UHF Band proposed changes

A discussion paper has been released on the proposed arrangements for the 400Mhz band by the ACMA with feedback required by 6 June 2010. Details can be found here:

- http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/422060/pc=PC_312108

After finding out about this on another (unrelated) site, it seems that there are changes that could mean some problems for many owners of UHF CB radios. From the discussion i saw they mentioned that from January 2011 any current UHF CB radio with 25 KHz spacing will become illegal to operate in Australia. Can someone with more knowledge of these areas confirm this to be the case IF the recommendations are adopted.

Is the proposed changes going to affect the majority of UHF CB radios or is there something i am missing? ;)

Andrew
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Reply By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 07:54

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 07:54
Andrew,

Will it be illegal or just not supported via repeaters??

From the way ahead link within your link -

"Before the new arrangements can be used, three key events must occur:
1/ new licensing arrangements must be put in place
2/ UHF CB equipment standards must be published and referenced in law
3/ manufacturers must make equipment available.
The ACMA has carriage of licensing arrangements and can implement changes in about six months. The ACMA participates in equipment standards formation, along with equipment manufacturers and other experts, and the process of modifying the existing standard may take around 12 months. It is therefore the ACMA’s intention to have the framework in place supporting the use of the new arrangements in the second quarter of 2011, and equipment manufacturers may work in parallel with standards development to have the new equipment available when they can.

From 1 January 2011, the additional simplex and telemetry/telecommand channels will become available, and after five years, the use of 25 kHz equipment will not be supported.

By 1 January 2016, repeaters will have completed transition to 12.5 kHz bandwidth and the additional interleaved repeater channels will become available for use."

My reckoning is that by 2016 we will all need a new UHF in order to use the repeaters?

Cheers Kev





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Follow Up By: Member - Mark G Gulmarrad - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 10:02

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 10:02
Kev

we have a couple of brand new trucks in our fleet thus them having new GME 4400 UHF's in them and funny enough channels 22 & 23 only receive and wont transmit.must have some thing to do with the new digital channels coming in?

someone might know the answer,cheers.
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 10:03

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 10:03
That would be because 22 & 23 are data channels only ;)


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Follow Up By: Lex M (Brisbane) - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 11:34

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 11:34
It implies that if this goes ahead then the existing 25 kHz radios will not be legal under the class licence after 2016.

And of course no one will continue to use them will they?

Looks like a stimulus package for the industry. :-)

Interesting times ahead.
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark G Gulmarrad - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 11:39

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 11:39
Kev

the GME radio i have in the navara is able to transmit & recieve those channels.

it is only the newish models that cant.
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 12:01

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 12:01
Mark,

That is because the manufacturers have made them that way as those channels are Data channels ;)

Laws and standards do change which is why the new ones do not transmitt.


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Reply By: vk1dx - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 09:26

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 09:26
Currently we use an analogue FM radio. Has anyone noticed if the new radios will be analogue or digital?

If the new system will be analogue then depending on the technology in the new ones we MAY be able to communicate between the new and old kits. But that's a big IF. The other problem is that anyone using the old radios may obliterate anyone using the "new" adjacent channels.

Boy is it going to be a nightmare. Methinks a lot of tolerance will be needed.

But then again we do not know what form the new technology will be. I couldn't see any reference to modulation in the CBRS sections.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 15:07

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 15:07
There is no mention of any change of emissions, or as Phil puts it "technology." It is not just the CB band that is being reorganised but the whole 406 - 520 MHz band. There are already some spectrum in this range that is operating on 12.5 kHz channelling, therefore most of the new LMRS transceivers are capable of operating on either channelling. It is just our CB sets that will become redundant.
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 16:16

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 16:16
Guys Leave me alone. There IS a change of technology all across the band. If not then we should be able to use the current equipment on the new band plan. RIGHT. Even you admit the current radios will become redundant.

I only asked if it was going to be digital.

You guys rteally like to pull people apart don't you.

You are the second one who likes to contradict me without reading or understanding my point.

