Hi to All,
My name is Peter and I have just joined because that is pretty much the only way I can get to post a topic on this forum.
I have placed this topic here because I'm not sure where else to put it so if the Moderator wishes to move it to another sub-forum, please do so.
I am employed by the Independent Communication Authority of S.A. (ICASA) as a Radiocommunication interference and licensing officer and, as such, am very interested in the combination of Amateur and Marine radio matters. (Actually I've had an interest in Maritime radio for many years but only been involved with Ham radio for about 15 years). As many of you will probably know, if you are Hams, there has been an amendment of the International Amateur radio regulations to increase the scope of the 7 MHz (40 metres) band from 7,000 - 7,100 MHz, which is what it was, to 7,000 - 7,200 MHz. Most countries around the world have either effected the change in their own regs already or are on the point of doing so. In South Africa the amendment has to be Gazetted into law and it was hoped that this would be done before the end of this month, however, it looks as if this will unfortunately not be the case so we will probably only be able to use the additional spectrum next month (or even later).
Again, as many of you will probably know, there is a Maritime Net run in S.A. on 14,316 MHz and 7,045 MHz, depending on the time of day, by Alastair Campbell, callsign ZS5MU. The 7 MHz frequency may have to change in accordance with the modified bandplan which mostly caters for morse and digital transmissions below 7,100 MHz and SSB voice, etc, between 7,100 MHz and 7,200 MHz. There is an Emergency segment between 7,100 and 7,130 MHz with the Centre of Activity (CoA) frequency of 7,110 MHz. It has been proposed that Alastair's Maritime net moves from its present 7,045 MHz to just above the Emergency segment at 7,130 MHz (the 14,316 MHz frequency will not be affected). My question, on his behalf, is: Will this proposed move cause insurmountable technical problems to a lot of users of the net or will it be easily effected for most persons with reasonably modern radio apparatus? Some older Ham equipment particularly may not be capable of operation on 7,130 MHz but the newer stuff should not have a problem. Antennas also should not present much difficulty as virtually all radio installations incorporate an ATU which should cope with the altered frequency.
It would be much appreciated if some feedback could be obtained from the actual users of this Net and your comments will be gratefully accepted (providing they are polite!!).
Thanks and best regards, or 73 to all