Important Information Concerning UHF CB Radio

Submitted: Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 21:18

Member - Stephen L (Clare SA)

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Hi All
This was sent to us recently and I thought that I would pass on this information, as many like me may not be aware of the new details relating to UHF Radios.

**Overview**

The use of a UHF CB transceiver is governed by a class licence as prescribed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). Currently, all UHF CB radios operate within an allocated frequency band that is divided into 40 channels, with each channel spaced 25 kHz apart. These radios are commonly known as 'wide band' radios.

Due to advances in technology it has now become economically viable to design and build radios that operate in a narrower bandwidth and hence use less spectrum. These radios are known as 'narrow band' radios and operate with a channel spacing of just 12.5 kHz. By using 12.5 kHz channel spacing instead of 25 kHz, the 40 channel allocation can be expanded to 80 channels. doubling the channel capacity and relieving congestion in the UHF CB band.

The ACMA has recently released a proposal to allow the use of narrow band equipment in the UHF CB band. To minimise interference to current wide band repeater and telemetry services, the proposal recommends that narrow band radios be introduced in two stages over a 5 year period.

Stage one proposes that from January 2011, narrow band radios will be allowed to operate using 60 of the 80 channels in the newly revised UHF CB band. However, narrow band transmissions will not be allowed on current repeater channels 1 - 8, 31 - 38 and Telemetry channels 22 and 23. This will minimise interference to these wide band services during the transition to narrow band technology.

Stage two will take effect after January 2016 when all 80 channels will become available for narrow band transmissions.

What this means to the user;

* Current 40 channel wide band radios will continue to work on the original channel frequencies and will operate effectively past 2016.

* Current 40 channel UHF CB Radios will not become obsolete and will continue to operate on the original 40 channels, however they will not be able to converse on the newer channels 41 - 80.

For those that are thinking to update, you may want to put it off and see what is available early next year.


Cheers

Stephen
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AnswerID: 426020   Submitted: Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 21:49

Robin Miller replied:

Hi Stephen

These changes won't really mean much for the average user , the use of narrower channels as heard on what will be an older 40 channel radio means a slight loss of loudness (3db) received and the narrower 80 channels radio will provide not quite as good quality but a slightly longer range.

Its expected that radios will be made that will further minimize these small effects and offer the extra channels.

One can expect a some special prices next year as product is dumped and new product is upsold.
Robin Miller
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FollowupID: 696579   Submitted: Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 21:58

Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) posted:

Hi Robin
I personally was not aware of these new changes, but thought it could be of interest to others like me. As for the new radios, I will not be rushing to buy a new one, as there is nothing wrong with the one that I have.

It will be very interesting when they are released next year.

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Stephen
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AnswerID: 426024   Submitted: Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 22:03

Member - Andrew (QLD) replied:

I posted some information back in May....check out this archived thread for some more information/opinions:

http://www.exploroz.com/Forum/Topic/78316/UHF_Band_proposed_changes.aspx

Andrew
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FollowupID: 696580   Submitted: Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 22:10

Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) posted:

Hi Andrew
Sorry I must have missed that one. We only received the email today at work from Standard Communications.

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Stephen
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FollowupID: 696581   Submitted: Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 22:13

Member - Andrew (QLD) posted:

No problems, just pointing out some extra info obtained from members.

Andrew
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AnswerID: 426030   Submitted: Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 23:10

Mike DiD replied:

If you are using an existing 40 channel radio you will get interference from some one operating on any of the THREE new channels that are in your receivers bandwidth.

When you transmit on a 40 channel radio, you will impacting on THREE of the new channels.

That's why after January 2016 it will be ILLEGAL to use an existing 40 channel radio.
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FollowupID: 696600   Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 03, 2010 at 08:02

Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) posted:

Hi Mike
I am no expert on how they the new frequencies will go, but from the last statement from Standard Communications stated that:-

* Current 40 Channel UHF CB Radios will not become obsolete and will continue to operate on the original 40 channels..................................

