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.
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.
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.
I'll wait for the torrid comments regards 'Free-banding' and such......
All the very best and with much respect,