Are you absolutely sure its only a bandwidth change?

Phil
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 16:34

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 16:34
I get a bit carried away. Hey!!!!
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Reply By: OzTroopy - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 11:51

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 11:51
Im with Lex M (Brisbane)

Just another stimulus package ... same as TV and mobile phones and all the rest ....

Changing stuff for the sake of changing stuff .... pffftttttt
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 12:39

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 12:39
Actually i don't believe so. The 420-470Mhz commercial band (iirc) has been running out of frequency allocation for some time. I assume these changes will effectively double the available frequencies.

Andrew

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Follow Up By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 13:38

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 13:38
I see a problem arising.
When the commercial VHF and UHF channels went to 12.5KHz channel spacing quite some years ago, the ACMA were dealing only with licensed commercial operators. Non-compliance meant cancellation of licence.
That could be difficult to enforce with the UHF CB band where no-one is licensed (apart from repeaters) and many cowboys exist out there.
Gerry
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 15:09

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 15:09
Equipment life will solve a lot of the non compliance issues.

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Reply By: Member - Rodney B- Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 12:14

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 12:14
It would appear that no direct impact will be felt until 2015 to 2018 if you read the proposal and they are halving the bandwidth from to which means on your current radio you would hear two channels at once (theoretically)
I guess it means new radios but have you seen the new GME (size of a cigarette packet) with all the controls in the Microphone.

Will have to wait and see but doesn't appear to affect us with use of the CB band when instigated. At the moment I get annoyed with the commercial users of what is supposed to be a citizens band not a delivery company's private channel.

Cheers

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Follow Up By: Member - Rodney B- Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 12:15

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 12:15
should read from 25Mhz to 12Mhz
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 17:58

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 17:58
Rod, if the bandwidth is narrowed and only the same part of the spectrum is used, you will only hear one channel and only every second channel on a current UHF set.. So there would be no reason why you wouldnt be able to use your current set.. When your current set dies, you get to use 80 channels with a new UHF set or actually 78 channels, if 22 and 23 are barred from transmitting as they are now.. I think many more channels will be barred from transmitting on with the new sets for commercial use..(paid users) Otherwise, why change at all.? I cant imagine going to all that trouble to make it better for UHF owners,,,,,,,,, Michael
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Follow Up By: Member - Rodney B- Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 12:44

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 12:44
Michael
My understanding (limited though it is) is that we will still have 40 CB channels but at a different spacing and some channels that are currently being used by the CB band will be reallocated to Emergency Services and Govt depts so our sets will be either illegal unless complying with the new channel allocations or practically unuseable. I guess we wait ands see. I was going to buy one of the new GMETX3340 sets but now I will wait and see a little further down the line.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 17:06

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 17:06
Rodney - The only thing that is happening to the CB band is the channels are being split to provide 80 slots instead of 40. It is not being reallocated as are other sections of the 403 - 520 MHz band.

The 8 repeater bands are going to be a little delayed but the rest will be right from the start. Eventually there will be 75 channels available to us. Channels 22 & 23 are not being touched, they will remain 25 kHz channels. Channels 21B,22B & 23B are not for use, they are guard bands for the 25 kHz channels.

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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 17:40

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 17:40
Rod, I agree, that was the point I made below, some here think they will get 80 channels....or close to it, for what , most are empty anyway.. especially where most people on this site use them. It is being done for a reason, I bet general use UHF will get less channels than what they have now,,, Possibly the new ones will be sold over and over again in different areas for commercial use as UHF has poor transmission coverage.. I remember the 27meg band, people started buying 40 channel units from the USA including myself in the 70's, the govt ended up selling licenses for 23 channel set and then later went to 18 channels,, finally gave up altogether and let the 40 channel sets stay..... What was they thinking then?? Everyone should realise that when Governments change things, it normally is not for the benefit of the average taxpaying Joe!! Michael
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Reply By: Stu & "Bob" - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 13:54

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 13:54
Those of us with an eprom in our UHF radios, eg Sawtron, Icom etc,
Should be able to simply get the eproms reprogrammed at the new spacing.

