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Date Posted: Thu 17 May 2007; 12:17am
Subject: The Site
Nice to see someone is spreading the word about PMR. I have been using it for ages now and just got a couple of digital handsets because the old analogue ones needed replacing. They work really well with clear audio and allow clever calling and stuff. I haven't yet explored their capabilities. Keep up the good work with the site.
However, I have to say that the idea of making more of PMR than it was designed for is really rather pointless. PMR is for short range comunication on a more or less private basis. There is a need for this and the sets and the regs whcih control them meet this need. If you want to do other things then fine, but, please, on another band!! It's not CB, its not 2 meters or any of the HF bands where the social and technical aspects of radio comms are more than adequately catered for. If you try to use it for anything else, not only will you fail, but it will prevent the band from doing it's job. It will also annoy the hell out of the authority who may impose restrictions. Line of sight cannot cause too many problems, but DX means you really do have to know what you're doing and that means licences and training. It also means more channels, more confusion, call signs and goodbye general public - that isn't going to happen.
Sorry but that's the reality. After all there were all these kinds of issues when CB was introduced. Most of the ideas were ill infomed such as those who wanted AM as they thought it would go farther!! As they probably now know, AM is an inferior form of modulation and it is the frequency which determines propagation, not the modulation.
Why is everyone so concerned about DX when you can call around the world on a mobile phone. We all know about the freaks of propagation, after all who hasn't been cursed with co-channel on VHF/FM? And if you get up high enough with enough erp, we all know that the horizon is a lot farther away. I can't remember the equation, but you can calculate it, so it's not rocket science. Surely nowadays nobody is excited any more by long distance communications are they?
It's all been done, and I'm afraid radio is today no longer cutting edge technology like it was in my youth when you had to build a set yourself. The modern Jap stuff is unbelievable and far outside anything an amateur could do. This means the self build side of the hobby is long gone. I still have a soldering iron, but it hardly ever comes out of the toolbox.
Again, if you want to enjoy the social side of radio, and why not? CB is where you need to be. No real licence probs and certainly no exams. Short wave seems to me to still be the best supported amateur radio, I can't see the point of 2m and 4m now that CB is available, although, of course they have their repeaters and the idiot filter of an exam for access (it doesn't always work, as the policing of the system is breaking down now).
The golden days of amateur radio were over before I was even born 60 years ago and if there was any real use for the spectrums which are now occupied by the amateur, I expect they would have all been sold off to the highest bidder. No wonder the pastime is losing support among the young.
It's computer technology which is the new cutting edge, or am I already out of date, and just like steam, radio is going to die out as a fascination for young minds. That's technology for you, if you understand it, it's out of date!!
No doubt someone will disagree, that's the good thing about the net, so many opinions and total freedom of speech. Now that's an invention which will take some beating!
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