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back to article Pttow! Ofcom kicks hams out of MoD bands

Ofcom plans to kick radio amateurs from 105MHz of radio spectrum, and warn them off another 60MHz, so it can be sold off for 4G telephony. The spectrum belongs to the Ministry of Defence, with radio hams classed as "secondary users" who are tolerated as long as they don't interfere with MoD kit. But these days the MoD is being …

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Megaphone

Fair enough

Now when are they going to kick powerline networking out of the HAM bands? (and pretty much every other band for that matter)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fair enough

Never bwahahahaah all your bands are belong to us Igor get me the AV2 kit!

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Silver badge

Plenty of bands

But no one on there to talk to.

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Anonymous Coward

MoD

I thought there weren't any MoD bands left, since the last round of redundancies.

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Silver badge

Re: Fair enough

And the Over-The-Horizon Radar that seems to be the latest fashion these days…

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Bronze badge
Coat

"most (but not all) of whom have beards"

Is that a slur on beardy types?

(Licenced since 1981).

Mines got a remington in the pocket, thanks.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "most (but not all) of whom have beards"

Curiously my use of hamateur radio is inversely proportional to my facial hair... I got licensed when I were too young to grow a beard; 15 years later I grow one as my radio use decreases.

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Will hardly be missed

The frequencies they're wanting to move people off are barely used at all so it was inevitable that this would happen. There is very little interest in the GHz stuff other than a very small group of people and even fewer people using it - its not cheap with even a short 3ft patch lead setting you back £10. In my county I doubt the number of active users is barely more than low double digits in number. The Amateur TV repeater on 2.3-2.4GHz has been off the air for some time.

If you don't use it, you lose it and the 13cm and 23cm bands are a perfect example of this.

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Bronze badge

MoD bands - not explained in the document

So what are the MoD doing with the bands at the moment?

And if they are doing something with it, what are they going to do when its flogged off for other uses?

Or do they have to buy bits of it back again?

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Gold badge
Coat

Re: MoD bands - not explained in the document

Ah, well. Those are the bands that the MoD is using to run the....

<Battering ram>

<Door off hinges>

+++

NO CARRIER

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Anonymous Coward

Oi!

I'm a 'ham' and I shave at least once a week!

:)

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Re: Oi!

Your back doesn't count. :P

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Silver badge

Re: Oi!

You ever tried shaving your own back? It takes skill I tell you!

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ISM

These are bands that have "must accept interference from ISM (Industrial Scientific and Medical) users in their notes. Given that these are a collection of, um, unregulated users, they might find them more trouble to move.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ISM

RTFA

Or at least the enlarged version of the image...

2350MHz to 2390MHz is where they're looking to 'release'.

The footnote states "2400 to 2500 MHz is designated for Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) applications"

(no such note on the 3400-3600MHz chart)

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Anonymous Coward

More typical tory works, taking things from the public, selling them knock down to their mates, who then sell back to the public with a hefty profit margin.

Is there noting a tory won't sell for a profit?

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yes

`h` characters

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Mushroom

There is talk of releasing some more space circa 146-148mhz which, in some parts of the country, would probably be more use. Although I've noticed that in Scotland anyway, you can here a pin drop on 2 meters for the most part. There was also mutterings about an extension to 4 meters but since I've be licenced in 1990 i've only ever had one contact there...

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Bronze badge

Only Scotland has "pin-dropping" non-activity?

I'm 50 miles from london and all I hear on 2 and 70cm is the deafening sound of droppping pins!

HF would be nice, but for the S3 noise level on 80M and 160M, doubtless from the rather extensive domestic data installations. Quite frankly I think that only contesters would notice if 2, 70cm, 23cm and 13cm were to be removed entirely.

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We USED to pay £20.00 per person, per year for a License for our part of the spectrum. However ofcom decided it was too much of a pain and cost to collect this fee, so moved us over to Fee exempt. A GOVERMENT choice not ours!!

And I choose to SWR my face and do not let it grow so not in the small group of face fungus crew.

