VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by M0PLT » 30 Mar 2014, 13:53

GeeFull wrote:Surely you are not saying the "bulk" of prospective VHF users would fall into that bracket?
No, but I hear many grumpy G3s and G7s complaining that 2 metres and 70 cms is just glorified CB, so adding lots of M6s to that is not necessarily going to help. One has to also remember that VHF is hard: knowing which frequencies to transmit on lest you incur the wrath of the band-police; having to say "QSY 145.73" (for example) instead of "meet you on channel 35"; having to be reasonably formal instead of being able to say "Electron going 10-6 for a 10-200, 10-4". I would suggest the majority would prefer the less formal approach of CB than the formal approach of Amateur Radio. On CB, I am "The Electron" and you will have a hell of a job finding me (unless you have the right gear and can fox-hunt). On Amateur Radio, I am "M0PLT" and you can easily find who I am.
GeeFull wrote:And powers that be being powers that be, they require all the "I's" dotted, and "T's" crossed from a "technically valid" point of view, before they even consider spectrum allocation!
That is where Dave 'Oggy' and his membership of the EU CB federation could come in handy. The radio enthusiasts on TM1 can put forward suggestions of what the radios should be capable of doing (as I already have), and possibly even help draw up the type-approval documents. Taking the existing for FM/AM/SSB documents and swapping 27MHz for what ever VHF allocations might become available should not be too hard.
GeeFull wrote:Only thing to remember is, as with any "Ofcom" granted, "licence free" allocation, it would no doubt come with VERY stringent rules and limitations applied, and they would almost certainly mention the dreaded "type approved equipment" etc.
So first off you would need enough current manufacturers willing to supply said "UK type approved" VHF equipment, and secondly knowing Ofcom, it may well be greatly down in specs from what might be reasonably desired!
All free-to-use radios have to be type-approved as the operator cannot be expected to check the operations in the same way that Radio Amateurs do. You have reinforced my point about trying to use already allocated frequencies, or attempting to find common ground via CEPT. The Australian UHF CB service would be ideal as radios, aerials, etc., are already available to a common market segment. But to use those radios over here, the bottom-end of the Band IV UHF TV allocations needs to be cleared out. It could well be that Ofcom are willing to allow a VHF CB allocation, but end up blocked by those frequencies being used throughout the rest of the EU.
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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by delboyonline » 30 Mar 2014, 15:52

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So looking at the chart:

We could fit in up to 20 channels (12.5Khz spacing) between 147.0 and 147.3Mhz or the same somewhere between 147.5 and 148Mhz or 152.0 and 155Mhz or 155.5 and 155.8Mhz ot 168.3 and 168.8Mhz!

Thoughts?

Something like this perhaps?

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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by ChelseaCat » 30 Mar 2014, 16:02

Hi GeeFull thanks for your input and glad your not against the idea.

I know what your saying regarding permission and having to put all our cards on the table etc but we have Dave and the gang on the case now so maybe they might be abe to help sway the decision and fight our corner.

The more input to Ofcom from people that want it the better we just have to hope and see if it works.

Hope your enjoying the forum Im hooked lol.

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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by Adriano9966 » 30 Mar 2014, 16:19

delboyonline wrote:
We could fit in up to 20 channels (12.5Khz spacing) between 147.0 and 147.3Mhz or the same somewhere between 147.5 and 148Mhz or 152.0 and 155Mhz or 155.5 and 155.8Mhz ot 168.3 and 168.8Mhz!
:) Interesting proposal and it would be quite easy for manufacturers to produce antennas and transceivers for these frequencies.
Personally I would favour between 147- to 148 but anywhere available is just fine. As Dave Oggy said there is mileage in the idea that 20 channels of UHF CB were REMOVED for mobile telephones so it would only be fair to return 20 channels(a lousy 250khz) if there is some space available on VHF!

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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by ChelseaCat » 30 Mar 2014, 16:24

I think asking for more is better, say 40 channels as we all know Ofcom like to only give part of what we ask for lol ,so if they say you can only have half 20 channels that will do for me also ask for multi mode they are bound to say FM only but can you imagine if they said yes to 40 channels and multimode.

