Maybe worth signing if you like the band…
In reply to 2E0KPO:
There appears to be little real evidence that this band is actually under threat. Whilst I don’t have first hand information, I have received information from somebody whose views I trust and respect. 430-440 MHz is (I am told) a NATO allocation; the primary user does use it and regards amateur activity as useful camouflage. It is subject to international agreements and could not be straightforwardly “sold off”.
The actual pressure is believed to be much higher in frequency, where there are MOD and government allocations that are unused.
Unless the petitioner can provide evidence that there is a real and immediate threat, I won’t be signing. The petition is unlikely to attract many signatures in a national context, and hence it is likely to be disregarded. At worst it could give people ideas…
Just my opinion of course; everybody has to act as they see fit.
The originator of the petition has not declared any grounds for his concern. Of course, there will always be commercial demand for spectrum space, so we do need to look after - and use what we have. But that was the case anyway, and I see no new developments that should stimulate heightened suspicion.
The best thing the signatories can do is actively use the 70cm band. I wonder how many of the 800+ of them do so on a regular basis? I don’t really myself, but for the past few months (totally coincidental to this petition thing) I have been planning to use 433MHz SSB/CW/FM on SOTA activations.
And this I will do when it stops being so windy and cold. I only really like playing with aerials I know inside out when the weather is not very nice!
Nonetheless, my personal antenna engineer has made me a 70cm option to my 2m beam as requested, so summer 2008 should see my plans come to fruition. Especially considering that the little tinker has distributed the new antenna to lots of other people as well, in a series of clandestine transactions at a mystery British seaside resort.
A few SOTA pile-ups on 433MHz should keep the vultures away.
So, 70cm CW S2S anyone?
In reply to M1MAJ:
I too have seen no evidence of a threat to the 70cm band. I did hear rumours a while ago that Ofcom were considering “annexing” some of the 70cm band temporarily for communications at the 2012 London Olympics, but as far as I know they have not yet published a consultation document suggesting this.
If anyone does have any factual basis for believing the band is under threat I’d be very glad to hear about it.
73 de Paul G4MD
And as an afterthought - if there was a real threat surely the RSGB would be shouting it from the rooftops - or are they in on the “conspiracy” too?!?
In reply to M1EYP:
“So, 70cm CW S2S anyone?”
Just say the word - wouldn’t be without the band. Currently looking for a more efficient linear.
70cms has been under threat since I was first licenced in 1990. The threat stories go back further than that. The absence of any real information renders this warning just as plausible as all those “forward this email to everyone you know” virus warnings. Further more, my many years of professional dealings with official bodies and government departments has taught me that if you want to be taken seriously then you had better learn to make all presentations look professional. That means using proper grammar and spelling. I’m not normally a spelling pedant but the inability to spell your own hobby renders the petition and the petitioner open to some serious micturation extraction.
Some of you may be one, but I are not a hammer-chewer!
In reply to G4MD:
“If anyone does have any factual basis for believing the band is under threat I’d be very glad to hear about it.”
Check the Ofcom site under preparations for the Olympic Games, I have seen this myself but can’t put my hand on the exact reference for it right now, and finding anything there makes a needle in a haystack look childs play! Of course, this is supposed to be “temporary”, but the band is smaller than it was when I was licensed in 1964, and I’m told the Aussies haven’t got theirs back yet!
In reply to G8ADD:
Did check before posting just in case, but still all I can find is the general waffle about the consultation process. Lots of talk about needing large quantities of spectrum and the advisability of charging people lots of money for using it, and the availability of the powers to nick it off anyone they like, but nothing specific. “after the Beijing Olympics” is the closest I can find for a timetable for announcements.
So watch out…
73 de Paul G4MD
In reply to M1EYP:
Hi Tom, I was involved in one of those clandestine transactions at that certain seaside resort. One week later saw my first 70cms SOTA activation!
If I ever pull my finger out and send the FT817 away for repair, I would be delighted to work S2S 433MHz CW with you! (No doubt it would be hard work, not done CW for about 9 years!)
I have suddenly got the Morse bug from somewhere, and recently I have repaired an old regen rx, which I listen to most nights, trying to copy CW off 80m in my head. I am surprised that I can still remember the code after such a long time without using it. ( I guess it really is like riding a bicycle!) I think I’d manage a basic QSO at around 8wpm.
Good luck with any 70cm CW QSO.
In reply to 2E0KPO:
An e-petition to the Prime Minister’s office, originated just before the Easter break and entitled “70cmsband”, has generated what might be described as a “lemming like” response from the amateur radio community.
Unfortunately the basis for the petition has no foundation in truth. The RSGB currently enjoys a good working relationship in negotiations with both Ofcom and the Ministry of Defence, where 70cms and other shared bands are concerned. This type of disinformation could undermine the relationship.
A concern to both the amateur radio services and the MoD is the growing proliferation of Short Range Devices (SRDs) that are operating in the 70cm band and raising the noise floor. A recent trial that used 433MHz channels as inputs for D-Star equipment tests proved to be unsuccessful due to the high noise floor. According to an EU Directive the official SRD sub-band within 70cms is 433.05-434.79 MHz using a maximum of 10mW ERP. This includes handheld Low Power Devices (LPDs) permitted to use FM voice on channels that include a number of repeater inputs.
We would advise members and non-members to check the facts with the RSGB, your national society, before adding your name to such petitions. This could avoid any embarrassment.
from RSGB site…
73 Barry 2E0PXW
In reply to 2E0PXW:
A local supermarket of, shall we say continental origin, has been selling these 433 MHz 10 mW handhelds. The result has been a heavy infestation of pirates, and these 10 mW devices have proved to have a range of over 2 km from a hilltop site - Brum is pretty hilly in places.
Whilst there may be no basis in fact for the rumours about loss of part or all of 70 cm, it can do no harm for these “lemmings” to show that the band is wanted, it might even do something to get enforcement of the regs about these 433 MHz handhelds…but on the other hand a plethora of illegal devices might pursuade ofcom to not pinch 70 cm for the Olympics!
The LPD band is 69 Channels from 433.075 to 434.775MHz. Perhaps
you are referring to the ‘Telcom’ / ‘Doro’ type PMR446 sets on which
some have the LPD and KPD bands etc available. Whilst I understand
that the intended power for the LPD band is a maximum of 10mW, the
sets actually give a menu option of 500mW for the LPD band (as for
PMR446), and a range of considerably more than 2km. From indoors at
the home QTH nr. Jct 4A on the M6 I have worked amateur stations as
far as Erdington, Elmdon, and Shustoke(in N Warwicks) a range of
several miles in each direction, using the built in antenna on my
In reply to G0ELJ:
Hi, Dave, these were definately LPDs and the users were interfering with the local repeater. I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on one but they are sold out now!
The Telcom TE-150 I use is a very sensitive set, with a lot of
’bells and whistles’ - 38 CTCSS tones, auto capture of other
sets’ tones, vox, variable squelch etc, - its real let down is
the build quality. Fortunately very few repeater inputs fall
inside the LPD band, and none of the sets have any form of repeater
shift. However, there seems to be a growing number of cheap
Chinese UHF portables which have a higher output and cover
420 - 470 MHZ. I would think these would probably offer a bigger
problem with the higher output and repeater shift. The Telcom
TalkEasy models which either have key programmable LPD or in the
case of the earlier sets that you have to internally modify first
are the TE-145 and TE-157 which look similar, or the TE-150. Don’t
buy any other similar looking Telcoms as they won’t convert.
Reasonable range from hilltops with these should not be a problem,
as they have already crossed the North Sea on PMR446!!