK and the presence of two digits will show that it's not a real amateur station (which only have one digit). The cadets will be able to recognise themselves and each other from the callsigns in this modified form.

So if you see callsigns in the form M78X or M89YZ on the 5288 kHz channel, remember that the transmission may be coming from a youngster who might one day become a radio amateur.

73
Peter G3PLX, on behalf of RSGB 5MHz Working Group