VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

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Windy_Miller
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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by Windy_Miller » 26 Mar 2014, 22:35

Brilliant thinking M0PLT. The 20 or so folk that want a Russian taxi free CB system just all need to get Icom IP100H radios! Job done! No antennae, no bucketmouths, no concerns over too much power - And worldwide comms to boot! You're a genius!

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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by RadioPixie » 26 Mar 2014, 23:16

According to an internet search I've just done there are approx. 2000 towns in the UK. So if there is only 2 VHF CB users per town, that's 4000 operators. Not forget more operators in the big cities, and users in the rural areas where radio comms is more important (and wifi access in rural areas by it's nature is crap). So you are potentially looking at a lot of VHF CB users.

Isn't the whole idea of radio comms like CB is that it's independent of wifi, even though it can be plugged into the net.
73 from Dave the Pixie - 26CT052 - G7OPC - CB & Ham Radioaficionado

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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by 26FB096 » 27 Mar 2014, 07:32

Windy_Miller wrote:The use of wireless devices is increasing. The use of CB is decreasing. No amount of wishcasting will bring it back.

Its a no brainer. At some point, ISM bands will not be able to cope with the ever increasing number of devices needing to use it. CB bands, even 27MHz and on PMR, 446 MHz will become total ghost towns.

Bring out some new gadget that connects some piece of consumer electronics to another piece of consumer electronics, and several million people will queue up for it the day it is released. Bring out a new model of CB, and maybe a few hundred folk will buy it.
I disagree with you Mr Miller.. I think there is a real need for a good CB Radio service in this country. The only reason CB is dying is because 27mhz is so unsuitable. Talking to truckers and farmers around here in Suffolk, they all miss having cbs but because they 'don't work' (ie too much interference) they can't be bothered anymore more. If CB was relaunched on a clean VHF allocation..I think it would revive. I know it will never be the 80s...but I think we all look back thru rose tinted glasses about 'the good ole days' Wallies abound... I don't think it would be as bad this time..the wally has moved onto t'internet or got a ham licence and just sits on repeaters all day from the home base. Think positve my old fruit..as Delboy used to say 'He who dares Rodney..' Lovely Jubbly.

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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by Windy_Miller » 27 Mar 2014, 10:22

Unfortunately, one of the many reasons for the demise of CB in this country, is that there are so many alternatives. I have 2 friends that were majorly into CB in the 80's and 90's and even into the noughties. Neither now use it. One is a long distance lorry driver, the other is a farmer. Both say pretty much the same thing, in that the mobile phone is far superior. Its private, confidential and works countrywide. The lorry driver says he can speak to his boss, handsfree, 500 miles away, whilst the farmer says he can speak to his wife when 6 miles away, something he couldn't do with a CB due to the terrain. The lorry driver says that his Tom Tom Traffic works far better at getting him information on congestion or closures than his CB ever did, and directs him to the door every time, hands free. It even manages to navigate him on lorry friendly routes, avoiding narrow roads and low bridges. The farmer says that his wife can get him even when he is out of his tractors, and in the local auction mart, or the farmers supply store or wherever. And instead of buying and maintaining half a dozen sets and aerials in tractors, telehandlers, etc, he has one mobile phone that goes with him all the time. Plus he can use it as a camera to photograph his cattle if he wants, as an Internet terminal to look up the weather forecast, or a diary to check when he needs to put the bull in with the cows. Thats why lorry drivers and farmers don't use CB anymore. Its been superseded!

Telling OFCOM that an interference free band is needed, so soon after telling them that AM and SSB was needed to be able to communicate long distance is a bit contradictory. Either we want skip or we don't! Are OFCOM going to be told that actually, AM and SSB is no longer needed, as no-one wants to speak long distance anymore?

With everyone on here encouraging people to get Baofengs for 10 a penny, then it won't be long before any new CB allocation is deemed "useless" due to interference from kids and wallies.

Its also contradictory to calculate uses based on towns. This suggests that a lot of the users will be home based rather than mobile. If home based, then there is no requirement for communications, as there are plenty of alternatives - Landline, mobile, Skype, Facebook, whatever. And even then, 4,000 users is hardly likely to be considered a serious demand for spectrum, when several million users may well have better uses for it. With the ever increasing restrictions placed on drivers, the use of a hand held microphone, if not already illegal, probably soon will be. That takes a lot of the argument out of the need for a service to provide for mobile users.

Its wishcasting if ever there was. Personally, I think that even 4000 prospective users is optimistic. This site reports over 4,000 users. But many of them are hams only, many are scanner only and many seem to just be ebay enthusiasts. With this site arguably being one of the more popular UK CB sites, then it might be the case that the maximum likely number of VHF users is under 1,000. Spread those across the country, and lo and behold, yet another band where everyone complains "its dead - theres no-one on it!"

