RTÉ Radio 1 LW Continues till 2019

Irish national broadcaster RTÉ has agreed to continue its longwave 252 services in the UK until the end of June 2019.

RTÉ long term plan for RTE Radio 1 is for the station to gain approval from UK authorities to launch via a chain of small broadcast networks which cover main urban centres. Currently, a broadcaster has to be based in the UK to obtain an Ofcom licence.

RTÉ says using the DAB+ platform reduce broadcasting costs to one-fifth of the present quarter of a million per annum that RTÉ spends in running costs for RTE Radio LW 252.

Media Story - http://radiotoday.ie/2017/03/rte-radio-1-to-continue-on-longwave-till-2019/

Italian Special Event

Amateur Radio Special Event Station II0CXX will be active every Saturday throughout March to May 2017, during the Collins Collectors Association of Europe (CCAE) Net, at 1000z on 7165 kHz.

This activity is in remembrance of the 30th anniversary of Arthur A. Collins's, W0CXX, death (1987-2017) founder of the Collins Radio Company -- he became a Silent Key in 1987.

QSL via IK0IXI only direct, NO Bureau and NO eQSL.

RSGB Claim Ofcom not Resolving Interference Complaints

UK Amateur / Ham Radio Society RSGB has taken issue with assertions by telecoms regulator Ofcom that the agency 'advises and assists spectrum users to help resolve harmful interference.' 

In response to Ofcoms 2017-18 Annual Plan, RSGB are unhappy that whilst Ofcom does advise complainants from the amateur community and elsewhere, it is “usually only to the extent of advising that they can do nothing and have no further interest in the case.” The regulator rarely uses its statutory powers to assist amateur radio hobbyists.

The issue of a perceived lack of response to spectrum policing is not only a UK issue. In the United States, the FCC has reduced the number of employees available to resolve interference issues.

Ofcom has been responsible for managing the UK spectrum since 2003 when 100 field staff responded and enforced the policy along with support from other offices and engineers. The RSGB concerns highlight that the spectrum is coming under increased pressure from non-compliant devices being policed by only 30 field engineers.

uBITX Ham Radio Transceiver

Ashhar Farhan VU2ESE has published the design of the uBITX 10 watt SSB HF transceiver covering the 3.5-30 MHz amateur radio bands 

The uBITX is based on an Arduino controller and one Si5351 for all the local oscillators. The Double conversion, superhet architecture transceiver can be built for less than $50 and a modest stocked junk box.

Article and Video - http://www.phonestack.com/farhan/ubitx/ubitx.html

Smart Meter Frequency Change

UK residential smart meter manufacturer EDMI is planning to change the RF module to enable operation on 868 MHz as well as 2.4 GHz. 

The redesign was triggered in 2014, according to a source familiar with the matter, after Data and Communications Company (DCC), the Capita subsidiary managing the UK-wide smart meter project on behalf of government, found a dedicated Zigbee wireless home area network (HAN) using 2.4GHz alone would not allow smart meters to work properly in every UK home.

The  upgrade is expected to cost £6.98 million and take 18 months.

Full Story - https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/03/02/edmi_doubling_smart_meter_cost_consumers/