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Call Sign : 26-CT-4145 Posts : 90 Times Thanked : 1 Join date : 2021-06-03 QTH or Location : Chatham, Kent Equipment Used : Includes :- AT-878UV, FT474Gx, AT-5555N, FT-818, DNT M40 (RT Factory, Manpack config), Midland Portapack, IC-211E, TS700G, TS2400, MAXCOM 16E, unbranded 40 channel Japanese 49 & 2.4Ghz transceivers (supposedly Uniden, but unlikely) Age : 52
Subject: Insight to CB : Why it remains a TA Certified playpen re equipment Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:47 pm
Alternative, the basic logic behind legal but non-license CB stick has a TA requirement.
*points to the suicide pills, painkillers and bottles of moonshine for those who need them*
I'll try to keep and ham and CB relative references to a minimum, but there will be need to reference both for clarity.
Under UK legislative provision of radio communications usage (not broadcasting, but some broadcast backbone and link aspects are included), there are categories which effectively zone and define global use purpose.
The 'zone' in the case of CB is it falls under the remit of Land Mobile Radio, as it's specifically considered a land use system and by it's main use, mobile radio. Now every two way radio system utilising voice communications as it's primary or some operational usage method, 30 MHz upwards, falls into LMR remit for mobile voice communications. In short, it's VHF upwards where 30Mhz is the accepted lower boundary of VHF.
So licensed exempt and license free as well as formal licensed allocation, use and governing rules fall to the constraints that globally cover LMR user services.
At which point, I'm sure many will happily try to knock me senseless pointing out that CB isn't VHF. Whilst technically true, such a reaction is fuelled by ignorance, and such a reaction is purposeless in the reality of things.
Now when a CB type service was originally under focus and technical evaluation in the UK, which actually predates CB universally, this 'personal radio service' as it could be described or PRS (which differed between public and personal in definition over the period in wording a few times) was never considered to exist in the HF territory.
It was actually a UHF focused concept, as way back then, most commercial radio demand was VHF focused and UHF was still mucho dark magic technically and practically and pretty unused bar a bit of government and military traffic. Additionally, it was always intended to be more a minority interest 'pander to free speech' token gesture than a freedom to communicate radio service for public use.
Now some here will be old enough to remember the highly underutilized 934 MHz CB allocation, which notably was the equipment domain of solely British brands and manufacturers - only real player being RefTec, who unfortunately (by underhand dealings with a certain paramilitary organisation near to the mainland by one of it's owning group, supplied modules and components to said organisation that allowed very stealth remote detonation means) had a short lived and chequered not entirely successful dealings as a design, manufacturer and wholesale distributor.
Later, in 934 MHz CB as it became licensed and defined (but was very much a probationary provision allocation), Uniden produced a sole example of a rig that did go on sale and there were some prototypes that are at best obscure and virtually vaporware in their existence that had been submitted for provisional TA certs by mostly were withdrawn from the process mostly on viability grounds.
So, since CB as it became unofficially on 934 Mhz (but officially was still 'PRS') was UHF in it's allocation, it had to fall inside the global UK LMR framework where it was ratified on a probationary Secondary User basis. Since all LMR equipment, as were technically all monoband equipment, had to be Type Approved, it both restricted interest by foreign manufacturers both on viability and practical logistics grounds at the very least.
Now I'm sure most realise the 11m CB provision wasn't an intended allocation, but a reaction to the influx of unlicenseable and illegal import of non-TA certified equipment. The AM gear was illegal to import on monoband TA grounds, dual/multi band stuff (AM/FM and tri-mode) was exempt from the TA rule being non monoband, but anything you couldn't get a license for was unconsidered unlicensable and subsequently import, supply and involvement in the act of doing so was open to unquestionably criminal charges and cases brought against you. However, despite all this, there was a loophole where nonfunctional radio gear could be imported for non-sale. So removed c/o's became the way to render them unserviceable and nonfunctional and within the scope of spares and surplus electronics scope. All told, where criminal cases were pursued, it was a lot of 'shoot self in thy foot' outcomes and a few 'crucifixion' style examples to scare people.
You have to consider that technically, at the time, listening to broadcasts targetted at the UK from outside UK territorial waters was also a criminal act, so actually listening to Radio Luxembourg was as 'criminal' as listening to a coastal offshore station. So it was a messed up time of hypocrisy and mixed messages that prevailed.
So when the official UK 27/81 ratified standard was created, based on a nonstandard 11m allocation, it was a stem the flow with a legit alternative that was the order of the day and reason the TA for it existed. Later, clearly, we got use of the main CEPT allocation too, but under further restrictions in actual UK use that essentially made it under the same technical use restrictions as the UK standard mode and limitations just a different frequency block.
But it's the fact that 27/81 was an extension intertwined with the 934 allocation which actually led to the TA requirements under LMR framework rules despite being actually an HF allocation 'borrowed' out of some military/MOD virtually unutilized legacy allocation that predated WW2.
Add that bit of historical significance and the fact that all legal 27Mhz gear was monoband and it was TA controlled by default and whilst the provisions remain under the same framework the certification requirements exist and TA requirements means you cannot legally service the internals or modify without restoring it's TA cert which will require you get it recertified to retain it's TA cert status. If you had a suitable commercial radio workshop, such as used by radio retailers who dealt with and setup/serviced PMR gear, you were already recognised as able to service/test/repair to the required standard, of which CB users didn't qualify as at home.
There is a valid argument for since there's no license there shouldn't need to be a TA. However, licensed status of a User Service in LMR frameworks isn't the deciding factor to whether TA certification is required or not.
Now, since I've avoided the aspect, there's bound to be a question of why ham radio users aren't so constrained despite using VHF/UHF and 10m I guess.
That's actually quite simple to explain :-
A) There's no aspect where, as an educational and technical evaluation based licensed use, where anything used in ham radio falls under the LMR framework as the LMR framework doesn't cover such application and use of radio equipment and allocated frequencies. That effectively exempts the need for LMR framework TA on VHF/UHF/SHF gear we use, can import etc because we are using it for educational and technical evaluation purposes under a specific prevision that's partly concurrent as a non-NOV research and self-training usage basis. Outside of ham radio, you would be needing a case by case per instance NOV issue on any other User Service to legally experiment beyond the predefined tech limits of a license.
As for the HF side, same reasoning but the LMR aspect is replaced by an international convention under ITU governed provisions that countries signatory to the 'union' allow and what's not strictly ITU framework based are regional/national extensions - which is why the licenses, extended and provision scope varies a bit internationally of where hams of national license can operate even abroad frequency wise.
So hopefully that's answered some of the seemingly (and in many cases virtually pointless) irrelevant nature of why CB gear is still subject to TA.
As a closing note, it's also why 446 gear of all tiers is commercially and outside of ham radio use, TA controlled as are low power devices technically above 30 MHz with the sole exception of dev module RF gear which is TA exempt under the use of ISM allocation frequencies and linits whilst used for eval/dev use but not for actual active purposed use as service ready equipment. 446, VHF/UHF/SHF LPD handheld and mobile radio and 49Mhz radio transceivers fall under LMR rules, with respectively applicable license requirements and schedules of limitations of use being the final service provision ratified usage limits.
And that closes the post - where clarifications, questions and further detail is desired or wanted - I'll suggest you obtain the appropriate white papers via HMSO (and there are a lot dealing with LMR and radio communications) and get clarifications from OFCOM as it's their responsibility to legally advise/clarify and resolve any aspects governing this stuff formally.