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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by Stronty » 27 Mar 2014, 10:33


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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by M0PLT » 27 Mar 2014, 11:11

You raise some good points, Windy, and yes, I think much of this is a wish-list; but as I said, if no-one throws the suggestion in to the radio regulators, nothing is ever achieved. At the end of the consultation, they can always say "no".

I would like to take your analogy and raise you with pensioners. There is a thread on this forum, with an audio clip from broadcast radio, demonstrating a group of pensioners keeping in touch via CB. I am sure many more might be interested in such a thing if the aerials were a hell of a lot smaller. In my life as an IT Professional, I still come across many who have no clue with computers, both young and old; as well as elderly who would never consider spending the sort of money needed for a computer/tablet and Internet access, let alone use a smart-phone. And there are still places around where I live (market towns and villages) where there is no mobile signal as the locals do not want "those dangerous towers cooking our children". A cheap communication system that did not line the pockets of BT might be interesting to them. I threw the idea of CADS into the mix as it is a disaster on 11m, but would potentially work on VHF, as there's less chance of it skipping over to annoy people hundreds of miles away.

My point about interference was a dig at Ofcom not carrying out their statutory duties to ensure non-EMC-compliant junk does not enter the market place. Olga will not be there forever, but the ever increasing junk will, until the government are forced in to action. The general public are starting to become aware with interference issues from LED lamps wiping out their VHF stereo and DAB radios, but there is no guarantee they will rally to the cause of all radio users.

For me, writing in favour of AM/SSB on the CEPT CB allocation was to force Ofcom to follow the EU rules they so lovingly hold up to justify their inaction over PLT. I see no reason not to ask for a VHF allocation to run alongside the HF allocation. We do not know what sort of response Ofcom have received from industry. We, and the Radio Amateurs keen to expand 2 metres, might be the only ones suggesting a use for the empty VHF bands left by the emergency services. My local Homebase staff are all sporting Bluetooth headsets these days. That would suggest chunks of the 400MHz band allocated to business radio is likely to empty, and Ofcom will lose revenue. They could reach a point where the only logical choice is to give the spectrum away or leave it empty.
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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by RadioPixie » 27 Mar 2014, 11:15

Mr Miller. Doesn't matter how much you pull apart this debate, using terms like "contradictory", and playing with numbers (which you started BTW and you have gone already from 20 to 1000 :lol: ) etc, people do wish to use VHF/UHF as there wouldn't be endless threads on TM1 (and other forums) talking about, so more Olga/interference-free, licence-free spectrum availability is needed. If there was a licence-free band that people could use their 5 watt Chinese handies, may be there wouldn't be so much discussion about. And yes there will always be those that transmit out of band and use higher than allowed power, but that shouldn't distract from the principle of a VHF CB style licence-exempt system. Germany, US, Italy, Thailand & Indonesia have similar VHF systems (and probably many others that I'm not aware of), so why not us?? (Not forgetting Japan, NZ and Australia with UHF CB).

What's the problem with discussing such a need. Yes it may be a pie in the sky, but if we don't ask we will never get. This is simply about could this be an opportunity while the radio spectrum management is being looked at. This may be a niche market that can be good not just for the user, but for the radio industry as well.
73 from Dave the Pixie - 26CT052 - G7OPC - CB & Ham Radioaficionado

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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by ChelseaCat » 27 Mar 2014, 11:55

Just give it a go thats all I can say, ask if they say no then its never going to happen. 27mhz has its place and me for one is well happy with the system as it gives me the chance to chat long distance , 1000s miles away of course its what we need but short distance its a nightmare through the day, when me and my local friends are chatting mobile and one is just 3 miles away yet overseas DX'ers are getting over the top then its just not working, having VHF cb band will be awesome that way you have a choice, fancy a bit DX then its their, fancy local network with your friends then its their, it will be brilliant.

It will also means I can get my triple magmount off my lovely Audi and have something smaller lol, obviously keeping the triple mount in the boot for when its needed :lol:

I think if you think this about CB radio then why not think the same with amateur radio, how many use VHF on amateur bands, not many as most use HF for the distance communications but its still their for those that do want it and its the best way for local contact./ networks.

I for one cannot see any reason why they wouldnt give us a VHF allocation, as many businesses use mobile phone handsets these days handsfree as Mr Miller said, with so many package deals out their its private and clear and surely that makes more sense for business communications than a 2 way CB radio, I actually think not many companies would take up the chance of radio these days.

