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Sunday 1 September 2019

The saga of 2-meters

in the last few months there has been a situation where a commercial entity, Thales of France, has wanted to allocate the 2-meter band (144-146 here in region one) to primary status for aeronautical mobile applications either removing the incumbent primary allocation, or reducing it to secondary status, given the application Thales wanted to use it for, the potential for interference should Amateurs have been relegated to Secondary was too great, in the last few days the proposal was rejected and Amateurs retain primary status, however this got me thinking.

At the end of August I was on the continent twice, driving to Dover and back from there I heard some stations call CQ on 145.500, however all I heard on the continent was APRS packets, and very little if anything on 2-meter simplex (I have my FTM-400XDE preset for UK repeaters and had not had any time to look up French, Belgian and German repeaters, nor would have been able to use them at the time as I only held a UK intermediate licence as my full had not come through until after the trips).

After my second trip out to France it made me realise why Thales thought they could try for the band, because it is under used in those places, but also here too, however after returning I saw a video by Mike M0XMX operating 2-meters portable from a high location not too far from his home QTH, and this showed the band as being used here in the UK, and one French station was heard, the consensus with all our bands is use it or lose it, while my wife is not in the UK, she's back in the US at the moment, our CB antenna won't be going back up and I will be building a new 2-meter groundplane antenna to similar design as that done by Lewis M3HHY before his hiatus a few months ago so I can return to 2-meters from the home QTH with the KT-8900D, though that radio does suffer a wee bit of pager noise and can put out 25 watts comfortably, it rarely gets used right now though because it's on a cheap indoor magmount antenna.

I have not been as active in radio as I'd like while the wife has been here, in particular around the time of our marriage a few weeks ago, however I'm going to find sometime to get out and play radio again, my studies are done, my exam passed, all I have to study now is Morse code which will happen a little later down the line and I will try and put some of my activities on 2-meters on to YouTube in the coming weeks, there's not much of summer left so it stands to reason I must pick up where I left off and help keep 2-meters active so we do not lose it to the commercial entities that want whatever frequencies they think they can get their hands on.

73 de M0WNU

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