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  PMR evolution? What do you all think?

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Wittgenstein
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PostSubject: PMR evolution? What do you all think?    PMR evolution? What do you all think? Icon_minitimeWed Sep 15, 2021 11:25 am

Hello all

Found this on Youtube.




I found it very interesting, and with talk of people putting repeaters and Interweb gateways on PMR is this the evolution of PMR into something new?

What do you think?

Please leave opinions and comments

73
Ray

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Victor
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PostSubject: Re: PMR evolution? What do you all think?    PMR evolution? What do you all think? Icon_minitimeWed Sep 15, 2021 3:57 pm

Hi Ray,

All interesting stuff I'm sure many will agree but I do also have concerns about the 'grey area' in which PMR is being utilised. (More on why coming up before anyone decides to prematurely lynch me. Wink )


There was a call for an exam free entry level Amateur Radio licence and specific part of the VHF and/or UHF bands a few years back and I thought it was a good idea. Unfortunately I can't find the specifics it being lost amongst the internet flora & fauna and especially seeing as the RSGB rejected the notion.

This would have given a part of the radio spectrum to those interested to enjoy and experiment with radio much the same way as examination licensed Amateurs do. It would have been great to see individuals and groups conduct such experiments on an allocated band. I think the RSGB missed a trick there too in that I believe most people would have moved onto Radio Amateur licensing eventually especially with the more recent obvious success of online exams.

The 'issue' I have with PMR experimentation is that the band allocation wasn't planned for such use, it is essentially licence free "Public Mobile Radio" and therefore able to be enjoyed by anyone wishing to utilise such technology. This is what the 'non-interference' condition is on the Ofcom legal documentation amongst other 'restrictions'.

So as fascinating as I find all this PMR activity and enthusiasm shown by individuals I wonder about repercussions that could occur from such use.

Businesses for example have to pay a licence fee for utilising PMR, (although I'm sure a lot don't bother), and wouldn't be too happy if they couldn't utilise their system if it was being interfered with by such experiments. They would have a case to complain with much gusto to Ofcom about it!

It wouldn't take much for another group of 'civil minded' people to start an online campaign complaining that their family entertainment activities were 'thoroughly ruined' by such interference either.

Wouldn't take much more before we have an official government group such as utilised in the past using sheer 'brute' force to confiscate, badger and prosecute individuals 'breaking the rules'. Scary stuff! (Anyone else remember the 'busts' of the old CB days?)

So yeah, great to hear about the PMR nets as well as the experiments conducted but I do worry with individuals talking about 'gateways', 'repeaters' and such. Whilst it's under the radar so to speak no one notices but if such activity becomes prevalent as well as a nuisance then some 'official bod' may well take a look up and press the case for 'something to be done' about it.


I fully understand and appreciate the excitement as only the other day I was talking to an operator in London right by the Thames with my Baofeng and homemade beam using as little as two watts! But that's why I got my licence in the first place, so that I could conduct such experiments that interest me but in a full legal manner. Even my 'basic' Foundation licence allows me to do that.  PMR evolution? What do you all think? 1f44d 

It's as I always taught my Daughters, you can do whatever you like to enjoy yourself and be happy....so long as it isn't to the detriment of anyone else.


Anyway my tuppence worth, (OK, more like a shilling and I'm waiting for the armed mob to show up), but just stating some possible issues.


Enjoyable content as always there Ray and nice to add an 'opinion and comment' even if I can already feel the noose tighten around my neck. Wink


I'll wait for the torrid comments regards 'Free-banding' and such......


All the very best and with much respect,
Victor

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PostSubject: Re: PMR evolution? What do you all think?    PMR evolution? What do you all think? Icon_minitimeWed Sep 15, 2021 6:51 pm

Is there any chance of a revival for the call for an exam free entry level licence? Seems like a great way of encouraging people into the hobby and giving them a chance to see if they like it or not. Indeed, it seems to me with the advent of such as Echolink, etc, then such a licence would have a place granted there is little chance of causing a disruption to the airwaves.

Given that I hear so many older hams complaining about the lack of new people coming into the hobby, then it might be time for a rethink.

Cheers,

Stephen

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PostSubject: Re: PMR evolution? What do you all think?    PMR evolution? What do you all think? Icon_minitimeWed Sep 15, 2021 10:52 pm

Hi Stephen,

I think it all caused a mountain out of a molehill stink back when it was suggested. I agree with you completely that it would encourage people into the hobby or at least remove a barrier to some and as you suggest maybe even a taster for such things.

I've had a dig around again as I was sure that it was the RSGB's very own VHF manager that kick started the idea and sure enough I recognised his face the moment I found him....

John Regnault G4SWX who according to the RSGB website is still the VHF Manager :-

https://rsgb.org/main/about-us/honorary-officers/vhf-manager/

The reason that I remember it so well is that I had taken an interest in radio again after being disabled for several years and had investigated obtaining my Foundation Licence. So it seems that I had actually stumbled across the material via the Essex Ham website and their video on it is available here :-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYGAmtClfzc


Who knows, maybe it will get brought up again but I think everyone will cling onto the 4,000 Foundation passes during the Covid crisis as a 'Ham' success without much thought as to exactly why.

In the mean time you really can't blame extended PMR activities or even indeed CB 'Free-banding' for those wanting to embrace radio interests without apparent barriers. Especially PMR with the likes of affordable Baofeng radios etc. Not everyone is interested in HF or expensive radios or indeed examinations....sometime it's just about having a chat or even simply experimenting.

