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144-146 2m band in danger? Re-allocation request submitted by France for current CEPT meeting

A sixth the number of UK licences issued.

The number of licences issued is not the same as the number of amateurs.

Licenses issued is a relatively meaningless figure especially the UK case where many recent (last 10-15years) amateurs will hold 3 licences as a result of the current licensing scheme. So you cannot compare number of licences between the countries when the conditions for issue and holding are not the same.

+/- 50 kHz off are more than enough for this purpose. This does not protect the rest of the band!

73, Alfred, OE5AKM

Approximately means just what it says. You are very fussy this evening, Andy! I see no problem with comparing the number of licenses issued in two countries. The number of active amateurs will be less, of course, but they’re still potentially active. I’m not trying to compare to the tenth decimal place, just trying to get within the ball park. If you have a better way of doing it let me see your figures and it will be my turn to be picky!:grinning:

That statement confirms you haven’t got a clue about what you are doing. The number of licences in the UK is artificially high due to how licences are issued and if you don’t take that into account, then your figures are meaningless.

You compound the nonsensical figures by declaring the (non-comparable) licence figures differ by a factor 6 for populations the same size, then fail to scale the figures derived from the SOTA DB by this factor. If there are 6 times as many licencees issued in the UK and (your premise here, participation within an arbitary award scheme is indicative of overall activity) then as there are more licences in the UK there will be more QSOs in the DB for the UK. You need to normalise the figures by the licence scaling factor.

But don’t because your conclusion that SOTA activity is a good barometer of overall activity is just nonsense.

And your figures are?

I think some proposals for frequency allocations are transparent in their demonstration of how poorly vhf propagation is understood.

If one of the proposers of this “band sharing” was to look at a ham using an HT, he would think, no problem, in the next few km this signal will be inaudible.

Take them into a typical ham shack or mobile and demonstrate repeater usage, he still thinks ham radio is repeaters. Nothing more than CB on different frequencies.

Take him to a weak signal high power operator’s shack and he possibly starts to understand vhf ham radio is not as simple as that unfortunate phrase “line of sight”.

Take him to an EME operator and let him view contacts being made via moon reflection. On the band he thought was just used by hand held radios.

Then let him consider what the prospects are for these various operations sharing that band with their little airborne toys.

Unless education of these people is undertaken, mistakes like this could be made by many more people who again, simply do not understand what radio does, what vhf is capable of and why separation of services by frequency is so important, even for vhf and even world wide.

This education and representation is the role and purpose of the IARU and it is the national societies which support the IARU. This is why we join our national societies so if this reason has escaped anyone, let them please take action to join their national societies, Leagues or Institutes etc. and when they ask for signatures to support their actions at IARU and later ITU meetings, support them…

Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH


I believe that the lobbiists considered France in isolation. France is a country of huge area and e.g. the repeaters are quite rare. I think the 2m band is even less used there than in other countries.
I think: If you (maybe even in a French city, but certainly in the country) run a scanner at 2m, you will hardly notice activity within the 2Mhz.
However, the 2m is used less and less in comparison to the last decades anyway.

I can open 4 repeaters from home and call cq and rarely get an answer.
If you are on a summit in the Black Forest, the chance for 4 contacts in the FM is low.

And of course, the distances in amateur radio are not considered at all. Amateur radio lives for the most part on DX. Network planners also think in local clusters.

We can only save our frequencies when we use them.

73 Armin


Precisely my point some weeks back. As a user of 2m for almost 50 years, I have witnessed the slow demise of activity on the band.

Up to 20 years ago I used to holiday in France and usually took the 2m SSB rig (Trio TR-7010) with me and I never had any problem making contacts, whether I was in Pyrénées-Orientales, Charente-Maritime, the Vendee or Brittany. I doubt I would be as fortunate now. However, my view is that while we may attempt to lay the blame for the proposal at the feet of the French licensees, I am of the opinion that the situation is universal across the world. I would just love someone to show me where 2m activity is on the increase.

73, Gerald

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Yes! And make no mistake, if this proposal is defeated, then something else will not be far behind.
73 Matt

The RSGB has just announced:-

" The past week has seen CEPT meet in Turkey, where it finalised positions on a wide range of WRC-19 Agenda Items, including proposals for WRC-23.

