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
- International contacts will be possible during times of the 11m band being flat
- Access is possible from a vehicle without the need to modify a radio
- The gateway will have a better range than the PMR446 gateway, thus access from outside of Richmond would be possible.
- 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 http://www.richmond-frn-gateways.co.uk. 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