The FCC in the US has announced rule changes affecting the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), the Family Radio Service (FRS), Citizens Band Radio, as well as other applications under the FCC’s Part 95 Personal Radio Services (PRS) rules and regulations. Part 95 devices typically are low-power units that do not require an individual user license from the FCC.
27 April 2017
Nevada have slashed the price of the now discontinued President Jackson 2 Classic along with money off several President antennas.
The Jackson 2 Classic had been selling for £269.99 but now is available for only £199.95
"A direct contact via F8KGY with students from Lycée Hélène Boucher, Thionville, France, Thu 2017-04-27 08:52:17 UTC 83 deg. with astronaut Thomas Pesquet, KG5FYG"
Not the best audio due to a very low elevation of the space station at my location and also some local electrical interference but still good to hear the ISS once again.
24 April 2017
It's great to hear some DX action at long last. The bands have been totally dead here for months!
Let's hope that this years Sporadic E season is a good one!
21 April 2017
19 April 2017
15 April 2017
14 April 2017
"A direct contact via F6KCO with students from College Roger Martin Du Gard, Bellême, France Fri 2017-04-14 15:20:44 UTC 48 deg. The astronaut is Thomas Pesquet, KG5FYG"
Just a quick reminder that an International Space Station contact with a FRENCH school is scheduled for 16:20 hours BST / 15:20 hours GMT today on 145.800Mhz.
The stations transmissions should be audible across western Europe.
The stations transmissions should be audible across western Europe.
13 April 2017
9 April 2017
A couple of videos from Waters and Stanton looking at the Diamond BB7V Vertical Antenna for 2-30Mhz. Ideal for those of us with smaller gardens or for use when out away from home.
HF Vertical Antenna Type: Broadband - low SWR
Power Rating: 250 Watts.
Mount Type: Non-tilt bracket
Connection Type: UHF female - SO-239
Price is £289.95
Link: CLICK HERE
You could of course get similar results with a fishing pole, balun, and a length of wire so I guess you are paying for the convenience and ease of use that this antenna provides and although the specs say you don't need any radials I would suggest using some if possible to get the best out of the antenna.
7 April 2017
3 April 2017
Listeners in western Europe should hear the Space Station transmissions on 145.800Mhz.
31 March 2017
30 March 2017
Yet another UK weekly net to add to your diary. The new Tango Delta DX Group net will take place on Monday nights 19:30 - 21:00 hours (BST) on 27.395 USB starting on Monday 3rd April 2017. The net controller will be located at Greenhow Hill in North Yorkshire.
More information from the Tango Delta Facebook page: CLICK HERE
23 March 2017
21 March 2017
20 March 2017
So Martin Lynch kick off with a price of £2999.99 for the new Icom IC-7610.
Lots of interest in this radio but will people be willing to shell out the cash????
UPDATE: Icom made a mistake with the pricing and forgot about the VAT!!!! New price is £3599.99 - OUCH!
Read more here: CLICK
19 March 2017
So if you take a look at this video you will see that the problem is suspected to be from the new SKY Q set top box which apparently uses PLT even if it is connected via Wi-Fi.
Interference is the biggest threat to Ham Radio and CB Radio these days and it is shocking that so many electrical devices can cause horrendous and potentially dangerous interference to the radio spectrum.
I'd be interested to hear from anyone else who has had a similar problem which they can attribute to SKY television equipment.
18 March 2017
17 March 2017
Video:YouTube/ TX Factor
"Bob gives a relaxed overview of the RS-BA1 remote control software for the Icom IC-7300. We meet two youngsters with a passion for amateur radio. And Mike and Bob head off to Bristol to spend a day with some very enthusiastic members of the British Amateur Television Club to learn all about digital amateur television"
Video:YouTube/Under The Big Oak
So the Baofeng UV-5R is cheap and cheerful YES?
After all you get what you pay for don't you YES?
So just how much punishment can this little radio take.......?
You might be surprised, but please don't try this at home!!!!
16 March 2017
14 March 2017
13 March 2017
Interesting little radios these, sold as 'legal' PMR446 radios but only a little grub screw holds the 'fixed' antenna in place.... They are also able to do 2 watts and 400-470Mhz if required!!!!
- 16 channel
- 40CTCSS 168DCS
- Scan function
- Battery Save
- 12.5KHz Bandwidth
- VOX function
- Busy channel lock
- English/Chinese Voice
- Low battery alarm
- Squelch adjustment function
- PC program protection
- 2 x RT24 two way radio
- 2 x Battery
- 2 x USB charger or 2 x EU charger
- 2 x Belt Clip
- 2 x Earpiece(gift)
Price around $36 per pair.
10 March 2017
Nevada Radio have posted an update on their Facebook page which indicates that they will have some "Bargains" on offer soon in order to clear old stock for extra space in their warehouse.
