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Soviet frequencies and UK Law

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IMBSB - does any know/remember the radio frequencies used by Warsaw pact equipment - and how it stands in regards to UK legislation. I believe the Clansman stuff will attract very unwanted attention if switched on and used to broadcast - even if only by using the prestle switch. Do the radios sets in Warsaw pact kit come under the same rules???

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Anything will get you unwanted attention if you don't have an amateur radio licence...

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A radio transceiver (Transmits and receives) is the same regardless of country of manufacture, the frequency range it works in may be different, i.e. HF, VHF and UHF. Most military sets are HF or VHF (High Freq and Very High Freq) both are capable of transmitting over considerable distance, particularly H.F. which given the right ionospheric conditions will travel a good way around the planet, even at very low power outputs i.e. in the 1 watt range with the right antenna.

There are international agreements as to how the frequency spectrum is used and in what capacity, and it would be very possible to land up transmitting over an international GMDSS Emergency Search and Rescue frequency, or the like.

In this country what was the Radio Agency, now OFCOM regulate the radio spectrum use, Licensed Ham radio users have a very small part of the spectrum to play with, the rest is allocated for all sorts of uses, and they will come down on you like a Ton of bricks if they catch you illegally operating (I worked for the RAF and the Police as a Radio engineer and hold a GMDSS operating licence from the Home office, and have had dealings with OFCOM in the apprehension of bogus TX'ers).

My advice, permanently disable the transmit side of the radio equipment, or even better, pull all the fuses and power and use it purely for show value. It just isnt worth the hassle, its like having a live weapon on the vehicle, and not a deactivated one.

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Thanks Adam - thats more or less what I was after. And what I suspected but it's always nice to get confirmation!! :)

 

Now - anyone here speak Czech fluently enough to translate the fuses???? :-D :-D

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Thanks Adam - thats more or less what I was after. And what I suspected but it's always nice to get confirmation!! :)

 

Now - anyone here speak Czech fluently enough to translate the fuses???? :-D :-D

 

 

Isn't Radek Tzech? PM him?

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Thanks Adam - thats more or less what I was after. And what I suspected but it's always nice to get confirmation!! :)

 

Now - anyone here speak Czech fluently enough to translate the fuses???? :-D :-D

 

Could you not simply disconnect the antenna from the back of the set? I would be amazed if the set could transmit any further than is permitted with, for example, Bluetooth devices. I think the law changed last year to allow something like 10m. But like I said in my last post on another thread somewhere, I am too idle to back up my statements with weblinks, so I could be wrong.

 

Nobody would be able to detect anything without getting behind the sets and in my experience it's hard enough when you WANT to.

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Could you not simply disconnect the antenna from the back of the set? I would be amazed if the set could transmit any further than is permitted with, for example, Bluetooth devices. I think the law changed last year to allow something like 10m. But like I said in my last post on another thread somewhere, I am too idle to back up my statements with weblinks, so I could be wrong.

 

Nobody would be able to detect anything without getting behind the sets and in my experience it's hard enough when you WANT to.

 

Yes, transmiting without an antenna is as good a way as any to burn out the TX side of the radio, thus rendering it @~#$~....:-D

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Yes, transmiting without an antenna is as good a way as any to burn out the TX side of the radio, thus rendering it @~#$~....:-D

I rest my case lol.

 

I remember the Royal Armoured Corps Signals School at Bovington had vast numbers of C42s (we were one of the last Larkspur-trained Control Signaller courses - getting only a cursory look at Clansman and having to undergo conversion training almost immediately I returned to unit and we got Clansman issued), one to a desk for our training. The antennae were all wired up to a closed loop so that we only transmitted within the building, not across half of Dorset. For added effect, in other room was an "Armoured Command Vehicle" in the form of a plywood immitation of a 432 as used in the Armoured regiments (Recce had Saracens, to convert to Sultan as they came off the production lines). This meant that when we were running an exercise, the students chosen to be FHQ could not hear radio traffic in the same room by ear if they did not have their sets tuned in correctly.

