I am a UK licensed Amateur Radio operator with an Intermediate License.

I have a question surrounding the UK's (Ofcom's) definition of "Remote Operation".

My understanding is that for any Remote Operation you must not use any form of encryption on the links, and if you hold an Intermediate License, you must only use wireless links to communicate with your rig (which I think is limited to 500mW).

I am considering building my own little rig using a Raspberry Pi. However, I would most likely be manipulating the Pi (within my house) using SSH, connected to wired Ethernet.

Given Ofcom's restrictions, does this mean I can't do that, as I would be violating both the encryption (using SSH) and wireless-only (by using wired Ethernet)?

Or, have I interpreted the term "Remote Operation" too broadly, and as long as I was at my house, it would be fine as it wouldn't be considered "Remote"?

  • $\begingroup$ Please, cite a link to the reference regulation(s) so we can offer a suitable answer. $\endgroup$
    – Brian K1LI
    Apr 3, 2019 at 13:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I suspect what you are asking for may be considered a legal advice. Maybe stackexchange is not a better place for it. From personal experience of talking to local authorities just to make a call and ask whether it's OK to do so may be a good move. $\endgroup$ Apr 3, 2019 at 13:18

1 Answer 1


According to clause 17(ff) in Ofcom publication, UK AMATEUR RADIO LICENCE, Section2: Terms,conditions and limitations, "Remote Control Operation" applies, "...where the Licensee has the ability to control the Radio Equipment from a different location to that where the Radio Equipment is located;" Since your control means and your radio will both be located within your house, they are not in different locations and none of the remote control regulations would seem to apply.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! Looks like I didn't get to the definitions section! $\endgroup$
    – user14615
    Apr 3, 2019 at 17:31
  • $\begingroup$ This does beg another question. If a HMAC password exchange takes place before a plaintext command which is also HMAC signed, does that constitute "encryption" in the eyes of Ofcom. HMAC is not encryption. I feel that the regulations are not clear in this aspect. My personal interpretation is that I would be happy to HMAC sign a message, to prevent adversary control, whilst transmitting the command in plaintext. $\endgroup$ Sep 4, 2019 at 23:51

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