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Old 19th Sep 2018, 11:09 pm   #181
crestavega
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Default Re: Users of 2 metre Amateur Band?

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Originally Posted by SiriusHardware View Post
operation of a transmitter without a valid license is a serious offence
yes, I know this.
I am licensed. It is therefore legal for my unlicensed XYL/apprentice/daughter etc to operate my 2m station under my supervision.

does supervision mean in the literal sense for the purposes of legality? what if I am in the next room with no clear line of sight? across the yard? down the road? on the other side of the county?

My apprentice is legally working under my supervision, but I judge him to sufficiently competent at many potentially dangerous tasks to undertake them under his own steam, well out of sight of me.

I am advocating on behalf of the devil to an extent here, and as SiriusHW suggests, the right thing to do, in the spirit of the license, is of course to make the Foundation exam part of the training.

I shamefacedly admit that I had not considered the role of the repeater keeper, and I would not wish to put this person in the difficult position of having to shut it down in the face of such anarchy.

The license fee is (or was) essentially a just tax to pay for the policing of RF spectrum. The tacit message when the license fee was dropped was really "you are on your own now"; there is no effective recourse in the case of RF interference on or abuse of the amateur bands. I suspect this was as a direct result of OFCOM realising that ADSL broadband was just going to be overwhelmingly more popular than HF radio ever has been or will be.

Indeed, ofcom cannot be bothered (more like they simply no longer have any resources) with jerrybuilt QRO amplifiers on 6MHz and 27MHz. Why should they, when nobody is paying for the privilege of these bands. However, if such an amplifier splatters into a lucrative GSM band, they will still turn out oldskool, in a landrover with loads of aerials, DF'ing away, staking out etc etc. impressive, I have seen it.

Last edited by crestavega; 19th Sep 2018 at 11:27 pm.
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Old 19th Sep 2018, 11:36 pm   #182
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Default Re: Users of 2 metre Amateur Band?

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Does supervision mean in the literal sense for the purposes of legality? what if I am in the next room with no clear line of sight?
My interpretation as a fellow amateur would be 'In a position to monitor, and to intervene directly if necessary'. So basically, either in the same room or at least within physical earshot and able to reach the operator and station in very short order. It would be interesting to know what the official definition of 'supervision' is.

Interestingly, if you can remember back to the original time of legal CB radio in the UK when a licence was required, the licence covered up to five sets and whoever was using them, with the licence holder nominally responsible for their conduct. That is more or less the system you would like to see working on amateur radio.

I know Orkney quite well, having visited a number of times over the years. The mainland isn't very big and I would have thought you could easily cover it with CB, which is licence-free and very quiet these days especially up there - at least until you get everyone organised for amateur radio?

It actually wasn't so long ago that the facility for unlicenced operators to operate an amateur station in a more relaxed / spontaneous way under supervision was introduced. Before that, unlicenced operators were limited to sending pre-prepared messages under the direct supervision of an operator. As limited as the current situation seems, it was much more limited before.

Last edited by SiriusHardware; 19th Sep 2018 at 11:45 pm.
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 6:53 am   #183
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Default Re: Users of 2 metre Amateur Band?

I wonder if the second part of the word supervision gives a clue as to its meaning?
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 7:14 am   #184
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Default Re: Users of 2 metre Amateur Band?

supervise
ˈsuːpəvʌɪz/Submit
verb
observe and direct the execution of (a task or activity).
"the sergeant left to supervise the loading of the lorries"

Super...over or above

Visio...to see or observe.
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 8:34 am   #185
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Default Re: Users of 2 metre Amateur Band?

Yes, I think that's what I was driving at with "in the literal sense": to see from above.
However, my apprentice is legally considered to be working under my supervision even when I cannot see him.
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 8:43 am   #186
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Default Re: Users of 2 metre Amateur Band?

27MHz CB is indeed an alternative, and the kids are all encouraged to - and do - use it. This summer, they were working into America and SW UK on <4W. Unsupervised.

2m FM is a different animal technically, and it was for this reason that the thought entered my noggin to get them onto it. duplex working, in-band signalling, different propagation etc.
An (unmodified) CB set is inconvenient to have in a domestic setting. the simple squelch cannot effectively cut out the inevitable short term QRN & QRM from toys, pumps, lights, skip, etc
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 8:48 am   #187
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Default Re: Users of 2 metre Amateur Band?