 

I was volunteered to play FHQ for Exercise Warburg on the day some Brigadier paid a visit. I was told afterward I was sufficiently draconian to run Command Nets in RHQ, which was nice, since it was to be my role upon return to my troop, which was RHQ.

 

Mmmm radios. Gotta love 'em.

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Rigged the aerial up today - ye gods it's damned big!! Makes a Clansman one look like a walking stick - but max range of the set is only 23 miles - pretty much line of sight I guess.....

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OK, a couple of things...

 

1. I believe they used all the general frequency bands that we did; the laws of physics didn't change once you crossed The Wall, after all ;) Only the frequencies changed, of course, and probably like our forces, the important "tactical" frequencies changed on a daily basis.

 

2. The Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 is the governing legislation for two-way radios in the UK, and clearly states that a two-way radio must not be able to be powered up to transmit if the operator is not licenced for the frequency(ies) to be used. The governing legislation is s1(1) WTA 1949

 

1.(1) No person shall establish or use any station for wireless telegraphy or instal or use any apparatus for wireless telegraphy except under the authority of a licence in that behalf granted by the Postmaster General, and any person who establishes or uses any station for wireless telegraphy or instals or uses any apparatus for wireless telegraphy except under and in accordance with such a licence shall be guilty of an offence under this Act:

 

Provided that the Postmaster General may by regulations exempt from the provisions of this subsection the establishment, installation or use of stations for wireless telegraphy or wireless telegraphy apparatus of such classes or descriptions as may be specified in the regulations, either absolutely or subject to such terms, provisions and limitations as may be so specified.

 

Boiled down, and according to currently accepted practices, if the radio transmitter can change frequency by manual tuning (i.e. human intervention), then only a licenced Radio Amateur should operate the radio; if the radio transmitter is set to one or more fixed frequencies, then provided that the are set to permitted "PMR" or "PBR" frequencies, and that the radio has been "type approved", and that a valid PMR or PBR licence is held, then the radio can be used by any person in the employ or in the organisation of the licence holder.

 

Hope that clears that up :)

 

BTW, I'm also a Radio Amateur, call-sign (since 1985) G1LIW ;)

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Thanks for that Roger. When (if??) I ever get the girl home I'll try and locate the radio fuse and pull it - provided it doesn't take out the intercom system as well!! :)

 

If it does then I'll have to find another way...... :)

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Rigged the aerial up today - ye gods it's damned big!! Makes a Clansman one look like a walking stick - but max range of the set is only 23 miles - pretty much line of sight I guess.....

 

Suggests to me that it works in the HF band? For maximum transmission power. the antenna needs to be exactly 1/4 the wavelength. Since you cannot keep chopping off an putting back the odd millimetre of rod, you have to compromise. So long as the antenna length does not exceed 1/4 of the wavelength, the antenna tuning unit (Larkspur ATU; Clansman VHF TUAAM - Tuning Unit Automatic Antenna Matching; Clansman HF ARFAT - IIRC Adaptor Radio Frequency Automatic Tuning - but I stand to be corrected on that one), the transmitted signal can be elecronically enhanced to believe it is going through a 1/4 wavelength antenna. If you imagine a 1/4 sine wave propagated about the vertical rod, the amplitude at the bottom of the rod is the maximum possible.

 

Larkspur VHF transmitted between 36 and 60MHz. At 60 Mhz, the maximum permissible rod length is eight feet, so no more than eight feet of rod was used. More than that and the ATU would try to retune to 1/2 wavelength very inefficiently.

 

Clansman, transmitting VHF at up to 76MHz, carried 2m of rod and no more.

 

With HF, the range of possible antenna 1/4 wavelengths across the frequency spectrum is huge. 12 feet of rod was all we could erect for Larkspur, which required an adaptor to slope the rods so that the antenna did not snap off on the first bridge we went under.

 

In a static location, the entire mast could be used as a rod to transmit HF which gave scope for a very powerful signal, or a single mast could be used to erect a droopy dipole with wire trailing from opposite sides to the ground. Because the wire was wrapped like a kite wire, its length could be adjusted very close to the length required for the frequency in use. Or two masts could be used to erect a dipole clear of the ground, which could be useful in adjusting the dipole height to maximise the signal reflected from the ground.