My .02
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Follow Up By: Lex M (Brisbane) - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 14:14

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 14:14
That will depend on whether the RF front end is good enough for 12.5 kHz.
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 15:27

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 15:27
Lex

Thats a very big assumption on Bobs part. What if we use a different modulation scheme? ie digital and not analogue. That would mean the old radios are useless.

Do you know if the new system is supposed to be digital? I cannot see anywhere in the ACMA proposal to indicate we are to be using digital or analogue.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Mike DiD - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 16:13

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 16:13
Channel filtering is done in the IF, not the Front End.

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Follow Up By: Lex M (Brisbane) - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 16:56

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 16:56
And the transmission bandwidth......
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Follow Up By: Stu & "Bob" - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 20:56

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 20:56
Guys,

If you have a look at Attachment 6 it clearly identifies the proposed frequencies for UHF CB.
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Follow Up By: Stu & "Bob" - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 21:46

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 21:46
Bit happier now, my Sawtron 999 is capable of narrowbanding according to the owners manual...


.
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Reply By: Mike DiD - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 17:33

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 17:33
There is not a single mention in the proposal to move away from FM for UHF CB.

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Reply By: vk1dx - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 17:49

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 17:49
The main issue for the interim staging is the type of FM modulation. We currently use an analogue version and if we go to digital FM modulation then they are not compatable at all.

Era we going digital? Anyone know?

Phil
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 17:56

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 17:56
That should have read:

"Are we going digital? Anyone know?"

Phil
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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 18:07

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 18:07
I have a feeling that with any changes, better communication and features wont be part of it. It never is, just more expense and a way of squeezing more from the spectrum that greedy governments can sell to someone else!!! It happened to Mobile phones and now Free to air TV... Michael
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 18:12

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 18:12
Disagree.

If we go digital then there are heaps of benefits. Even with narrow band FM we get more channels.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 19:07

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 19:07
Phil, Funny you should think that you would get more channels, You think this move is to enhance UHF radio?? Michael
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 19:19

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 19:19
Michael

You obviously did not check the ACMA article that is mentioned in the very first post to this thread.

It clearly shows 80 channels: - Read Attachment 6

Phil
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 22:40

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 22:40
Apologies Phil, I dont know how i missed that.. So that means!!!!!! that plenty more empty channels will be available?? Most people who use UHF on this site rarely turn their radio on in the city.. Maybe you can shed some light on the benefits.. Michael
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 10:54

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 10:54
I am not up on the latest digital techniques so its a bit hard to detail what extra facilities will be available. ACMA may also dictate that voice may be the only mode available to us. Even then 80 is better than 40.

As an example of what can be done with digital over analogue FM look at TV. The old system was analogue FM and there wasn't much you could do with it in comparison to what a reasonable set top box or new TV can do with a digital signal.

What I am wondering about is the mess we may have in the interim period.

I also never turn it on at home. Too much crap on it. In fact it only gets turned on when on club trips. Very rarely do we even put the antenna on the car. I stick to my amateur equipment for comms when on our own. Which is how we like it. So the move to NbB FM is of not advantage to us. But that is the way it goes. Not complaining.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 15:35

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 15:35
Phil

I don't know why you are so hung up on digital. There has not been any mention of it in any of the ACMA papers. I have been through many of these changes - back to the 60 kHz channelling of the 60s - none of them have involved any change of emission.

As for your TV - the old system is vestigial side band (an AM type system) for the picture, not FM, only the sound part was FM. The sound part of the signal is only about 300 kHz out of the total 7 MHz.

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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 16:11

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 16:11
I am not what you would say "HUNG UP ON IT". I had posed the question and no one will say it is a NO GO. You are the first but thanks for not being helpful. I am only trying to answer questions that cae out of my proposal about digital.

I really do not give a rats which one we use.

