[amsat-bb] Re: Ham Radio in UK?

Trevor . m5aka at yahoo.co.uk
Fri Jan 11 09:41:23 PST 2013

--- On Fri, 11/1/13, Joe Leikhim <rhyolite at nettally.com> wrote:
> I am planning a trip to UK and was wondering about VHF repeater usage.
> 1) I have an ICOM W32A and it does not generate 1750 Hz tone
> as far as I can tell (US Version). Is CTCSS widely used in OK?

All 2m repeaters use CTCSS, info on repeaters and coverage maps are at 

> 2) The radio is dual band 2M/70CM but I can disable 70CM
> band from front panel. Will Customs hassle me for that
> model?

Don't know but I've not heard of anyone having problems. BTW can't you open up the 70cm coverage to give 420-450 MHz ? That would enable you to use the UK 70cm repeaters.

> 3) Any recommendations for good PMR446, dPMR or similar
> radios (low cost) to communicate with my wife should we get
> separated? Preferably something readily available and using
> AA (not AAA) batteries.

> 4) Is GSM still the way to go for basic cell phone service
> in UK? We got my son a used blackberry  "world phone"
> for his trip last year and it seemed spotty. Maybe he was
> getting SIM cards for the wrong provider?

If all you want is voice and SMS text messaging then yes GSM is what you are after. For data/internet use you'd need 3G. It's worth checking the coverage provided by each of the Four networks in the areas you'll be visiting before you buy a Sim. 

Personally I've found Vodafone and O2 give best voice/text coverage as they use the 900 MHz band, other networks EE (Orange/T-Mobile) and 3 are only on the higher bands, 1800 and 2100 MHz with shorter ranges.

Coverage Maps:
Vod - http://www.vodafone.co.uk/our-network-and-coverage/uk-coverage-map/
O2 - http://www.o2.co.uk/coveragechecker
EE - https://explore.ee.co.uk/coverage-checker
3  - http://www.three.co.uk/Support/Coverage

73 Trevor M5AKA

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