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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by M0PLT » 30 Mar 2014, 16:25

How about:

154MHz to 155MHz - 99 channels at 10kHz spacing; or 80 channels at 12.5kHz spacing.
Channels 1 to 10 and 89 to 99 (70-80) allocated to repeater input/output...
Internet connected repeaters? (Option to set-up your own FRN gateway?)
Channel 99 (80) reserved for emergency broadcast (priority channel) for weather alerts, lost children, etc. (Not sure how to ensure that would not become chaos at this time!)
Or channels 1 to 10 assigned to AM/SSB usage - USB and LSB effectively offers 20 channels. Remaining channels to be FM.
Channels reserved for CADS use only?
Data-modes via sound-card and USB (that's Upper Side Band, not Universal Serial Bus).
Tone-burst/CTCSS/DQS squelch control - RSSI squelch as fall-back/testing.
Omni-directional vertically polarised monopoles (vehicle, homebase) and/or vertically polarised dipoles (homebase). No beams!
No restrictions on aerial height, save for local planning controls.
5 Watts chassis power - losses in co-ax and aerial gain ignored.
Last edited by M0PLT on 30 Mar 2014, 16:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by ChelseaCat » 30 Mar 2014, 16:26

Sounds good to me :lol:

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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by delboyonline » 30 Mar 2014, 18:53

M0PLT wrote:How about:

154MHz to 155MHz - 99 channels at 10kHz spacing; or 80 channels at 12.5kHz spacing.
Channels 1 to 10 and 89 to 99 (70-80) allocated to repeater input/output...
Internet connected repeaters? (Option to set-up your own FRN gateway?)
Channel 99 (80) reserved for emergency broadcast (priority channel) for weather alerts, lost children, etc. (Not sure how to ensure that would not become chaos at this time!)
Or channels 1 to 10 assigned to AM/SSB usage - USB and LSB effectively offers 20 channels. Remaining channels to be FM.
Channels reserved for CADS use only?
Data-modes via sound-card and USB (that's Upper Side Band, not Universal Serial Bus).
Tone-burst/CTCSS/DQS squelch control - RSSI squelch as fall-back/testing.
Omni-directional vertically polarised monopoles (vehicle, homebase) and/or vertically polarised dipoles (homebase). No beams!
No restrictions on aerial height, save for local planning controls.
5 Watts chassis power - losses in co-ax and aerial gain ignored.
That's just being greedy!

Realistically we would be lucky to get 20 channels, FM only. There is no reason to expect SSB, the whole point of a VHF CB system is for the clarity and reliability that FM would give us for local comms. Repeaters would be nice but I ask you this - Who's going to pay for and run these repeaters???? - We cant even keep our 2m repeaters working properly around here!

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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by M0PLT » 30 Mar 2014, 19:11

delboyonline wrote:That's just being greedy!

Realistically we would be lucky to get 20 channels, FM only. There is no reason to expect SSB, the whole point of a VHF CB system is for the clarity and reliability that FM would give us for local comms. Repeaters would be nice but I ask you this - Who's going to pay for and run these repeaters???? - We cant even keep our 2m repeaters working properly around here!
If you are to specify a new "modern" CB service, you have to be prepared to future-gaze and push at the boundaries of what is possible. If you settle for 20 channels, that is all you will get, and you will have no ability to expand or define new methods should the system become over-subscribed. Throwing lots of ideas in to the melting pot could well define something the whole world decides to embrace instead of relying on the limitations of what a radio manufacturers think. SSB would allow data-modes via a basic computer interface, and this would allow text-chatting amongst those who are deaf, have speech issues, or those who want to operate silently.

I take your point regarding the costs of operating repeaters. The idea might not be feasible, but it does not hurt to include it in the ideas list.

In dealing with national regulators/government, it is always best to ask for more than you think you will achieve. Let them haggle you down. Never let them view your hand!
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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by M0PLT » 30 Mar 2014, 19:49

Another point to note: 2 metre allocations in Region 2 and Region 3 run to 148MHz http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2_meters (Chart at the bottom of the page). Any frequency allocation needs to be chosen well away from the Amateur allocation to ensure no-one comes knocking for your frequencies. It is best to take a world-view, instead of what the DTi did with 934MHz.
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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by Adriano9966 » 30 Mar 2014, 22:02

M0PLT wrote:Another point to note: 2 metre allocations in Region 2 and Region 3 run to 148MHz http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2_meters (Chart at the bottom of the page). Any frequency allocation needs to be chosen well away from the Amateur allocation to ensure no-one comes knocking for your frequencies. It is best to take a world-view, instead of what the DTi did with 934MHz.