I had suggested caution in my initial posting, but such a licence idea would have embraced all this without issue.
As I said, the RSGB really missed a trick with this.


All my best to you and indeed everyone who has an interest in radio,
Victor

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PostSubject: Re: PMR evolution? What do you all think?    PMR evolution? What do you all think? Icon_minitimeWed Sep 15, 2021 11:14 pm

Thanks for the reply and the info Victor.

Best wishes, 

Stephen

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PostSubject: Re: PMR evolution? What do you all think?    PMR evolution? What do you all think? Icon_minitimeMon Oct 04, 2021 4:03 pm

been a m6 m7 you are not allowed to modify, as been a learner personally i think its great and the contacts are great, its just another part of the radio hobby, and my self been a cb and ham getting really pissed, and i enjoy pmr alot less hassle, as not making a them and us its all radio but just heading back to cb and pmr, and yes there can be all sorts of problems, but is ofcom that bothered but lets all enjoy the radio.
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PostSubject: Re: PMR evolution? What do you all think?    PMR evolution? What do you all think? Icon_minitimeSat Nov 06, 2021 11:25 am

Hi All,
Interesting comments, up hear in the Strathallan area in Perthshire we have started to use call signs just like the Amateur bands. My pmr call sign is UK1SMP.Broken down it is UK1 S for Scotland and your initials or for example UK1EMP where the E would represent England and W Wales. If by any chance someone has the same initials just change from UK1 to UK2 etc.
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PostSubject: Re: PMR evolution? What do you all think?    PMR evolution? What do you all think? Icon_minitimeSat Nov 06, 2021 8:44 pm

Hello Ray,

Thanks for posting, it is a very interesting topic.👍 The pmr band has a lot of potential and is great for experimenting. Especially with high gain beam antennas etc.

I think of pmr as a replacement for the 934mhz cb band allocation that was taken from us in the late '90s. I often wonder what direction that band would have taken with modern tech. It would surely have meant that the equipment would have been much cheaper to manufacture and bring to market.

I think that band was taken from us, before it reached its full potential in terms of tech.

As a point of interest, has anyone experimented with ssb on the pmr band, using modified ham equipment?

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PostSubject: Re: PMR evolution? What do you all think?    PMR evolution? What do you all think? Icon_minitimeSun Nov 07, 2021 8:09 am

Was a shame with the old 934 MHz CB band John, but I never recall many using it and those that did treated it like a private phone call service. Wink

I've got to admit that I've had a lot of fun playing with 70cm on the Amateur bands reaching transmission distances that have taken me by surprise. PMR should have the same results but I must live in a devoid area never garnering much contact there with most stuff I hear being truck to truck and warehouse transmissions. (Not happy chappies if you butt into their conversations - again, 'private phone call service'. Very Happy )

SSB work should be incredible and I'd love to try 70cm SSB but it too seems devoid of much activity. Again, not due to the lack of transmission distances possible but through the lack of general use - new licence holders want to jump straight to HF. 

I'd love an old FT790 to play with but if it's anything like using my FT290 there'll only be activity on 'RSGB Competition' nights. Shame really as my measly 2.5 Watts SSB from the old 290 has bagged transmission distances of 40 miles or more with a friend running mobile.....and that was with a dipole so a beam should be much more fun!


It's all interesting stuff and great radio fun. 

I'd just be wary of someone transmitting SSB on PMR through a collinear antenna with hundreds of Watts in every direction ruining was PMR was originally intended and planned for(!)


All the best,
Victor

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PostSubject: Re: PMR evolution? What do you all think?    PMR evolution? What do you all think? Icon_minitimeSun Nov 07, 2021 11:49 am

Hello Victor,

934mhz was definitely a very under used band. I think the cost of equipment was the issue for most people. I think with modern technology the cost of equipment would have been much cheaper and the equipment much better. With the use of repeaters and the capability of ssb it could of been a band with so much potential.

I also think it could have gained popularity in this day and age, as you wouldn't have all the problems (planning permission, upsetting the neighbours etc) associated with hf antennas. I believe it also had good dx capabilities when you had favourable tropospheric conditions. It could have been an unlicensed version of 70cm

Like you I don't hear much on pmr from home. Just the usual work, green-laners and the local motorbike training school. I don't think any of them would appreciate input from me. Lol. Buxton is a real dead zone for radio, due to being surrounded by hills.

73s John.

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PostSubject: Re: PMR evolution? What do you all think?    PMR evolution? What do you all think? Icon_minitimeSun Nov 07, 2021 2:09 pm

I had the opportunity many many years ago to use 934MHz at the Biggin Hill Air show.
I think if memory serves me right, I made 1 contact into London somewhere. I also used a 27/81 CB and a BBC computer on the same day in the exhibition.

SSB on PMR!
I'm now kicking myself . I should have given it a go when I was loaned a opened up Yaesu 817.
Oh well, I'm sure someone will give it a go stick a video on YouTube

73
Ray

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PostSubject: Re: PMR evolution? What do you all think?    PMR evolution? What do you all think? Icon_minitimeSun Nov 07, 2021 4:32 pm

A friend local to me used to use 934 up until the mid 1990's. It was quiet during the day, but seemed to get busier in the evenings. Also when there was a lift on you could get some good distance quite reliably.

446 does seem to be evolving into a de-facto UHF CB band.

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