Last weekend I learnt something new about a piece of equipment I have had for a number of years now, the Icom IC-R3. One of my favourite achievements over the years has long been “teaching old equipment new tricks”. For example, in the old days I discovered that my Kenwood TH-75E could be expanded to allow some ‘out of band’ reception from the 2 metre and 70 centimetre amateur bands. Although the need has diminished over time since amateur transceivers nowadays come with expanded receiving coverage as standard.
David Robinson takes a look at using CB and PMR-446 Radio on the Canals in the UK.
After 30+ years’ experience of summer holidays spent on various parts of the English canals, I thought that others might find my experiences of interest regarding the usefulness of 11M CB and PMR446 on the canals network.
Our very first canal holiday convinced me that there was a real need for both long and short range portable/mobile communications between skipper and crew.
If you have been online recently looking at the radio category on the popular auction website eBay then you have probably seen a large number of Chinese sellers selling radio communication products at incredibly cheap prices. Some pieces of gear and well known brand names in the communication industry such as Icom and Yaesu but there is a growing number of unfamiliar names to the radio scene. Jington, Puxing, Wouxun, Linton and Weierwei and Abell may not yet be “household” names but they are doing their best to get the western radio amateur interested in their products. So are these two way radios junk or do they compete with the big names? At the lower prices they are sold for on eBay you could be forgiven for dismissing them as junk but as the following article proves, that is not necessarily the case and they may also appeal to those on a limited budget and just starting off on the air.
Mark, Pantenneman looks into the possibility of using Chinese PMR Handhelds for a UHF CB style service.
As noted in previous reviews, the availability of Chinese imported handsets is alarmingly easy in the age of online buying from the likes of eBay. Normally, these handsets are bought for the use of a cheap handheld rig to use on the 2m / 70cm amateur radio bands, in comparison to the likes of the Yaesu FT-60, Kenwood TH-F71E and the like. And as noted before, they are alarmingly good value for money in the likes of the Puxing PX777 Plus reviewed here. Please note that this review is not of an overly scientific or technical basis, they were tested in real life conditions and not in some library with a bunch of computers and alleged theory.
How did you start in radio, either as a SWL, scanner user or a ham?
I suppose my own experience was typical in that I was loaned a shortwave radio – an Eddystone but don’t ask me which one – and listened to exotic places which, as a schoolboy back in the 60’s, were truly ‘the other side of the world’. Back then, of course, I knew nothing about antennas so having a mains powered shortwave radio by my bed meant I was mostly listening to VOA, AFN and the ubiquitous Radio Moscow! Yet there was more than just the comments and news – nothing can quite compare with the rising, falling modulation punctuated by fading in and out, atmospheric cracks and bangs, the rat-a-tat-tat of the ‘Woodpecker’ Over-The Horizon radar system used by the Russians. Or the non stop music of the pirates like Caroline, RNI, Mi Amigo? Those were the days indeed!