146-147MHz in the UK – why?

I find it extremely odd that OFCOM has granted access to an additional 1MHz of VHF when the existing 144-146MHz band is grossly under-occupied most of the time. Take a listen 144-146MHz in YOUR area in the UK or elsewhere in Europe. Mostly you will hear white noise!

This is only ad interim, only by NoV to full licence holders, and only in some areas. It is clearly a sop for messing with the microwave allocations. It is very unlikely much new (to radio science) will be gained by this 1MHz allocation. MUCH more would have been learned by a 100kHz allocation around 40 or 60MHz or by allowing UK amateurs free access below 8.3kHz or back onto the withdrawn 73kHz band.

I know it is heresy to say “no, I am not interested” but OFCOM could have done so much better and it has lost credibility in my eyes as a result. I cannot believe allocating this spectrum to radio amateurs serves any useful purpose at all. The RSGB talks about digital TV etc. Sorry, this is rubbish: it is hard enough getting anyone on digital TV on 432MHz and 1296MHz where most ATV activity takes place! I can see perhaps a small handful of people forcing themselves to use this band. On 40MHz, the Es possibilities would have been wonderful.

No, in my humble opinion OFCOM should not have given radio amateurs this band at all. It would really have advanced radio science if they had allocated new, smaller, bands at more interesting places in the spectrum. Let us at least hope OFCOM supports moves internationally to a contiguous new amateur band at 5MHz (60m) at WRC2015 next year. This will be useful in the quieter years to come.

Roger Lapthorn, G3XBM, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cambridge, England.

4 Responses to “146-147MHz in the UK – why?”

  • Mark GØNMY:

    Well they need someone to baby sit that part of the spectrum so the pirates dont pinch it!

    Now here is the strange part 25w erp Ideal for wide bandwidth modes!

    REALLY? well lets see 70cms 10MHz wide ATV cant us it due to possible interference to other non users (read users)

    2.4GHz wideband FM ATV no sorry we want that spectrum now
    3.5 GHz FM ATV No sorry!
    and now in Europe some are possibly losing 23cms

    SO why encourage wideband modes only to deny them later!

    Cheers Mark

  • Philip McCleary N4LNE:

    OM I hear what your saying if the FCC here in the USA banned 144-148 MHZ it would be two weeks before anyone noticed. I bet there are 40 2 meter repeaters in Northern Georgia and if you combined all the traffic to one repeater it would still be underutilized.

    73’s My friend
    Phil N4LNE

  • Kevin Jackson M0XLT:

    OFCOM have not given the UK Amateurs a band at 146-147 mhz, as they cannot do that. It is not an Amateur Band under the ITU.
    What they have done is given us the use of it for 1 year only in order to use it for experiments in Digital technologies whilst this part of the spectrum is in transitional use. This part of the spectrum will not become an Amateur band. Read the OFCOM release and all is clear.

  • Ernest AA1IK:

    Philip, you hit the nail right on the head. 2 meters is a great wasteland! There are a zillion repeaters around and still, you can’t scare up a conversation with the promise of a free lunch afterwards. I pulled my 2 meter rig out of the truck for this reason.

    Yes, I know there are pockets of usage here and there, but its rare, and far between. I get a kick out of vhf advertisements. The tout radios that will do this and that and spit out nickles as well, but no one will reply to you when you try to use it. Sad, really!

    73 de AA1IK

    Ernest Gregoire

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