"A direct contact via SV7APQ with students at the 3rd Junior High School, Komotini, Greece on Fri 2017-03-10 08:20:46 UTC 28 deg. with Astronaut Shane Kimbrough, KE5HOD"
7 March 2017
Another tiny little CB radio has popped up on the CRT France website. The CRT Millenium, which is sure to be a big hit with portable operators...
4 Watts AM/FM
EU Multi Norms
Blue backlit LCD screen
Price: 69 Euros
Website: CLICK HERE
President Electronics USA have continued to reduce prices with a $100 reduction on their flagship radio the Lincoln 2+
The Lincoln 2+ now retails at just $249 (£204 - Same radio in the UK costs £269.95)
So only one of two things can be happening here, either the radios are selling like hot cakes and President are able to reduce prices due to reduced production costs.... OR sales are extremely poor and President are desperate to sell their radios which are just lying in boxes in warehouses around the world.... YOU DECIDE!
3 March 2017
Knights Electrocom in the UK now have the Sirio Performer 2000 Trucker in stock with a price of £49.95
The antenna, which is over 2m long, performs well but will be rather obvious on your mobile station!
Knights Website: LINK
President have announced price reductions on CB radios for sale in the US:
The Johnson II is now $149 (£121 - Equivalent UK Radio is £279!!!!!)
The Johnny III is now $119 (£97 - Equivalent UK Radio is £139!!!!!)
And there are rumours of further reductions planned on other radios....
Why is this happening? Well it's not very often that a company reduces the prices of radios that are selling well.....!
1 March 2017
International Space Station School Contact 01/03/2017
A direct contact with students at the Ecole Albert Camus, Rueil-Malmaison, France, College Marcel Pagnol, Rueil-Malmaison, France, and Ecole “Robespierre B.”, Rueil-Malmaison Wed 2017-03-01 08:04:44 UTC 77 deg. with Astronaut Thomas Pesquet, KG5FYG.
27 February 2017
As most of you will know I have spent a lot of time mucking about with PMR446 radios over the years, indeed I remember buying my first pair of Goodman's Trackers back in 1999!!!!
PMR446 can be fun, trying to get the most out of the small amount of power and tiny antennas, and as my world record contact in 2003 into Holland from the North East of England shows (LINK) you really can get some amazing distances on standard equipment. However some people do like to mod their radios and one of the simplest mods is to attach an external dipole antenna. This is what you will see in this interesting video.
One thing that puzzles me about this video... take a note of the frequency on the guys receiver when he is testing his PMR446 radio on CHANNEL 4.......?????????
If you would like more information on PMR446 see my archived website HERE which has lots of information about long distance contacts and mods to PMR446 radios.
24 February 2017
20 February 2017
17 February 2017
Since the introduction of legal AM/SSB CB Radio in the UK in 2014 a lot of people appear to be unsure of what is and what isn't a 'legal' radio. Radios no longer have a special mark on them to show that they are legal (Remember the old CB27/81 logo?). So, I've been taking a look at the relevant documentation to see if we can make things a little easier!
First of all we need to take a look at the new Interface Requirement (2027.2) which allows CB radio to operate without a licence in the UK. IR2027.2 lists the minimum requirements needed for legal AM/SSB CB radio operation in the UK:
(Click to enlarge)
As you can see the document lists the frequencies, transmission modes, power output and technical reference numbers for legal AM/SSB CB radio. There are many radios which will conform to the frequency and power output specifications but these radios will not automatically be legal as they MUST be able to conform to the technical specifications referred to in IR2027.2.
The technical specifications are ETSI EN 200 433-1, ETSI EN 300 433-2, ETSI TR 102 626 and ECC Decision (11)03 (Click on the relevant one for full documentation)
So how do I know if my radio conforms to these technical specifications?
Radio manufacturers must provide a certificate of conformity to be able to sell legal CB radios within the EU. Radio's come with the certificate, either a separate leaflet or as part of the instruction manual.
The certificate will look something like this one as provided with the President Grant 2:
(Click to enlarge)
Only radios which comply with the required technical specifications (European Standards) can be classed as legal for use. Any other radio will not be legal and you may be prosecuted for using such a radio.
List of known fully legal AM/SSB radios:
Albrecht AE5890EU - LINK
Albrecht AE7500 - LINK
Albrecht AE2990 (Handset) - LINK
Midland 8001XT - LINK (Discontinued - Mid Band ONLY in Legal Mode)
President Grant 2 - LINK
President Grant 2 PREMIUM - Same as Grant 2 with updated filtering/firmware.
President Jackson 2 (Black/Chrome) - LINK
SuperStar 3900EU - LINK (Mid Band ONLY in Legal Mode)
15 February 2017
Certainly an interesting radio to look forward to and the latest information is that the TYT MD-2017 could be available from May 2017....