Surely that is what PMR446 was designed for?
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 9:00 am   #188
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Default Re: Users of 2 metre Amateur Band?

It really wouldnt take much effort to get the kids through their Foundation Licence courses. A weekend gets adults through...
In Andover club we used to train Wessex 4x4 members to FL level so they can use 2m between vehicles. We stopped because it was a one way street...we were being used, basically.

BUT, we got them through in little time and I think, to be safe and legal, you could too. If you get caught wilfully breaking the law (and this discussion proves it) you will be rightly nabbed and lose your radios.

Why risk it

D

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Old 20th Sep 2018, 10:00 am   #189
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Default Re: Users of 2 metre Amateur Band?

Yes, foundation is the way to go for sure. I was highlighting the somewhat more relaxed approach that S. America seemed to take to 2m - but for all I know, all the users had a license of some sort: it just didn't *seem* like it.

Falklands Islanders continue to use ham 2m, with repeaters as an effective family/community service. if I recall rightly, when you rent a landrover in Stanley it comes with a radio which you are shown how to use should you get into trouble.

PMR446 is great as far as it goes, which in the case of country dwellers is not much past the end of the garden.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SiriusHardware View Post
My interpretation as a fellow amateur would be 'In a position to monitor, and to intervene directly if necessary'. So basically, either in the same room or at least within physical earshot and able to reach the operator and station in very short order. It would be interesting to know what the official definition of 'supervision' is.

This is my primary interpretation too, but I was interested to note that supervision (of an apprentice) may also legally mean working literally unsupervised.

Quote:
Interestingly, if you can remember back to the original time of legal CB radio in the UK when a licence was required, the licence covered up to five sets and whoever was using them, with the licence holder nominally responsible for their conduct. That is more or less the system you would like to see working on amateur radio.

I did not know that about the CB licence. That is indeed the concept that I am suggesting. seems like a sensible enough idea for breathing life into sadly under-used 2m repeaters. seems like an interesting point for debate.
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 11:57 am   #190
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Default Re: Users of 2 metre Amateur Band?

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Surely that is what PMR446 was designed for?
Although 0.5W on UHF might just about cover the width and breadth of the Orkney mainland given optimal and ideally mounted aerials, PMR446 is strictly limited to integral, non-removable aerials which in most cases means the little nubbin on the top of the set. Base / Mobile stations with remote, ideally mounted aerials are not allowed on PMR446, although there have been rare models which attempted to circumvent this by having a hard wired (therefore 'integral') cable connected remote mountable aerial.

A more ideal crossover between PMR446 and amateur radio would be something along the lines of the Australian UHF CB system, for which there is no exact equivalent in the UK. The closest we had was 934MHz CB, which, if still in existence, might have been ideal for CrestaVega's purpose. Unfortunately equipment was very costly at the time, and the take-up was very poor and the system was eventually discontinued.

27MHz, 4W CB has better range over an obstructed path than PMR446 but decent aerials for the band are impractically long and unwieldy, and as an HF band (albeit at the high end) it is prone to interference from man-made sources such as SMPSUs and all manner of digital devices, and these tend to burst the squelch at random intervals, creating an annoying racket from time to time. Some of the most modern CB sets may offer CTCSS as a feature or option, that would go some way to keeping the sets a little quieter while in receive standby. Certain historic CB brands, notably Ham International, offered selcall as an optional extra but I don't know if any such option exists on any CB radio produced today.

Really, the simplest option is just to go down the foundation licence route for legitimate access to 2 metres, and the Orkney 2m repeater.
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 1:40 pm   #191
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Default Re: Users of 2 metre Amateur Band?

Or maybe a real business PMR licence, used to be I think 75 for five years but I don't know how many users you can have or if repeaters are allowed.
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 1:56 pm   #192
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Default Re: Users of 2 metre Amateur Band?

Added bonus of a FL route and you just might spark a lifelong interest in some one

D
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 2:37 pm   #193
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Default Re: Users of 2 metre Amateur Band?

