PMR446 Internet Gateway Repeaters

UPDATE COMING SOON

For The Latest Information Please Visit: www.pmr-radio.net


A new an exciting service is now available for the PMR446 user. Following in the footsteps of our amateur radio friends a PMR446 Internet Gateway/Repeater System has been set up by those clever chaps at www.446user.co.uk

The service is now live using the EQSO software which is available for download from HERE

All you need to do is install the software, connect a microphone to your computer and there you go !

Alternatively if you are lucky enough to live near a PMR446 repeater you can access the system straight from your PMR radio !

This screenshot shows the system status when I used it on 25/03/2003. As you can see several PMR446 gateway repeaters were online at the time and many more are planned to come on stream soon. An Australian gateway comes online late in the evening (UK Time).

It really is amazing to think that you can talk into your PMR446 radio at home and speak to someone possibly on the other side of the world !

Settings:

After installation of the software you will need to set up the 446 server details. Click EDIT and create a new preset by clicking ADD. Give it a name such as "PMR446", then enter "eqso.446user.co.uk" into the server box. Now ignore the port box and enter "446ENGLISH" into the room box. No password is needed so ignore the password box. Now click OK.

Return to the main program and click on the PRESET box arrow and select "PMR446", then all you need to do is click CONNECT. After a few seconds you will join the 446 system.

But is it legal ? - (I hear you cry)

Taken From www.446user.co.uk

The RA (Radiocommunications Agency) have responded to what we're doing...

And they have stated that we are within the license-free exemptions. We always thought that we probably were, and that was always my interpretation of the legislation, but I could see the argument either way so it's nice to hear it from the authoritative source.

A licensed ham radio operator wrote to the RA for clarification on this as he was not happy about what we're doing. I believe we are actually promoting people into radio, and a few will become licensed amateurs as a result. I know this for a fact - I have already received two emails from people on our system asking me how to get an M3 call. I have always believed that what we're doing is good for radio in general. I will in due course be posting the relevant links for anyone interesting in obtaining an amateur license.

I would like to say that this is not a licence to be irresponsible. The RA will act in the event of anyone being caused interference. And that's if we don't beat them to it! Our system is monitored carefully and anyone behaving irresponsibly will be booted from the network. As will any repeaters which we hear are causing interference (especially to businesses). I am very pleased to be able to say that so far everyone has been terrific and is being very careful to ensure their radios are behaving within spec. and their repeaters are not causing any problems. Please keep that up.

At 500mw ERP interference is very unlikely. If your radio is not giving you very good coverage then height is your friend. Please do not start putting collinear antenna's on the roof or running linear amps! You do not need to. Check out some of the ranges that have been obtained with standard 446 radios without modification.

Here's the original text. I have edited out some of the original e-mail to the RA but the RA's reply is in full:-


Dear Sir / Madam.

I should like to bring to your attention the following web site, which
appears to be inviting members of the public to misuse PMR446 specification radio
equipment by connecting it to a computer, thus providing internet linked
repeater facilities.

As the terms and conditions of the PMR446 license expressly forbid
connecting the radio to the PSTN, they must be in breach of the PMR446 allowable use
regulations, or at the very least bending them.

As a licensed radio amateur, I am not permitted to establish a repeater
without dealing with much "red tape", and do not see why these people should "get
away with it".

The web site is located at: http://www.446user.co.uk/

Best Regards,

[name removed by 446user.co.uk]


Reply from RA:-

Thank you for your e-mail.

I am advised that the original license exemption regulations (the means by
which license exempt status is confirmed) did not permit PMR 446 to be
connected to the PSTN. 

However, these regulations have been superceded by Interface Requirement 2009 which carries no such restriction. Consequently, PMR 446 connection to the PSTN does not constitute a breach of regulations. 

Sincerely,

Jason Simons
Private Business Systems Unit
Radiocommunications Agency

Full information about how to access and use the system can be found at www.446user.co.uk


LINKS:

Setting up a PMR446 Gateway Repeater: CLICK HERE

EQSO Website: CLICK HERE


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