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Bronze badge

I said at the time: "pay nothing, get nothing"

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Thumb Up

Ah but we *have* got extra bands since the lifetime licence came in - the recent NoV for opening up the 60-metre slots to anyone-with-a-licence-who-can-fill-in-a-webform being IMHO a brilliant move. My little PRC320 and end-fed half-wave works brilliantly on 60.

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Holmes

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme...

I don't know about the U.K., but the U.S. feds forbid radio amateurs from using the ham bands for commercial purposes. So if these bands were to be "monetized" (seems like a new term - thanks, Google), then it would be unfair to expect the radio amateurs to pay for something for which they could never recover their costs.

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One other point... I thought that the protocols used in these bands were spread spectrum, frequency hopping, etc. So if there's a frequency in use, the equipment just skips using that frequency and goes about its business with little or no bad effects. In other words, there is no need to "kick out" one type of user, since they're all interfering with one another on an ongoing basis. Sort of like a free-for-all.

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Facepalm

Beardy band users? No - wrong stereotype.

Actually, you'll find the bearded Arran sweater types on HF, the microwave bands are exclusively for those with half moon glasses and proper hand tied bow ties (not yer cheap clip-on's, that's 70cm) - how could you not know that! This is boffin territory - this is where the bleeding edge development is done, the area where experimentation is the key to amateur radio use of the spectrum.

It is inevitable that Amateur Radio will lose spectrum to commercial users in the 2GHz and up region because that's where the bandwidth is that will allow the networks to provide the super fast mobile broadband that people allegedly want, because they want it now!

4G on sub 1GHz is going to be about "low" speed data, but longer range (to ensure the country is covered fully), 4G on 2GHz and up will be about high speed high bandwidth.

2-3GHz is still in the area where equipment can be made to work well and cheaply. When you go further up precision becomes more and more important as wavelength becomes millimetric, and that costs £££ that the consumer wear, and will make infrastructure hellishly expensive.

If you read the consultation from Ofcom fully, they have covered most angles in their options.

The phrase "use it or lose it" doesn't come into this conversation - it wasn't "ours" in the first place, we were just allowed to park there for a while.

And finally - increased spectrum at 146-148 and in the lowband area is unlikely UK wide as the Scottish Parliament haven't released it - apparently they're still using it for their emergency services (who all moved to Airwave years ago!!) - and their "Spectrum Manager" is a radio ham too which I find puzzling.

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Silver badge

There are two kinds of radio amateurs.

Note that there are two kinds of radio amateurs.

There are the genuine electronics enthusiasts, who build all their own gear from scratch, having started with a home-built crystal set and then progressed to a one-valve (or one-transistor) TRF receiver, got sick of headphones so added an amplifier to drive a loudspeaker, and it all sort of took off from there .....

And there are the "cheque book hams", who buy the latest, most expensive equipment, but have never wound a coil in their whole lives.

Each kind tend to look down their noses at the other kind.

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Silver badge

Re: There are two kinds of radio amateurs.

Where does that put me?

My most frequently used station has an off-the-shelf transceiver hooked up with home-built wiring harnesses, home-built headset and home-built antennas.

There are plans afoot to home-brew the transceiver too, but that's still in the research phase.

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Pint

Re: There are two kinds of radio amateurs.

"Note that there are two kinds of radio amateurs."

You spelled "...approximately 1,500 kinds..." incorrectly.

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Re: There are two kinds of radio amateurs.

In the same category as a lot of Amateurs, a bit of both. I have a Yaesu 480 to a homemade 80m dipole but also make my own valve radios and collect and use Eddystone stuff. I have a Raspberry Pi driving a valve for my QRSS beacon. I use an iBook in my shack. We're a diverse lot, just like most techy people I think.

73 EI/m0NjP

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Anonymous Coward

well, thanks very much for the profile, beard, coat with patches on elbows, etc, If you even bothered to do your history, you will find out that many discoveries were made by Radio hams, and yes, we used to pay yearly for our license, it was The radio agency, now Ofcom, who decided it was too much to colloct, , So let's not have any more sarcastic, biased, or down right rude comments, if you don't mind !!

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