As far as TV is concerned I never did ANY tv work so was unsure of exactly how the old system went. I thought the sound was FM but did not know what kind of mod the video was. So it appears I was almost correct. But my example of old to new still stands. Wy be so keen about tearing my example apart. It would have been helpfull if you could explain the advantages of digital over the old analogue version as I referred to it.

Fair go mate!

Phil
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 16:36

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 16:36
I get a bit carried away. Hey!!!!
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Reply By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 14:05

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 14:05
If i understand it correctly now.....your existing CB UHF whould still be able to use their preprogrammed channels (soon to be called 1A, 2A etc) as long as the radio is set up for narrowbanding?

Of interest is that in the US, the FCC has mandated that all non-Federal public safety licensees change to 12.5kHz channels by January 1, 2013. Sounds familiar? :)

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 15:21

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 15:21
Andrew - sets that can be narrowed may not be able to have their channelling altered. If your set is one that can not have the extra channels you will be able to still work on half the channels.

PeterD
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Reply By: Member - Tony V (NSW) - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 22:20

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 22:20
Andrew,

I thought I would ask the question of GME.

Reply below.
________________________
Hi Tony,

Thank you for your email regarding the proposed changes to the 477MHz UHF CB band.

I understand your associations concerns as to how these changes will effect the way they use there current CBs in the future.

Please let me explain what changes the ACMA are going to implement, what is the timeframe for implementation and what the ACMA is trying to achieve by making the changes.

The ACMA recognise the UHF CB spectrum is well utilised and possibly crowded in some areas. There have been a number of discussions held between various stakeholders over the last 2 years which culminated in the release the latest document which puts the following plan and time lines in place.
• The current 40 channel band plan will be replaced by a 76 channel band plan.
• All current 25 KHz channels will be replaced with 12.5 KHz channels except channels 22 and 23, they will remain 25 KHz and designated for telemetry only.
• The ACMA is anticipating the necessary changes can be in place so the channel plan can revert to 76 channels sometime in the second quarter next year.
• 40 Channel equipment will still be able to be used until 1st January 2016


In answer to your questions:
• You will be able to still use your existing equipment until the 1st January 2016.
• The band will be covered under a class license as it is now, there will be no license required.
• The benefit is the additional channels will relieve the current congestion experienced in some areas.

I hope this information helps, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have further questions. I will forward further information to you as it comes to hand.

Best Regards

Peter Cooke
Marketing Manager Land Mobile and MATV

E-Mail mkmgrlmm@gme.net.au
Standard Communications Pty Ltd ACN: 000 346 814
Phone +612 9844 6666 Head Office:
Fax +612 9844 6600 Locked Bag 2086
Nth Ryde NSW 1670
Australia
Website: www.gme.net.au
_______________


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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 18:19

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 18:19
The sentence "• The band will be covered under a class license as it is now, there will be no license required" contradicts itself. You are not permitted to posses or operate any transmitter that is not licensed. What he should have said is that you do not have to posses a licence as as the CB transmitter is covered by the Radiocommunications (Citizen Band Radio Stations) Class Licence 2002.

There are 3 types of licence:

Spectrum Licence - the licensee holds a licence to operate equipment over a specified frequency range in a specified area within the constraints of that licence. The licensee can authorise others to operate equipment operating in accordance with that licence.

Apparatus Licence - the licensee holds a licence to operate a transmitter at a given location and for a base station licence, mobile transmitters within its service area. Again, the licensee can authorise others to operate equipment operating in accordance with that licence.

Class Licence - the Spectrum Manager holds the class licence (ie is the licensee.) The licence authorises equipment of a specified class to operate on specific frequencies of frequency range specified in the licence. The Spectrum Manager authorises others to operate equipment operating in accordance with that licence.

Members of one or more of the HF networks operate under the apparatus licences held by the network. The managers of the network authorise their members to operate under the licence (but not others.)

Class licences cover things like CB, radio model control and "Low Interference Potential Devices." A list of licences and information papers can be viewed at this link.
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