Price is still not known but if they can keep it below £150 there's a good chance that this radio will sell really well.
13 February 2017
I remember posting about the Baofeng DM-5R when it was first rumored to be coming out and being very sceptical that the radio would deliver all that was promised. As it turned out the radio is not a proper DMR radio and this video will explain why...!
12 February 2017
If the internet rumours are to be believed this radio is expected to be on sale soon, the new TYT MD-2017 dual band DMR handheld:
Complies with ETSI TS 102 360-1, -2, -3
Uses Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA)
Compatible with MotoTRBO Tier 1 and II
Lone worker function
Analog and Digital Modes
Single Call, Group Call and All Call
This could be the DMR handheld that people have been waiting for....!
Price - TBA
10 February 2017
Following on from a previous post on the Blog about Baofeng chargers which were prone to overheating (LINK) I noticed this warning from Phillip Clark on Facebook:
"Safety warning!! BAOFENG
OK so I know some of you probably have some of these radios and some of you won't but I'll just warn you of my experience and you make up your own mind as to what you do with them lol.
I will start by saying that over the last 7-8 years I've used many of their radios and never had a problem. Value for money and performance is just great for what they are! So I bought two of the newer versions of the Baofeng UV-5R PLUS.
Initially no issues when I bought them a few months ago, worked well and again awesome value for money.....
So late Wednesday evening I placed my radio as usual into its charging pod and nothing out of the ordinary happened. It indicated a red LED stating it was charging and when it turns green its charged and the charging process is cut off. I was then horrified when a massive explosion was heard and a literal 7 to 8 foot flame like a firework was shooting out from the radio!! I then smothered the lot instantly and threw the burning battery out of the window!
( Injuries were sustained from removing the battery from the floor and throwing it out the window)
This was the last concern on my mind because I know I needed to get it outside before it blows again. Sure enough about 5 mins of it sitting outside it blew up again only this time much more violently.
It's made a hell of a mess of my carpet, the radio and everything around it. From looking at it closer it appears that it was charging fine then the battery failed and literally blew off the back of the radio across the room where it landed on my carpet. You often hear about stuff like this on Facebook or TV etc. You never think it'll happen to you. Anyways I'm just giving you all the heads up and have messaged Baofeng directly to. JUST BE CAREFUL. This could of easily of been worse if I hadn't of reacted the way I did. Here are some pics of the type of radio it was and what's left!" - Phillip Clark on Facebook.
Photos of the radio:
(Click To Enlarge)
Of course this is not a problem that is just associated with Baofeng, many other manufacturers have had problems with Lithium batteries even the giant tech company Samsung had well publicised problems with their smartphone batteries. The main thing is that you should not charge radios, phones and other items when you are not in sight of the charging process. You certainly should not charge anything while you are sleeping or out of the house.
4 February 2017
1 February 2017
Martin Lynch & Sons suffered a 'Denial of Service' attack over the weekend and many potential customers found it impossible to reach their website.
By way of an apology they are offering a £20 voucher to anyone who spends more than £250 until 28th February 2017.
All you have to do is make a purchase of over £250 (Before shipping costs are added) and enter code "MLS20" when asked.
Considering that it wasn't really their fault I think this is a good gesture.
ML&S Website: CLICK HERE
Nevada now have the new Uniden Bearcat UBC-D3600XLT Analogue/Digital scanner in stock. Priced at £425 it boasts a whole heap of features:
Features, Functions & Specifications :-
Allows you to organize your Systems into Favorites Lists. The scanner will scan multiple Favorites Lists and Full Database at the same time.
4 GB microSD card (provided - 1 GB up to 32 GB supported)
For storing Favorites Lists, Profiles, all settings, Discovery sessions, recording sessions.
Location Based Scanning
Connect to a GPS receiver (not included) for precise system selection and continuing reselection when you travel. The scanner can automatically Avoid and Unavoid Systems and Departments based on your current location as provided by an external GPS unit.
Lets you set how far out from your current location the scanner will search for channels in Favorites Lists. Location precision for departments and sites that allows you to define a location and range using rectangles instead just of a single circle.
Trunk Tracker V Operation
Scans APCO 25 Phase 1 and Phase 2, DMR, Motorola, EDACS, EDACS ProVoice, and LTR trunked systems, as well as conventional analog and P25 digital channels.
Lets you program the scanner to share trunked system IDs across multiple sites without duplicating IDs.
Control Channel Only Scanning
With Motorola trunking frequencies, you do not have to program voice channel frequencies.
Plays back up to 240 seconds (4 minutes) of the most recent transmissions.
Capture transmissions for later playback.
You can program your scanner to alert when you receive, a Channel or Unit ID, a Close Call hit, an ID is transmitted with an Emergency Alert, or a Tone-out hit. For each alert in the scanner, you can select from 9 different tone patterns, 15 volume settings, 7 colors, and 2 flash patterns.