So let’s look at the matters that interest radio amateurs.

At 144MHz, after a major effort, the 144 to 146MHz frequency range was successfully withdrawn from the French WRC-23 aeronautical proposal."

So hopefully we can all breath a big sigh of relief


Not too much relief because lots of our bands are still under threat.

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Yep! Only a respite.

Outside of contests and events (and yes, we SOTA types doing our bit) the VHF/UHF AR bands are largely “acres of silence” [I speak for the UK - maybe it’s better in other countries].

So, envious eyes will continue to look on these parts of the spectrum as ripe for redeployment for commercial use.

Under threat is true, http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2019/august/vdsl-pta-imposes-restrictions-on-radio-amateur.htm#.XWlbLlPTU0M
Icelandic authority limit an amateur because of interference to vdsl

There’s nothing sinister about this, authorities imposing limitations on hams to deal with TVI have been going on since TV was invented.

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Personally I’m am finding it easier now, to qualify a summit just using a 2m FM handheld and RD, in most parts of the country, than at any time in the 17 years I’ve been activating SOTA.

There are variations of course. Jimmy didn’t get his 4on several of the GW/MW summits last week, and I didn’t even bother trying on today’s G/SE activations. Yesterday though, getting four was easy on G/CE-001 and G/CE-003. Similarly, last week on G/WB-019 and G/SC-010 was no problem.

It’s a bit of a rollercoaster with peaks and troughs, and I can only comment on the last 17 years, but 2m activity has steadily improved over that time.

Funny, but my experience is exactly the opposite. Up to about fifteen years ago my activity was mostly on 2m, with seasonal peaks on 6m, and occasional excursions to HF, then 2m activity started to plummet, even the number of stations I could work during contests fell rapidly. The SSTV net started to disintegrate. This isn’t memory, I just got my logbooks out and checked. My activity shifted to the DC bands in response to the growing silence. My first Activation, May 2004, got fifteen contacts on 2m, last time I tried I drew a blank. Earlier this evening I tuned the FM channels, there was nothing to be heard, even the repeaters were dead. There may still be activity, but it is sporadic and local.

Just read that France has pulled the 144 - 146 portion of the spectrum out of their proposal. http://www.arrl.org/news/144-146-mhz-removed-from-french-proposal-for-additional-aeronautical-applications

Hi Tom,

You have much more experience of SOTA than me so I’m pleased to hear you’ve found it easier to qualify most of your summits just with 2m, especially as I intend to tackle more serious G/LD summits and will not want to take my HF kit in many cases.

However, I wonder how much of your success (and that of others) is due to posting alerts and spots? On those occasions I didn’t or couldn’t self-spot I struggled to get contacts. This suggests that chasers may be responding to SOTA notifications or are checking their phones/PCs rather than sitting in their shacks listening to the calling frequency.

Tuning or calling ad-hoc on the VHF/UHF bands my anecdotal experience is that the total activity is less than 20 years ago. I know “correlation isn’t causation” but I date it from the abolition of the Morse test requirement.

73 Andy

Exactly the same here, Brian. It’s hard to make 4 contacts in an afternoon on 2m FM from anywhere in IO81 or IO82. Even worse on SSB. You need to move to IO83.

Walt (G3NYY)

It is a tempting correlation, but I think that the rot had set in earlier than that. I came back to amateur radio in 2002 after taking several years off due to the pressure of a young family, a new house and a job that had got very exhausting due to staff cut-backs - funny how they expect fewer people to do more work! Anyway, I was struck on my return by the decrease in activity, with much more empty space on SSB - don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of activity all right, a good opening and it was still Babel, just less pressure on space. It was later that year, IIRC, that the morse test was abolished and the A and B licenses merged, and a year or two after that when the decline really set in. What seems to have almost vanished is simple rag-chewing. There were people that I could natter with for hours of an evening, they’ve gone and the habit has gone, and a few rag chews add up to a lot more band occupancy than DX chasing and activations. In fact I have a distinct impression that SOTA is supporting a fair slice of 2m band activity, so far this year there has been database entries on 2m from 1415 activators worldwide, with the leading activator doing over 200 summits.

Next time I go out, I think I will start on 2m before QSYing to HF!