As the new 40 channels will be different, and from their statement, we should still be able to use our radios.

I think that there will be a lot more to come out in the following months.


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Stephen
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FollowupID: 696605   Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 03, 2010 at 08:30

Mike DiD posted:

My statements and the one from Standard Communications are both true - IF you keep in mind that any radio manufacturer is desperate to get people to keep buying their old-standard radios until they can start selling radios built to the new standard.

"Current 40 Channel UHF CB Radios will not become obsolete and will continue to operate on the original 40 channels"
- well, yes, with the limitations I mentioned above - UNTIL January 2016. The government has sugar coated the bitter message that everyone will have to throw away their old radios by stating that the old 40 channel radios "will not be supported" after 2016.

UHF CB users aren't alone - many users of commercial UHF radios will have to buy new radios.

I have radios that support Narrowband in the UHF CB range - BUT i'll still get interference from Channel 39A and Channel 40A when I listen on Channel 40. This is because it's easy to make sure aradio only transmits only within the new narrowband Channel 40, but it's more expensive to have a second switched filter to eliminate receive inteference from the two adjacent channels.

The government has stated that the development of the standards for the new radios "may take around 12 months" and manufacturers can't build new radios until that standard is finalised. So manufactures really need people to keep buying their existing 40-channel stock for the next 15 months.

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FollowupID: 696606   Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 03, 2010 at 08:34

Mike DiD posted:

"Current 40 channel wide band radios will continue to work on the original channel frequencies and will operate effectively past 2016"

This second part of this statement is totally contradicted by the government paper which states that "after five years the use of 25kHz equipment will not be supported"
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AnswerID: 426038   Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 03, 2010 at 03:31

Member - Bucky replied:

Stephen

By then I may need another
Hopefully my Icom 400 Pro will.

They are fully programable.!

Question for all the Com's experts

What about the CCST facility, will we not be able to access the extra chanels this way. ?


Cheers
Bucky


Always consult the Minister for War & Finance
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FollowupID: 696599   Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 03, 2010 at 08:00

Robin Miller posted:

Hi Bucky

I think you may mean CTCSS , this is just a tone that operates within any channel and will not enable new channels.

Don't know for sure , but I suspect their will be services offered to get access to the new channels on your particular radio type- but as per my reply above it probably won't really matter much to most here as we only use a few channels anyway.

Robin Miller
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AnswerID: 426042   Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 03, 2010 at 06:09

Peter_n_Margaret replied:

One of my (15+ year old) radios also recieves on channels 41 to 60 which is outside, not within the normal 40 channel frequencies as far as I know. These are typically used by police and emergency services etc.

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome
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FollowupID: 696601   Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 03, 2010 at 08:06

Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) posted:

Hi Peter
I know that GME radios are programmable for extra channels, but like you say are receive only and you are not able to transmit.

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Stephen
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FollowupID: 696610   Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 03, 2010 at 09:11

Member No 1 posted:

not quite true
most used to have their radios programmed (if it was suitable) to receive only so that a transmission could not land them in hot water

the radios can be programmed to send on those channels ...as some have now done as the police etc etc have moved on...illegal ..yes but who really monitors and or polices it these days.

Even a couple of commercial on them.... but i dont think they those channels have been opened up even for them...but i could be wrong on that bit
'If women are so bloody perfect at multitasking.......
how come they can't have a headache and sex at the same time

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AnswerID: 426043   Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 03, 2010 at 07:18

Sand Man (SA) replied:

Oh goody goody!

Soon we will be able to get twice as many channels with crap being broadcast on them.

The intelligence (lack of) of people, primarily in metro areas, is a sound to be wondered at.


Bill.
Bill


I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!
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FollowupID: 696602   Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 03, 2010 at 08:09

Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) posted:

Hi Bill
I never have my radio on when we head to the Big Smoke for that very reason.
I personally see no reason to change, but there must be some reason behind the Governments decision.

Cheers

Stephen
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