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Why Did It Take So Long For CB Radio To Be Legalize In The Uk
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CB radio was first reporting on our shores in the early 1970,s with illegal 27 MHz AM modulation sets being imported from America. It popularity increased steadily through the 70,s and into the 80,s even though the use of the actual equipment was against the law and punishable by fines and confiscation of the illegal radio transmitters.

Despite repeated calls from an ever growing pro CB lobby the government seemed unable to come up with a plan for legalization with a number of unsuitable proposals torn apart by CB supporters, most unlikely being a frequency allocation at 900MHz in what we now call the microwave bands. Any transmission at such a high frequency is easily blocked by buildings making its use in urban areas severely limited and even over open ground would not give anywhere near the performance that the imported illegal sets were already giving coupled with the fact that any new equipment was going to be expensive. Microwave radio devices are used daily by almost everybody on the planet (mobile phones) as size and cost have been greatly reduce over the last twenty years but to produce this type of microwave transceiver in 1980 cheap enough to mass market was an impossibility, in the meantime more and more illegal AM radios flooded into the country from the USA.

The British government finally adopting a 27MHz FM 40 channel system in 1981 but with frequency's that would make all the radios imported from the USA unusable because they could not be modified to transmit on the new UK band plan. An allocation in the microwave bands was also granted but only taken up but the more serious radio operator and it never showed much activity. The hope that UK manufactures could produce the new radios was dashed when it was reveled that the only Japanese company able to make the synthesizer microchips for the radios new frequency's was unwilling to ship any to the UK as it had an amply market at home to sell its products.

The use of CB radio has never been policed effectively in Britain and although very few people use the legal frequency's anymore there are always operators transmitting outside of the government sanctioned allocation. By not agreeing on technical specifications and a uniform band plan earlier the problem was only made worse by people wanting to join in on the latest craze regardless of the risk or cost.


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