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The next club meeting will take place on Tuesday 4th August 2015 in the Kirkwall masonic club from 20.00 onwards.  Everyone is welcome.

Welcome to the Orkney Amateur Radio Club web site. Orkney is a group of over seventy islands lying off the northern coast of Scotland, surrounded by the North Sea to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Situated in the tail end of the gulf stream, the sea and air temperatures are a degree or two warmer than mainland Scotland - but gale force winds are very common, and wind speeds in excess of 100 mph occur from time to time (not good from an antenna point of view!).

Orkney has a long history with the first settlers arriving over 6,000 years ago (that's a few thousand years before the Egyptians built the pyramids!). There is a great deal of spectacular archaeology here, some of which is of world importance. This includes stone circles, burial chambers and even entire preserved Neolithic villages. In more recent history, there is evidence of the Vikings who invaded and settled here. Many of the islanders are of Norwegian descent.

Fishing and farming are the traditional industries. However tourism is playing an increasingly important part in the economy. Good communication links, including regular ferries and flights, mean that the islands are no longer remote. Wildlife is very abundant in and around the clear blue waters, and over the unspoiled hills, fields and moorland. Many rare and migratory birds can be found here at different times of year. Seals and dolphins are commonplace, and Killer Whales are occasional visitors.

Radio telecommunications has always had an important role to play in this remote group of islands. As a consequence, there have been radio amateurs here since the early days of the hobby. Currently, Orkney has quite a few resident hams (particularly given its small population). Some are more active than others, but it is fair to say that there is usually a presence on the HF bands most days (sometimes 6m and 2m gets a look in too!).

A number of these local amateurs used to meet informally from time to time; and on occasion activated various island locations. In 2000, it was decided that an actual club should be formed. This would allow for a constitution, committee, callsign and more importantly affiliation to the Radio Society of Great Britain. The club has been steadily growing in numbers ever since; partly because of amateurs moving into the area, and partly because of the new licence classes encouraging people to take up the hobby.

Recently, Orkney was chosen as a site for an experimental 5mhz (60m) beacon (GB3ORK). We also have our own 2m repeater GB3OC (channel RV52, input = 145.0500Mhz, output = 145.6500Mhz, CTCSS enabled Tone C 77.0hz).

If you live in the Orkney Islands and are interested in becoming a radio amateur, we are able to provide tuition for the Foundation Licence and the Intermediate Licence. The club has two registered tutors which allows both examinations to be taken locally. The Foundation Licence Examination can be taken at approximately one week's notice, and the Intermediate Licence Examination is available in accordance with the RSGB timetable.

The club meets on a monthly basis (see the NEWS section above for details of the next meeting). The meetings vary throughout the year, from informal chats to video presentations, to planning the next island activation. Whatever we are doing you would be most welcome to join us. If you are here on holiday and your visit coincides with our monthly why not drop in and say hello?  If you do intend to come along, it is advisable to check that the meeting is taking place as dates/location sometimes vary - telephone David Wishart on 01856 721422

If you would like QSL information for one of our club members, or for one of the club's own callsigns,  please click here.


Of the seventy or so islands less than twenty are populated. From an amateur radio point of view very few are active on a regular basis. One of the main aims of the club is to activate as many of these rare islands as possible; and several dxpeditions are undertaken each year. To help facilitate this, the club has created two awards specifically designed to create interest in the Orkney Island group.





August 2014   Brough of Birsay Lighthouse

GB1OL were active from the Brough of Birsay lighthouse in the Orkney Island group for ILLW 2014.

Operators were Colin - GM0IFM, David MM5DWW (QSL manager), Derek GM0EEY and Glenn 2M0DES.

Our plan is to be active on 80m, 40m, 30m, 20m 17m, 15m, 12m, 10m & 6m  with a mix of cw, ssb, psk and rtty.

Useful links:-



Several members of the Orkney Amateur Radio Club were active from Westray Island OR-02, over the weekend 13th-15th July 2014 with the main object being to activate from WAB# HY45


4 members of OARC were active from WAB# HY23 on 09-08-2014

It is a very rare square with only a little bit landing on dry land and being very close to high cliffs. They managed over 300Q’s before the static rain made things very difficult but fun was had by all.

Ness Battery 2014

MM5DWW,2M0DES & GM0WED were active from Ness Battery near Stromness for the purpose of activating WAB #


will be used when several members of OARC activate from

Cantick Head lighthouse UK0195, on the Orkney Island of South Walls, for the

International lighthouse and lightship weekend 15th-16th August 2015.

We plan to be on as many bands as possible and will be QRV from 14th -17th August.


Several members of OARC were active from Stanger Head battery, on Flotta Island, OR-13, EU-009, IO88KT, WAB-ND39, one of the Orkney Island group from 17th-19th July 2015.

They were using three stations running on 80m-2m bands.

The callsign being used will be MM0MWW/p

The QSL manager for this activation is GM0IFM


Members of OARC were active for The Four Barriers Challenge on 12th July 2015 starting around 13:00gmt till 24:00

They operated consecutively from four of the Churchill Barriers on four different Islands in one day, all on SSB on the 40m band.

An e-award will be available to anyone contacting all four locations.

The callsign being used was MS0MWW/p

The first location was Barrier no.4 on South Ronaldsay Island, OR-05, IO88nu, WAB-ND49

The second location was Barrier no.3 on Burray Island, OR-14, IO88nu, WAB-ND49

The third location was barrier no.2 on Glims Holm Island, OR-27, IO88nv, WAB-ND49

The fourth and final location was Barrier no.1 on Lamb Holm Island, OR-26, IO88nv, WAB-HY40

Qsl manager for this activation is GM0WED