:) HMMMM interesting point ..... the Americas and Oceania are quite far away from the UK however that said I think you're right in saying it would be a good idea to allocate away from those frequencies .......This would also allow for possible expansion of two metres in the future!

:) However there is still plenty of room left over to squeeze in 20 channels of VHF CB somewhere

:ugeek: How about 143-144 ?? 27mhz Cb seems to sit nicely alongside 10 metre ham radio with the CB allocation finishing just underneath 28mhz ;)

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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by DX-Digger » 30 Mar 2014, 22:22

Adriano9966 wrote:
M0PLT wrote:Another point to note: 2 metre allocations in Region 2 and Region 3 run to 148MHz http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2_meters (Chart at the bottom of the page). Any frequency allocation needs to be chosen well away from the Amateur allocation to ensure no-one comes knocking for your frequencies. It is best to take a world-view, instead of what the DTi did with 934MHz.

:) HMMMM interesting point ..... the Americas and Oceania are quite far away from the UK however that said I think you're right in saying it would be a good idea to allocate away from those frequencies .......This would also allow for possible expansion of two metres in the future!

:) However there is still plenty of room left over to squeeze in 20 channels of VHF CB somewhere

:ugeek: How about 143-144 ?? 27mhz Cb seems to sit nicely alongside 10 metre ham radio with the CB allocation finishing just underneath 28mhz ;)
Not sure you would want those frequencies as NTL & Virgin media have a barker channel at the top of that allocation, and while they are not supposed to leak these signals outside of the cabs, IT DOES HAPPEN! and if you have Virgin media TV services at home you may already have interference at the top of that band!
Might be worth doing a check on your 2m rig if it goes low enough or on a scanner?
Either way they dont seem to get pulled up about it (big buisiness ya know!)
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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by M0PLT » 30 Mar 2014, 22:58

Adriano9966 wrote: :) HMMMM interesting point ..... the Americas and Oceania are quite far away from the UK however that said I think you're right in saying it would be a good idea to allocate away from those frequencies .......This would also allow for possible expansion of two metres in the future!
If the rest of Region 1 are moving their emergency services to a digital platform, and the space above 146MHz becomes available, there will surely be pressure through the region to allow the 2 metre allocation to expand and match Region 2 and 3. So that part of the spectrum is best avoided!
Adriano9966 wrote: :) However there is still plenty of room left over to squeeze in 20 channels of VHF CB somewhere
99 :D
Adriano9966 wrote: :ugeek: How about 143-144 ?? 27MHz CB seems to sit nicely alongside 10 metre ham radio with the CB allocation finishing just underneath 28MHz ;)
I think the proximity of the 11m and 10m bands has been the problem behind freebanding - if you see it as a problem? It has been far too easy to tweak high-powered 10m kit for use on the CEPT and UK CB allocations, and the bit in the middle; although there is the other issue of "export" CBs that can cover 25 to 30MHz. I think nestling just under the marine VHF band is probably the better bet. It's a world-wide allocation that is not going anywhere in a hurry, so you should be pretty safe operating just below it. And in theory, if someone "opens" their radio to transmit on the marine allocation, they are more likely to be prosecuted for interfering with a safety-of-life service than if they are just annoying "some hobby radio users" - as the government likes to refer to us (Amateurs and CBers alike!) - on the 2 metre band.
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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by delboyonline » 31 Mar 2014, 06:22

So keeping the new CB band away from the American 2m band we could use one of the following instead:

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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by Otter » 31 Mar 2014, 08:01

Only with 40 channels per chart, AM and SSB, 25W max and any sort of antenna that planning regulations allow. Aim for what we would like, and let Ofcom cut our ambitions short as opposed to cutting our ambitions short and Ofcom cutting them more.
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