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Tuesday 31 July 2012

CB gateway update

I placed the order for the CB gateway radio this morning, and it should be here by the end of the week at which time testing and audio calibration (into a dummy load) will begin.

The radio is the TTI TCB-550, a very basic radio with a small profile.  This will be bolted next to my current home CB radio, the autokey unit is located under the desk and already plugged into the computer.

The radio will need some form of cooling as it will spend most of it’s time in transmit when it is in service, and have decided on a fan which will be on when the gateway radio’s power supply is on (it will be connected to the same power supply), I have found a suitable fan which will be installed in place of the speaker.  The speaker, unusually is fitted to the board inside these radios with a plug/socket arrangement as opposed to the normal soldered-on connection, though if the current run of TCB-550s has had this changed I will probably desolder at the speaker and insulate the wires.

As soon as I have the radio and can test it, I will update this and the gateway website, this is at


73 de 26CT730

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Construction of the CB gateway now in progress

I am now in the process of putting together my CB gateway for the Free Radio network, I have most of the components for the autokey device and am preparing to get that ready to be built, the computer for this gateway has been repurposed for it, and the radio will be ordered in about 2 weeks time.  Once the circuit is built and plugged into the radio, testing on a dummy load with a bit of help from my trusty Intek H-520 Plus, though I will, so the batteries will last, run it on it’s lowest power setting.  This method of testing makes sense as the system needs to be adjusted for best results,  the CB autokey will be equipped with a level control to adjust the volume from the computer to the radio, meaning this needs testing on a live network to ensure all works properly and the radio is working as it should be.  I can test this also with the H-520 and the dummy load.

The CB gateway will have several advantages over the PMR446 gateway that is currently operating, these are

  1. International contacts will be possible during times of the 11m band being flat
  2. Access is possible from a vehicle without the need to modify a radio
  3. The gateway will have a better range than the PMR446 gateway, thus access from outside of Richmond would be possible.
  4. There is a possibility that this will encourage more people to use CB radio in the parts of North Yorkshire the gateway will cover.

The radio chosen, as I mentioned on the gateway’s website, is the relatively simple TTI TCB-550, this radio would have it’s speaker removed and a fan installed in it’s place like the Intek DRS-5070, the fan will be driven from the same power supply as the radio.  A fan is needed as the radio will be running 24/7 and this may cause it to get hot, so the hot air would need to be removed to prevent any component failures.

I am looking to get this gateway on air in the next few weeks, possibly with an initial alternate week arrangement as I would intend to share the antenna with my main CB radio until I could get a second antenna built, which I may tune to be resonant on the gateway’s own frequency.  The gateway will operate on UK channel 35 (27.94125 MHz), the reason a UK 27/81 channel was chosen is in part due to the fact that there are many 27/81 40 channel radios still in circulation, in particular through the popular auction site eBay.

I periodically update the page “proposed CB gateway” on the website for the gateways, which can be found at the new address of  The old address will still work for the foreseeable future.

Also, if you are in Richmond, and own a PMR446 radio, feel free to use the existing gateway on PMR446 channel 6, CTCSS 20.

Hope to hear you on the PMR446 and CB gateways sometime soon


73 de 26CT730

Monday 9 July 2012

The war against PLT–New IPTV provider YouView to supply PLT units manufactured by devolo with their equipment

My recent check of the Ban PLT website (banner at the top of the page) has revealed that a new IPTV provider, YouView, will be supplying 85Mbps devolo PLT units with their equipment.  This is pretty much identical to what BT did with their BT Vision service, they supplied a pair of Commtrend PLT devices with their equipment.  These, and the devolo units supplied with YouView’s set-top box are, just like any PLT device on the market, none-compliant.  This leaves you with two choices.  One would be to boycott YouView until the company knows that PLT is not fit for purpose, or two would be to use the YouView service with an ethernet cable instead.  I believe that to boycott YouView is the lesser of two evils, rather than fund a company that is willing to help wipe out the radio spectrum.

The major partners of YouView include BT, TalkTalk, The BBC, ITV, Channel 4 Television, Channel 5, and transmitter operator Arqiva, note in particular the latter, Arqiva maintain the transmitters that provide radio and television services in the UK yet have the double-standard of partnering with a company that is helping to promote destroying radio spectrum.  The PLT devices don’t just render longwave broadcasts, medium wave broadcasts, shortwave broadcasts, CB, and Amateur radio useless, some models have the potential to wipe out VHF broadcast band 88-108MHz, of which Arqiva maintains some transmitters for, and Band III where DAB is allocated, again some transmitters for this band are maintained by Arqiva.  The potential still exists however to wipe out the Bands IV and V, which is television and possibly 4G LTE mobile telephony (which is set to cause issues in itself).

So, if you are thinking about getting YouView, please reconsider this until they stop supplying PLT devices with their hardware.


73 de 26CT730