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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by 26FB096 » 27 Mar 2014, 15:47

[quote="Windy_Miller"]Unfortunately, one of the many reasons for the demise of CB in this country, is that there are so many alternatives. I have 2 friends that were majorly into CB in the 80's and 90's and even into the noughties. Neither now use it. One is a long distance lorry driver, the other is a farmer. Both say pretty much the same thing, in that the mobile phone is far superior. Its private, confidential and works countrywide. The lorry driver says he can speak to his boss, handsfree, 500 miles away, whilst the farmer says he can speak to his wife when 6 miles away, something he couldn't do with a CB due to the terrain. The lorry driver says that his Tom Tom Traffic works far better at getting him information on congestion or closures than his CB ever did, and directs him to the door every time, hands free. It even manages to navigate him on lorry friendly routes, avoiding narrow roads and low bridges. The farmer says that his wife can get him even when he is out of his tractors, and in the local auction mart, or the farmers supply store or wherever. And instead of buying and maintaining half a dozen sets and aerials in tractors, telehandlers, etc, he has one mobile phone that goes with him all the time. Plus he can use it as a camera to photograph his cattle if he wants, as an Internet terminal to look up the weather forecast, or a diary to check when he needs to put the bull in with the cows. Thats why lorry drivers and farmers don't use CB anymore. Its been superseded!
.............................................................................................................................................

Mr Windbag

I think that you really are missing the point. Mobile phones and CB are different. You cannot put a general call out on a phone, you cannot chat with other drivers on the same road..I can go on and on. Mobile phones are one of the greatest inventions but because we all have phones does not mean that there isn't a place for a free to use, interference free low range VHF CB service. On the subject of Tom Toms and the info on them regarding low bridges and weight limits..yeah..you trust it if you want ole mate..its only as good as the stuff that's put on it. There is no substitute for local knowledge and up to date traffic info from other drivers. I find your angle on this quite bizarre..

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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by Windy_Miller » 27 Mar 2014, 17:07

The day that AM and SSB is legalised will be a good pointer. The wishcasters on here believe that on that day, there will be a huge resurgence of interest in CB, shops will spring up all over the country, and every car will once again have a rig. I'll watch that day, and those following with interest. If I don't see twigs galore on cars and chimneys, then we'll know it was truly a wishcast! ;)

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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by Adriano9966 » 27 Mar 2014, 19:11

:) The fact that we are getting AM/SSB on 27mhz is brilliant news and in my view it will bring quite a few people back onto CB
but what on earth is wrong with getting more?? If we can get a vhf band it would run in tandem with 27/81 and the new C.E.P.T

:? for years we had an alternative cb service on 934mhz until it was removed by the regulator .

:| Sadly modern living means that many people now live in apartment blocks or small houses with microscopic gardens or no garden at all often there are restrictive covenants on antennas to boot .

;) So what would radio amateurs do under these circumstances?? :arrow:

:ugeek: They would surely utilise high HF bands and/or VHF/UHF because the aerials are of much smaller dimentions and less obtrusive than low hf antennas!

:) I operate under these circumstances and so I fully realise the problems involved.

If we get a VHF allocation it will be in addition to the 27mhz services i.e as well as not instead of

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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by G8YMW » 28 Mar 2014, 01:51

Thats why lorry drivers and farmers don't use CB anymore. Its been superseded!
As far as farmers go, this statement is so wrong. The number of tractors I see CB aerials (Mostly springers/orbiters)
Also the farm where we reckon to have our caravan uses CBs in the fields. The other day I helped them with spreading fertiliser. The farmer's son spreading and me with the loader tractor and trailer full of big bags. For that sort of work a 2-way radio is an order of magnitude more convenient than a mobile phone.
As far as truckers go in the main CBs are now rare but tipper lorries have them.
As I have said earlier in this thread, I can see farmers and agricultural contractors making good use of it. No Olga QRM, no SSB QRM and a far better range (Perhaps not over the lumpy stuff) But if I got into Buxton repeater from Knipton (West of Grantham) with 1.5 watts to a 19 inch whip on a handheld.

As for SSB/AM bringing folks back to 27 MHz? I cannot see it at all. Certainly not on Mids. It will be like in the early 80's High noise floor which means no range. ie You MIGHT reach the next village before your contact is swamped by foreign QRM

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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by delboyonline » 28 Mar 2014, 08:25

SSB/AM on 27Mhz wont come into its own until the channels are much quieter. Long range groundwave will then become possible.

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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by simonthewizard » 28 Mar 2014, 13:34

delboyonline wrote:Sounds spot on to me!
A German CB Company told today they are type approving there locked version of 446-Freenet radio for UK. Takes 6-8 months so maybe they know something that nobody knows at all.

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Re: VHF CB Radio/Freenet in the UK?

Post by northern35s » 28 Mar 2014, 15:08

I don't see a problem with asking for it, it would appear Ofcom suggested it. Will it be any different to that offered by PMR 446? I doubt it very much, low power handheld and built in antennas ;)
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