 

How long would a dipole be? Once, bored out of my skull on radio stag in the middle of the night, I plotted frequency against 1/4 wavelength for every channel available to the transmitter. 1/4 wavelength at the bottom of the frequency range was unfeasibly long, whereas at the top end, starting to bump into the military VHF band, you were talking rods only for maximum transmission power. Rods on a mast was better because it helped clear the ground clutter.

 

But it has to be remembered that if we could transmit from RHQ forward to FHQ and back to Div, or from FHQ back to RHQ and forward to the troops AND NO FURTHER, there would be no signal for the enemy to intercept. "Use the minimum power necessary" was the byword.

 

UK/VRC353 has a 50W power setting. This was illegal in Germany because it would fry nearby telephone lines. Besides, Clansman was issued with a 20W adaptor to mount at the top of the mast to boost the signal from 16W, the standard power setting. Putting 50W through that would also fry the 20W adaptor.

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In UNFICYP, one of our patrol routes was East out of Nicosia along the Green line between north and south, Turks and Greek Cypriots, often the width of a residential back street wide. This was through the CanCon (Canadian Contingent) sector, so the section commander's driver/operator would remove the B47 B Set and install a Canadian set in its place. The set had been pre-mounted onto a B47 tray so it was a simple unscrew, disconnect cables, slide out, install job.

 

But the frequency range of this set must have been a much lower frequency than that of the B47, because the antenna it came with was permanently mounted on its antenna base, must have been something well in excess of 12 feet long and being permanent, the antenna where it entered its base must have been an inch in diameter.

 

It was flexible, so we removed a bolt from the Ferret's rear bulkhead, reattached it, holding the antenna base in place, and bent the antenna forward in an arc over the top of the turret and secured it to the front of the Ferret.

 

It did its job. We were able to establish and maintain radio contact with the Canadians (even if their Voice Procedure and ours were worlds apart). We also still had contact with our own HQ and the section second vehicle.

 

At the end of the patrol we returned to our camp (a former refugee camp during the recent war) and reversed the procedure. Except that I'd forgotten I'd tied the top of the antenna to the front deck, so that when I undid the antenna base retaining bolt, the antenna base flew off and split the skin on my left index finger first joint wide open.

 

A trip to the UNFICYP Medical Centre and I had a stitch in the finger and a leather sheath over the top. My troop sergeant asked me about the prognosis and for no obvious reason (certainly not the truth) I told him I had seven days' no driving. Which meant that I spent the next week swanning in the turret instead of sweating in the driving seat. Nice.

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Nice explanation - thanks kind sir. Sig's was something I studied hard to avoid - apart from anything else it would have meant carting the radio as well as the rest of the kit (2,000 rounds of gpmg ammo could get used up - a radio didn't!) - hence my asking of such dumb questions.

Did you ever come across the "Dimhead" system at all - part of the Clansman setup, not Larkspur.

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Nice explanation - thanks kind sir. Sig's was something I studied hard to avoid - apart from anything else it would have meant carting the radio as well as the rest of the kit (2,000 rounds of gpmg ammo could get used up - a radio didn't!) - hence my asking of such dumb questions.

Did you ever come across the "Dimhead" system at all - part of the Clansman setup, not Larkspur.

 

WOOOSH. Not a clue. That went right over my head like a Sabot round fired off the HESH scale.

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Dimhead was being introduced in my final months. Basically a module that went between the morse key and the transmitter.

You encoded the message using one time pads, banged it out on the morse key - but - it wasn't sent then. The Dimhead module stored the mesasge until the "Transmit" button was pressed and then it was fired off in a microburst. Can't recall if it was sent once or a multiple (3?) of times for message clarity.....

Idea was to make it impossible for deep penetration patrols to be located via RDF.

Base station had a similar module that did the reverse, taking the burst trans. and breaking it back down into the original morse.

 

Remember we're talking 30-odd years ago and the computerised RDF that could get a fix on such a burst and which is taken for granted these days was pretty much non-existant back then!