Multicolor LED Alert
The alert LED with 7 colours, Blue, Red, Magenta, Green, Cyan, Yellow, or White, can be used with your Custom Alerts.
Monitors system traffic on a trunked radio system to find unknown IDs and automatically records audio from and logs new channels for later review and identification.
Searches a range of frequencies to find unknown frequencies and automatically records audio from and logs new channels for later review and identification.
Scan by Service Types
Scan your channels by Service Type i.e. Fire, Police, Railroad, etc.
80 step/sec. (typical) in Search mode (max) except for 5 kHz steps. 250 step/sec. (typical) in Search mode (max) ? (Turbo Search) for 5 kHz steps.
Multi-Level Display and Keypad light
Makes the display and keypad easy to see in dim light with three light levels.
Temporary or Permanent Avoid
System/Channel Number Tagging
Number tags allow you to quickly navigate to a specific Favorites List, System, or Channel.
You can program each of your Favorites Lists with a Startup Key (0-9) so that when you power up the scanner and press the key number, just those Favorites Lists assigned to the key will be enabled for scan.
Close Call© RF Capture Technology
Lets you set the scanner so it detects and provides information about nearby radio transmissions. Close Call Do-not-Disturb checks for Close Call activity in between channel reception so active channels are not interrupted.
Allows the scanner to ignore hits in search and Close Call modes. You can also program up to 10 custom frequency ranges that the scanner will ignore.
Fire Tone-Out Standby/Tone Search
Lets you set the scanner to alert you if a two-tone sequential page is transmitted. You can set up to 32 Tone-Outs. The scanner will also search and display unknown tones.
Use the Sentinel software to manage your scanners Profiles, Favorites Lists, and firmware updates.
Analogue and Digital AGC
Helps automatically balance the volume level between different radio systems.
Priority/Priority w/DND Scan
Priority channels let you keep track of activity on your most important channels while monitoring other channels for transmissions.
Priority ID Scan
Allows you to set priority to talkgroup IDs.
Intermediate Frequency Exchange
Changes the IF used for a selected channel/frequency to help avoid image and other mixer-product interference on a frequency.
Individual Channel Volume Offset
Allows you to adjust the volume offset for each channel.
Configurable Band Defaults
Allows you to set the step (5, 6.25, 7.5, 8.33, 10, 12.5,15, 20, 25, 50 or 100 kHz) and modulation (AM, FM, NFM, WFM, or FMB) for 31 different bands.
Adjustable Scan/Search Delay/Resume
Set a delay up to 30 seconds or a forced resume up to 10 seconds for each channel or search.
Allows you to name each Favorites List, System, Site, Department, Channel, ID, Location and Custom Search, using up to 64 characters.
Duplicate Input Alert
Alerts you if you try to enter a duplicate name or frequency already stored in the scanner.
100 Quick Keys
You can scan Favorites Lists, Systems, and Departments by assigning them to quick keys.
You can temporarily Avoid up to 250 frequencies and permanently
Avoid up to 250 frequencies in any Search mode or Close Call mode.
10 Custom Searches
Lets you program up to 10 custom search ranges.
Search with Scan Operation
Lets you include Custom Search ranges during scan operation.
3 Search Keys
You can assign 3 of the number keys to start a Custom Search, Tone-Out Search, or Close Call Search.
Lets you enter a frequency and start searching.
Built-in Battery Charger
Allows you to charge the batteries in the scanner.
Nevada Website: CLICK HERE
31 January 2017
Some action from the Herts, Beds and Bucks Daily Net which can be heard across the South of England on 27.305 USB Monday to Friday 16:00-17:00 hours.
You can see the location of all the main UK CB Radio Nets on this map: CLICK
28 January 2017
A cracking video of one of the many nets which have sprung up in the UK since SSB and AM were legalised in 2014....
Check out the CB Radio Network Map here: CLICK
27 January 2017
26 January 2017
24 January 2017
An interesting little radio for sure....
Frequency Range: 136-174MHz (RX & TX), 400-480MHz (RX & TX).
RX Only: 220-260MHz.
RX Only: 350-390MHz.
Output Power: VHF 25 Watt, UHF 20 Watt.
Dual Band, Quad-Standby.
25W Output Power (VHF).
Mini Size Portable.
Remote Stun, Remote Activate, Remote Kill.
Channel Capacity: 200.
Channel Spacing: 25KHz/20KHz/12.5KHz.
Frequency Stability: 2.5ppm.
Operating Temperature: -20 to +60 Degrees Celsius.
Operating Voltage: 13.8V DC ±15%.
Dimension (H x W x D): 98mm(W) x 43mm(H) x 126mm(L).
Weight (Without Accessories): 448g.