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Approved Kits (1 reply and 2 comments)

4 years ago
M6MZC 4 years ago


This is my first post so please be gentle!!  I wasn’t sure whether this should go in here or in the hardware so I apologise if I have put it in the wrong place. 

As a recent foundation licence holder I know I can only use pre manufactured transceivers or approved kits. My question is what kits are approved or how do I get a kit approved?  I have seen quite a few different kits on several different sites including radio world, ham radio store and the ubitx from India and the cow qrp kits in a tobacco tin amongst others. I would very much like to build a couple of kits - it’s that side of the hobby that really interests me - being able to communicate using something I have made myself especially if it is in a remote location. My work background is as an electrical controls engineer so assembling kits isn’t so much of a problem technically but I want to make sure I am within the rules.  Any help and advice would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance    

Pete M0PSX
4 years ago
Pete M0PSX 4 years ago

Hi there, and welcome to the forum.

This is a very interesting question, and has recently been debated over Twitter, without much in the way of resolution. It's one of those odd Ofcom clauses that is open to interpretation.

The licence allows you to build anything you like at Foundation, except a transmitter - unless that transmitter is a "commercially available kit which satisfy IR 2028".

IR2028 is a very unhelpful document document, found here:

Neither Ofcom nor the RSGB publishes a list of kits that satisfy this requirement, and I'm not aware of any kit manufacturer who markets a kit as fully-compliant.

When challenged, the official advice appears to be: find a kit that you're interested in, and ask the supplier for a statement that it satisfies IR2028 (and by default, Directive 1999/5/EC)... if you find one, please let me know!

The opposing position that I've heard is that construction of transmitters is discouraged at Foundation, as the required skills (soldering, testing, VFO calibration, theory), don't come in until Intermediate. The aim of the restriction is to encourage people to progress to Intermediate before building & testing transmitters.

I agree that this is a little catch-22, but as it's been explained to me, the two options are to: 1) to build anything but a transmitter until you're ready to get your 2E0 callsign, or 2) ask the retailer for proof of conformance, and ensure the kit is tested fully (usually by another ham) before transmitting.

Not helpful I know, but there doesn't seem to be a definitive answer on this one.



4 years ago

Hi Pete,

Thanks for taking the time to answer. I can see the sense in the rule and why it is there. I am going to do my intermediate then I think as soon as I can and go from there. How about using a kit built radio though? For example if I built a kit once I have gained my intermediate licence could a foundation licence holder use it? Is it purely the building of the kit that a foundation licence holder can’t do?

Pete M0PSX
4 years ago


The exact wording of the licence on this, is as follows:

7(2) Where this Licence is a Foundation Licence, the Licensee shall only use commercially
available Radio Equipment which satisfies IR 2028. Foundation Licence holders may also
use Radio Equipment constructed using commercially available kits which satisfy IR 2028.
7(3) Notwithstanding any other terms of this Licence, the Licensee shall ensure that the
Radio Equipment is designed, constructed, maintained and used so that its use does not
cause any Undue Interference to any wireless telegraphy.

That’s the official wording from our lords and masters at Ofcom.


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