Click here for the Ban PLT website.

Friday 25 March 2011

All set for the DX day… other than needing to choose a day

Now, I made mention in my PMR446 post and the starting post about my DX day later in the year, in the last 48 hours I ordered a replacement handheld CB radio, none other than the Intek H-520 Plus due to it being one of the better handhelds on the market and the fact that I had one previously and it was a good rig (until it landed end on, rendering it transmit only), now I have the replacement handheld I can now proceed to the DX day, I should with no modifications and favourable conditions make some good contacts, the indication of how favourable the conditions are going to be are displayed on the right of this page, though for CB the section 12m-10m is relavent, as CB falls into the 11 metre band

I just now need to find an available day to go out and transmit and see what range I can get from the position I will be at, I don’t expect much further than into the Vale of Mowbray at this time, but even that may be a push if height and conditions aren’t perfect but all shall be revealed on the day when it comes round

That is all for now I shall return soon Smile

Tuesday 15 March 2011

Networking over the mains (PLT), a menace to radio

Now, you may have noticed a banner pop up at the top of the page, what this is about may not be clear to those not familiar with it

This is a link to the website, a site that explains very clearly that PLT devices (made by the likes of Belkin, D-Link, Devolo, and others) cause interference to many radio services, such as broadcast, amateur, marine, aviation, quite possibly emergency services, CB radio, and others.

An example of such a device

These devices have been proven by many radio enthusiasts to wipe out a lot of radio spectrum, in the UK, the regulator, Ofcom, has had many complaints, many remain unresolved, but none of them are gonna sit back and watch Ofcom do nothing and allow these devices to continue to be sold and used, and as such the RSGB (Radio Society of Great Britain) plan to take action

If you are planning on buying a pair of these, then don’t, a WiFi router or proper network cabling can do the same job, if you have a pair of these then the advice is to disconnect them and use the more common WiFi or network cables instead as these will not generate interference.  If you want to find out more about these menacing devices, please click the banner at the top of the page

Thank you for reading

Saturday 5 March 2011

Beginner’s guide to PMR446

I thought I’d begin with this, a beginner’s guide to PMR446
PMR446 is a (normally) short range two-way radio service that is license exempt and used throughout Europe, it is divided up into 8 simplex channels (one channel for communications both ways), and with an option for 38 CTCSS tones and DCS on some radios, though be aware that it may say in the instructions that CTCSS increases privacy, it, in actual fact, keeps out transmissions not sending the same CTCSS tone, the receiver will still receive the signal, you just won’t hear it
The range of PMR446 can be anything up to 6 miles in open areas, more if the conditions are right to a few meters in built up areas, however last weekend I managed 0.31 miles (about 1/2 a kilometer) on a pair of old and cheap PMR446 units in a built up area, I wasn’t expecting even that because these units (Binatone EK1000) are very compact, and have a shorter antenna compared to most PMR446 units on the market, my DX day later in the year will involve the use of a Binatone Action 950 as opposed to the EK1000
PMR446 radios are made to meet the following specifications
Transmit power: 500mW EIRP (Effective Isotropically Radiated Power)*
Antenna: Integral*
Channels: 8*
Form Factor: Hand portable
*= on some units these values can be changed outside of PMR446 parameters, you do so at your own risk, I don’t encourage the modification of radio equipment outside of it’s type approval
PMR446 channel arrangement
Channel Number Frequency
1 446.00625 MHz
2 446.01875 MHz
3 446.03125 MHz
4 446.04375 MHz
5 446.05625 MHz
6 446.06875 MHz
7 446.08125 MHz
8 446.09375 MHz
It should be noted that it is not permitted to use PMR446 equipment in the US as the frequency allocations are used for amateur radio, it should be possible however to use this equipment in the US if you are a licensed amateur
There are gateways on both this band and the 27MHz CB band in operation, these use the Free Radio Network client available from, these are located all across Europe, are not repeaters so therefore are perfectly acceptable to set up, unlike repeaters which are prohibited
I can be found on channel 5 with CTCSS tone 5, though I do scan the band frequently, if you send a call I will reply if I hear you
but for now I’ll be back soon

Friday 4 March 2011

Welcome to my radio blog

Here I will share most, if not all, of my activities on the air on various bands (although at time of writing this is currently limited to CB radio and PMR446) and anything else that may be related to radio communications

Regulars to my personal blog will know that I plan to return to the CB airwaves with a new handle, Red Squirrel, replacing the handle I previously used

I have some plans over the coming months, one of which is very ambitious, I plan to take a PMR446 radio, and a handheld CB radio (with a good few batteries) to do some DX work from a tall building near where I live, I’ll post more on that nearer to the time

Whenever I carry a PMR446 with me it is generally tuned to 5 (446.05625 MHz) with CTCSS 5, though I will scan the whole band from time to time, on CB I generally listen to UK 19 (27.78125 MHz FM), though will, again periodically scan all 80 available channels.

I plan to, sometime later in the year all being well, take the Amateur foundation course which will open up more possibilities in the field of radio communications

More to come