Similar to PMR446 is LPD, exempt as a short range device. This range of channels from
433.05 to 434.79 is, like 70cm amateur band, a secondary allocation, brought in
to relieve the pressure on PMR446. Again power is low and antennas are set contained.

27 MHz CB is in the ISM bands, and therefore could never claim any protection.
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 3:48 pm   #194
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Default Re: Users of 2 metre Amateur Band?

The last time I used 2M would have been mobile, going to the either Newbury or Reading rally in 2013, talk in was almost dead, seems everyone sat navd it in. Radios been getting dusty since then, being stuck in a welsh cwm makes VHF a non starter, doesn't make it to the next village, HF is so badly polluted that even though I can radiate a decent enough signal there is little chance of anything making it back through the local RF fog.

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Old 20th Sep 2018, 4:07 pm   #195
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Default Re: Users of 2 metre Amateur Band?

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Originally Posted by Restoration73 View Post
Similar to PMR446 is LPD, exempt as a short range device. This range of channels from
433.05 to 434.79 is, like 70cm amateur band, a secondary allocation, brought in
to relieve the pressure on PMR446. Again power is low and antennas are set contained.

27 MHz CB is in the ISM bands, and therefore could never claim any protection.
Is this why I keep hearing CB type chatter on the output of GB3GH on 433.125 ?
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 4:50 pm   #196
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Default Re: Users of 2 metre Amateur Band?

It might be, although legitimate LPD devices are only in the milliwatts output range as far as I know.

The unrestricted availability of cheap, high-power Chinese Boafeng / Wouxun / etc transceivers generally everywhere means that anyone with a minimum of knowledge can just pick a VHF or UHF frequency and start operating on it.
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 6:12 pm   #197
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Default Re: Users of 2 metre Amateur Band?

Anyone giving a thought to those who maintain repeaters (2m or otherwise) paying out of their own pockets for almost everything? There are many...
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 10:52 pm   #198
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Default Re: Users of 2 metre Amateur Band?

Hi,

LPD devices have a maximum output of 10mW, but some PMR446 handhelds are able to be switched to LPD and KDR bands, The one that I have can be switched to either low or high power (presumably 10mW and 500mW), so half a watt on 70cm appears to be achievable. I have worked a mobile station from upstairs where I used to live at a distance of about 5 miles on 70cm with this set.

Kind regards
Dave.
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 11:26 pm   #199
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Default Re: Users of 2 metre Amateur Band?

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Anyone giving a thought to those who maintain repeaters (2m or otherwise) paying out of their own pockets for almost everything? There are many...
Possibly so, in my experience there is usually an amateur club or repeater group who actively fundraise for the repeater(s) at rallies and have a yearly jumble sale of donated radio related items, etc. When I was really active and used to go to every local rally without fail, I used to hand over a tenner to the folks who kept the two most local ones running every year even though I didn't use the repeaters much myself.

I can imagine that in areas with very sparse amateur populations - ironically exactly the sort of area where repeater coverage can be most valuable, the power / site insurance and so on are quietly paid for by one, two, or three individuals. The least we can do is to use them a bit more.

I spent a week up in the eastern Scottish borders area recently - I had a lot to occupy me but I had a radio on scanning from time to time and that region is remarkably well served by 2m repeaters based in (approximately) Selkirk, Berwick, Duns and Lauder, plus 70cms repeaters in Hawick and Duns again. There may even be one or two more. But as you might guess, very little traffic on them.
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 6:41 am   #200
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Default Re: Users of 2 metre Amateur Band?

My experience is that repeaters are rarely, if ever, done for the greater good but rather as part of someone's hobby. GB3JB for example, alongwith its digital and UHF bretheren, is really one man's attempt at eco friendly radio. It has resulted in a repeater of such poor reliability that few even bother trying with it now. Nevertheless, Andover club has for many years contributed to this project although we are growing weary now. We all like to see effort in amateur radio, but there comes a point...

There's a new DMR repeater being added in Salisbury, again not really for the greater good since the greater number do not have DMR and as it stands, I am told, there are so few amateurs using the south west cluster repeaters that usually they have one each!

Repeaters were very good once but in these days where so many people are averse to using a mic in the car, surely the saviour of VHF will be fixed stations...beams at home.

David
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