Is VHF Low Band Now Completely Dead?

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Goffy
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Is VHF Low Band Now Completely Dead?

Post by Goffy »

When was the last time anyone heard anything down there? Apart from pagers on 49,cb and amatuer I mean. The pmr between 80 and 88 seems to have all gone and whilst there a hundreds of military frequencies listed between 38 and 85 I have never heard anything down there since the mould repeaters closed.
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Re: Is VHF Low Band Now Completely Dead?

Post by Mikel »

In most of the UK the noise levels in recent times have made listening to and using the band hard work. I got fed up with the headaches and haven’t listened much down there recently.

As you say the PMR has largely gone and the only thing that I managed to hear earlier when I listened was a refuse disposal company who I was surprised to hear, as they were still on 86.750 Mhz and have been for a number of years now.

I see a couple of taxi firms around the local area with antennas that lengthwise fit the allocation but I think they use a data dispatch system so I was unable to listen to them.
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Werthers
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Re: Is VHF Low Band Now Completely Dead?

Post by Werthers »

I've also seen taxi's with those long antennas around the High Wycombe area, they may very well be on VHF low band. There is also a BBC talk back frequency around 80 or 86 MHz and baby monitors around 40 to 49 MHz and then you have 6 & 4 meters on 50 - 52 MHz and 4 meters 70 - 70.500 MHz
Goffy
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Re: Is VHF Low Band Now Completely Dead?

Post by Goffy »

The thing about antennas on taxis is they are often the completely wrong size/type for the frequency and therefor not a good indicator. For example I remember seeing a taxi with a cb band "whip" but i knew they were using the 440mhz band and I think thats probably because the drivers sometimes buy their own antennas and assume *ahem cough* the longer the better.

The big firms round here use data dispatch systems and some companies use mobile phone apps. There are one or two very small firms still using fm on vhf around 164-167. I never listened to taxis apart from when trying to ID the company for my frequency list. To me half the fun is seraching out and IDing frequencies..........of course these days people just go on facebook groups and ask for codeplugs and never learn the art of hunting out frequencies.

Another band that seems dead now is 138-143 (excluding military aircraft).
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radiomonitor4
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Re: Is VHF Low Band Now Completely Dead?

Post by radiomonitor4 »

I heard comms from car rally marshalls in North Yorkshire in September. Mobiles were on 69.175 Mhz and control was on 81.575 Mhz.
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Werthers
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Re: Is VHF Low Band Now Completely Dead?

Post by Werthers »

Goffy wrote: 20 Oct 2019, 03:52 The thing about antennas on taxis is they are often the completely wrong size/type for the frequency and therefor not a good indicator. For example I remember seeing a taxi with a cb band "whip" but i knew they were using the 440mhz band and I think thats probably because the drivers sometimes buy their own antennas and assume *ahem cough* the longer the better.

The big firms round here use data dispatch systems and some companies use mobile phone apps. There are one or two very small firms still using fm on vhf around 164-167. I never listened to taxis apart from when trying to ID the company for my frequency list. To me half the fun is seraching out and IDing frequencies..........of course these days people just go on facebook groups and ask for codeplugs and never learn the art of hunting out frequencies.

Another band that seems dead now is 138-143 (excluding military aircraft).
Surly there radios wont work for very long using the wrong antenna?

I know some PMR radios have high SWR protection to where the radio will either put on zero power or less power to protect the radio, most other PMR rigs will just get very hot an till the output goes.
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Re: Is VHF Low Band Now Completely Dead?

Post by Mikel »

There is some truth in the taxi antenna theory. A while ago, I was in a taxi around here and the driver knew that I was a radio enthusiast as we had spoken previously.

The firm was using a vhf frequency of 165.0625 Mhz for the base and 169.8625 for the mobiles.
This works out at an antenna length for the taxi for a quarter wave whip of 16.5 inches and most of the taxis for this company had mag mount whips of around that length, however this guys antenna was about 3.5 foot long to my eyes (I didn't measure it!).

Quarter wavelength whips for the low band are are similar size at a quick glance (around 3.3 foot long for 71.5 Mhz) anyway this particular taxi driver said that he had bought his own vhf 5/8 wave antenna and this works out length wise for 169.8625 Mhz at 3.54 feet.

So who knows maybe there are some taxi drivers who do indeed experiment with different antennas and perhaps there is method in their madness?

Funny enough there used to be a taxi driver who used this forum a while back, I can't remember his user name mind you, but if he is still on here maybe he could comment?
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Re: Is VHF Low Band Now Completely Dead?

Post by Mikel »

radiomonitor4 wrote: 22 Oct 2019, 12:28 I heard comms from car rally marshalls in North Yorkshire in September. Mobiles were on 69.175 Mhz and control was on 81.575 Mhz.
Interesting document called the 'Radio Marshals’Handbook' available here:

https://www.motorsportuk.org/assets/rad ... st2018.pdf

The date on this is August 2018 and there is all sorts of interesting stuff in there if you like listening to this type of thing.
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f4phixeruk
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Re: Is VHF Low Band Now Completely Dead?

Post by f4phixeruk »

Left the scanner running for a while during the day. Only thing recorded was a building company in Arbroath. Seems it is pretty dead up in my neck of the woods
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Re: Is VHF Low Band Now Completely Dead?

Post by Gemini4 »

I think it's becoming dead all the way up the bands..from 165.000 to 170.000, you might hear the odd taxi or factory..but definitely as busy as it used to be sadly :thumbdown:
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Re: Is VHF Low Band Now Completely Dead?

Post by Transmission1 »

I think a lot of companies are now just using mobile phones as it's much cheaper than a radio system in a lot of cases. Now the cost of PoC/Network Radio is falling (and with better audio quality than DMR) the future of scanning doesn't look too exciting. We'll still have marine and air traffic to listen to for a while yet :)
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Re: Is VHF Low Band Now Completely Dead?

Post by Andy »

I was very active on the 4m amateur band for years, but recently the noise level has jumped up and it's a real pain. So I've given up on 4m and I've also stopped bothering with low band listening too. Yours, Depressed of Cheshire.
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Re: Is VHF Low Band Now Completely Dead?

Post by Goffy »

I heard something unusual down on the VHF low band today. Music on 52.730 and 52.770 sounded like the same station so I'm thinking its maybe a DX Eastern Euro or Russian TV audio? Dunno if thaose frqs correspond with a Band I tv allocation? Google on this occasion was not my friend.
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Re: Is VHF Low Band Now Completely Dead?

Post by Mitch »

Goffy wrote: 12 Dec 2019, 15:22 I heard something unusual down on the VHF low band today. Music on 52.730 and 52.770 sounded like the same station ....
This may be old info from here: http://ukspec.tripod.com/spectrum.html ... but it could be local.

52.0=.. JFMG, to 52.95= - talkback (mobile - split to 48Hz) + links
52.75 links - 200kHz stereo - TX antenna directional
52.85=.also used for low power conference/touring, to 52.95=
52.875 links - 50kHz mono + short term OB, + 52.925

52.95=... ?
The perfect face for radio.
Goffy
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Re: Is VHF Low Band Now Completely Dead?

Post by Goffy »

Mitch. I think you're probably right. It was the day of the General Election so its most likely been local OB links for tv and radio getting set up for the overnight coverage. Local BBC Radio would be my guess. I've only ever heard them on UHF before but on a busy event like an election they will need every frequency they can get their hands on.
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