A good special event callsign is a must if you are going to run an amateur radio special event station – one that makes your station stand out from the crowded bands. Ofcom issues such callsigns and they are prefixed with a ‘GB’.

GB special event callsigns have to be applied for before the event and are usually granted for up to 28 days of continuous operation; though most stations operate for only a few days.

G7LFC Handy Guide #1 - Applying for a Special Event Callsign
G7LFC Handy Guide #1 – Applying for a Special Event Callsign

Special event callsigns are collectable

Many amateur radio operators throughout the UK, and around the world, listen out for special events because the QSL cards that are received are unique and can only be worked for a few days before they’re gone forever – though some special events do run every year, but they’re still only contactable for a relatively limited time.

Since the Coronavirus pandemic caught hold and started to restrict the activities of amateur radio clubs, Ofcom has allowed full licence holders to apply for a special event callsign and operate it from their home. Previously all special events had to be open to the public.

Download the guide to applying for a special event callsign

Ofcom’s generous relaxation of the rules has encouraged many more amateur radio operators to have a go at running a special event station from the comfort of their own home. However, many of them have never applied for a suitable callsign before, so I have produced the first in a series of ‘Handy Guides’ called, “Applying for a Special Event Callsign“.

It is designed to guide you through the process and answer some of the questions that often get asked when making an application. I hope you find it useful and I welcome any comments you may have.