 

Not too much to do with Soviet radio kit so apologies to the Mods for veering off-topic... :)

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Makes perfect sense to me. Funnily I was just talking in the office about failing to get on a Long-Range Comms Course at Bovvy (that's a Morse course), but who cares since it was declared obsolete a few years ago because all over-the-horizon comms can now be done by satellite, data burst, etc.

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I done my morse course, 13 weeks and 18 Words per Minute, used it for real about 4 times, and as you can imagine, is so helpful to me now i am in civvy street! good for listening to the crap they send in war films! the best one been the one involving michael york and germans in a zeppelin attacking some scottish castle, when the radio operator is sending the alphabet!

Still remember practicing sending "Beef Essence" in morse, it has a nice rhythm.

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I done my morse course, 13 weeks and 18 Words per Minute, used it for real about 4 times, and as you can imagine, is so helpful to me now i am in civvy street! good for listening to the crap they send in war films! the best one been the one involving michael york and germans in a zeppelin attacking some scottish castle, when the radio operator is sending the alphabet!

Still remember practicing sending "Beef Essence" in morse, it has a nice rhythm.

 

Our regiment shared a barracks with Task Force Echo HQ and Signals Troop (it had been and would again be a brigade HQ & Signal Squadron after they gave up with the Task Force concept).

 

I am sure it was one of their Scaleys who told me that when they set up in a location, the first message they sent by way of radio check was the Morse for THIS IS HIS SH!T for no other reason than it amounted to one long, 32 short, 1 long, with no valid context or hidden meaning but immediately recognisable, a bit like SOS.

 

Can you shed any light on this?

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Our regiment shared a barracks with Task Force Echo HQ and Signals Troop (it had been and would again be a brigade HQ & Signal Squadron after they gave up with the Task Force concept).

 

I am sure it was one of their Scaleys who told me that when they set up in a location, the first message they sent by way of radio check was the Morse for THIS IS HIS SH!T for no other reason than it amounted to one long, 32 short, 1 long, with no valid context or hidden meaning but immediately recognisable, a bit like SOS.

 

Can you shed any light on this?

 

:rofl: I have heard of that one, but never as a circuit check, we used QSA/QRK for strength/readability (on a scale 1 - 5) once we opened up and made contact.

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Reverting to the Soviet stuff a mo'. The aerial is in 4 sections, each about 0.9 metres long. Each section is located onto the one beneath it, and the whole aerial onto the antenna base on the vehicle, by means of a sprung bayonet fitting so the aerial maintains an exact length in the order of 4m. Those who were at Beltring would have seen it whipping about in the arena. :)

Base section of the aerial is maybe 12mm dia dropping to about 3mm at the tip.

 

If Larkspur at 60Mhz uses an 8 ft (2.49 metres) aerial what would the frequency be at about 3.6m???

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hi, without getting to much into the black arts of radio. The size of antenna is no real guide. Any size antenna can be made to radiate a signal, IF it's you can make it tune to frequency required. To do this you the ATU, which is at the bottom of the antenna.

One radio from the past which I worked on in the HF band, had a built it antenna tuner. You could make an antenna work from under a foot to over 100 foot long.

As someone has said before, if the radio is able to transmit and you don't have a suitable licence OFCOM can take it, plus your vehicle, and you can get a nice big fine. With MOD etc moving to Bowman, the sort of signals older kit will produce are very simple to see. OFCOM alone have over 120 unmanned monitoring stations in the UK. GCHQ, I hate to think what is available to monitor the frequencies used by MOD etc. And MOD has a lot of kit to do this.

If you transmit, you are risking detection.

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Thats where the interest arises - unlike Larkspur or Clansman kit there is no ATU on the base of the antenna or visible in the system anywhere. Presumably the radio sets are matched to the aerial length, hence the sprung bayonet connectors that ensure consistent aerial length?? Unless the ATU is in the radio set itself?? Having done some digging - info on Soviet comms kit is about as readily available as rocking horse droppings. All I'm interested in is the data on the system.

 

Got no interest in transmitting & the R-123 set is powered off AFAIK - as I said in a previous post a LOTof time and energy was spent in avoiding Sigs courses. Limit of my interest in radio trans is a CB set in the car.

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