VHF Low Band 30-50 Mhz

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by WA4ILH, May 27, 2008.

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  1. WA4ILH

    WA4ILH Subscriber QRZ Page

    What's the deal with low band? Years ago, probably 25 years ago, the VHF low band 30-50 Mhz had a lot of activity. Now, I only hear stations around the 39 Mhz Public Safety band and 45 Mhz State Police. And, of course, baby monitors and older portable phones. I know we are at a low spot in the solar cycle but I can't believe that this band is not being used. I do hear some Military activity occasionally in the "government" portion of the band and some Spanish stations which I assume is TE from central or south America.
    Or, maybe my scanner just has low sensitivity down there...... I used to enjoy scanning this band.
    Tom WA4ILH
  2. AB8RO

    AB8RO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Haha baby monitors. My neighbors saw me futzing around in the yard with an antenna and thought I was "spying" on their baby monitor. I told them, really, I have better things to do and tried to explain, in 2 minutes or less, what ham radio was. I also let them know that, despite their beliefs otherwise, that it was perfectly legal for anyone to listen to their baby monitor and that a long antenna wasn't necessary. I then tried to explain the relationship between antenna size and frequency, but, well, I could tell that they weren't really getting it. They seemed somewhat satisfied with the idea that the point of the bigger antenna was not to be "more sensitive" to the baby monitor. I suspect, however, that they continued to harbor the belief that their baby monitor transmissions would remain inside the house and could only be picked up with "spy like" receiving equipment not available to the average person.

    Up until that point I hadn't bothered to "scan" low vhf, because, as you point out, it's pretty boring, but, well, this was an open invitation. Later that evening I found their baby monitor.

    Which leads me to some advice for married couples.

  3. N2RJ

    N2RJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I enjoy listening to baby monitors and cordless phones.
  4. K8WPJ

    K8WPJ Banned QRZ Page

    Maybe it was a 'bedroom issue' that cuased them to need the baby's room in the first place... in which case, it's a perfect spot to discuss those issues... kinda like the criminal returning to the scene of the crime... :rolleyes:
  5. VA2GK

    VA2GK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yup, me too, but today the old 49MHz phones are almost gone :(
  6. N2RJ

    N2RJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Around here they aren't.

    The SteppIR tunes down to 49MHz quite nicely. With a yagi on 49MHz I hear quite far out.
  7. WA9CWX

    WA9CWX Ham Member QRZ Page

    As far as the use of the low VHF band, I suspect that a LOT of public service users have, or ARE going to the various cell phone type trunked systems.
    Many agencies on one system, with the flexibility to inter-communicate, etc. As far as I know almost ALL of that is 800 Mhz, not on VHF.
    The problems with skip, interference, and and the larger antennas required, especially for any handhelds, ALL make low VHF less attractive, and, since the licensing is for non-trunked systems, (as far as I know), all this is becoming a quickly obsolete group of frequencies.

    In areas with a lot of hills, like some rural counties in southern Illinois, I imagine low VHF will last a while, until the counties are sold on the idea of satellite comms.....


    SHAME on you people for listening in on your neighbors !!!! :D

    Did I mention I used to have a neighbor who had one of the ALWAYS ON Base units on their portable phone PLUS a baby monitor upstairs....Now THAT was intersting.
    The old systems (going back to late 70's, early 80's) used the high end of the bradcast band for the base, and the house wireing for the antenna.....
  8. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Subscriber QRZ Page

    Probably the most active user of the band is the California Highway Patrol. Yep, Mister Smokey Bear himself!
    Mostly around 39 to 45 Mhz. I don't know which is the most active or which one is for what area, but it looks like 39.4, 39.6 and 39.8 are the base channels and 42.20. 42.66 and 42.80 are the mobiles. So, It might be nice to have a scanner in the car, just to hear Mister Smokey say to the dispatcher "We have a tan Lincoln Town car doing 90 plus, license number WA6MHZ. Request all aid and the spike strips to stop this rabbit!" Oh how they THIRST for a Kill!!!!
  9. K4KWH

    K4KWH Guest

    And He's Using A Scanner To Evade Capture! Git 'em!!!! :d :d :d

  10. N4AUD

    N4AUD Ham Member QRZ Page

    When I started as a police officer, we had low band VHF radios and the skip was terrible at times. Moving up above 150mhz was a tremendous improvement. I don't believe any of the local departments are on UHF frequencies yet, and there is probably no reason to do so since the VHF frequencies they use now are doing the job.
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