Monday, May 21, 2007

Use of 35Mhz by Four Wheel Drive Club -- update from Dave Armitage

I have been watching the various postings etc to do with this topic and I must say that some inputs are sensible, Others are really living on cloud nine, however, the situation at present is as follows. We have discovered that the 4 wheel drive club are licenced by ICASA to use 35.225, 35.250 and 35.300MHz. The licences go back to 1989 and the 4 wheel drive club pay annually to be able to use those frequencies.
They use 35.225 for normal day to day communications during the times they are rallying or racing. They also use it to communicate when marshalling the competitions. They could also use it on there way to and from a competition. The 35.250 spot is used as a standby if 35.225 is cluttered. 35.300 is used purely as a distress, emergency or medical request frequency. Why ICASA have let these slip through the net is anybody's guess, but it has happened and at present we must live with it until these guys are migrated off. I have spoken many times to ICASA trying to sort this hassle out, but now I am getting reports from them that many other people have also had a go at them telephonically, some very abusively, and it is not HELPING OUR CAUSE. Please guys do not do it.
I have also spoken to the 4 wheel Drive club also. They are being very amicable and will change frequencies if we can get ICASA to allow it. From what I understand from their radio guy, it is just a question of re-programming the on board E-Proms. This they will do quickly if it is sanctioned by ICASA. They have also promised to cut down any idle chatter on those frequencies.
We have therefore formulated a proposal to ICASA that they allow the 4 wheel drive club to operate above 35.600 MHz. Since presenting the proposal ICASA have gone a bit quiet and are difficult to communicate with. I suspect much of this is due to other members also trying to get through and attack them. Our next tack is to go up the chain to the senior managers and arrange a meeting with him during the coming week. In the meantime the recommendations not to use 35.220,35.230, 35.250 and 35.300 are still in force.
The 4 wheel drive club's next competition is to take place from the 12th-18th June, but is will be in Botswana. Well away from us but that is not to say they will be using either of their first two channels to communicate whilst on route or return.
There have also been reports of interference on 35.140 and 35.150MHz.
I have forwarded what reports I have but as yet I have nothing to substantiate them.

Dave Armitage

1 comment:

Piet Le Roux said...

Thanks for the feedback Dave. I had a look at the present “South African Table of frequency Allocations” that was issued by ICASA and it allocates the 35 MHz band as follows:

Model Aircraft Control
35 - 35.5 MHz
Exclusive use by Model
Aircraft Control Government
Gazette No 26193, Notice
533 of 24 March 2004 refers..

Wireless microphones
36.65 – 36.75 MHz
Government Gazette No
26193, Notice 533 of 24
March 2004 refers..

Single Frequency Mobile
33.25 – 33.5 MHz
Mobile 3 BTX
35.5 - 36.825 MHz
Paired with 38.5 - 39.825MHz

But it’s interesting to note that in 1997 project SABER were launched by the Department of Communications to restructure the spectrum from 20 MHZ to 3 GHz. In this document the Model Aircraft Control frequency is given as 35.00 to 35.25 MHz and 35.25 to 35.5 is used by Single Frequency Mobile. A footnote said that 35.2 to 35.25 single frequency mobile uses are to be migrated. Our 35 to 35.5 were published in the government gazette in 2004. So ICASA is breaking the law by allowing 35.0 to 35.5 to be used for single frequency mobile.

PS. Dave remember those diagrams I wanted for my JR equipment that you said were impossible to obtain? I have posted them with additional info under the files section of the sarfly website. Looks like living on cloud nine does have its advantages!

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