It all started when a chappie on the Bristol Linux User Group mentioned that there was going to be a change in the laws regarding data over CB radio frequencies...
With this news I thought of all the possibilities of having a play with RF and seeing how it could be interfaced with a PC (network)
Of course this has been done for may years by radio hams all over the world and was starting to take shape in the form of wireless networking in homes all over the place
I bought a CB off eBay -paid for a licence and hurriedly powered it up, only to be highly dissapointed that in reality things had not really moved on from the 80's and there were still idiots wanting to use the equipment to play music over the calling channel and not much of any real "local community" goings on
I then discovered The PMR 446 User website /forum- wow, this was a trully eye opening place, loads of fascinating stuff going on in there about running voip on PC's connected to radios, allowing a vast community to be in complete mobile contact utilising low power licence free walkie talkie handsets - this was definately the future
The timing was perfect and seemed to nail it, hats off to Dean and TJ for seeing the future and for creating such a thing, what a great community and a great hands on experience introduction into radio
Of course my curiosity grew from this and I quickly enrolled into the local amateur radio club, taking the next opportunity to get licenced. I passed my foundation licence with ease allowing low power operation on many amateur rado frequencies, allowing me to conduct some very interesting experiments with antennas
I also wanted to give back to the community and took my full licence gaining the call sign M0SRF which also allowed me to pay for a Notice Of Variation (NOV) to run a VOIP radio link on amateur frequencies which ran on 6M (51.94 Mhz) for some time in Bristol till we moved to Gosport and any "spare time" seemed to dissapear
Since moving I have not really used the radio much, and it all has been packed away, and I do keep wondering about chucking it all on eBay as I have lost a lot of interest in it as a hobby, perhaps sometime I will get round to plugging it all back in and get back into it?