Community Audio Distribution Service

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26 MHz 27 MHz church radio parish radio - Wireless Public Address Service UK Ireland Northern Ireland

See also the 11 meter band, CB, Remote Control and HF pagers


For prldx's excellent list of WPAS/CADS 27 MHz Church Radio stations/broadcasts and logs, see this link:

[1]

For Harri Kujala's 27 MHz Parish Radio / Church Radio list (collection), logs, letters and emails from parishes confirming QSL of their specific parish radio broadcast - often referred to as a "parish radio link" or "parish radio service" - see this link:

[2]

Contents

Overview - Scope, Technical Specifications

CADS, also known as the Wireless Public Address System (WPAS) in the Republic of Ireland. Church Radio re-broadcast service, AM and FM modes allowed, using CB-type equipment and frequency bands.

Both the CADS and WPAS services are very popular in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The fact that churches are continuing to upgrade their transmitters and antennas as well as changing frequencies to avoid interference attests to the continued popularity of 27 MHz CB church parish radio links.

Three "bands" in (legal) use, the regular CB band 26.965-27.405 MHz, the UK FM "27/81" band 27.60125-27.99125 MHz and the "UW band" 27.605-27.995 MHz. Church services have been heard outside these band limits, often in the 27.405 MHz to 27.600 MHz portion and below 26.965 MHz (CB channel 1). Some churches use modified "export radios" which, instead of observing the UK FM offset, transmit on the "zeros" instead (i.e., operating on 27.800 MHz instead of 27.80125 MHz). Since the difference between UK FM offset and the zero offset is only 1.25 kHz and FM is used, this usually makes very little to no difference to the (local) receivers the church transmission is meant for. Examples include 27.729 MHz or 27.730 MHz instead of the 27.73125 MHz center frequency. 27.980 MHz AM is included in logs, even though the UK FM band prohibits use of AM mode, this would indicate use of "export" specification radios or multi-country radios set for "RU" or "Russia" mode.

Sometimes offset frequencies are used within the CEPT 40 CB channels, for example 27.161 MHz or 27.160 MHz instead of 27.155 MHz or 27.165 MHz. 27.301 MHz, 27.319 MHz, 27.330 MHz, 27.332 MHz have also been logged. Out of band church parish radio link logs include 27.000 MHz, 27.425 MHz, 27.435 MHz, 27.505 MHz and 27.515 MHz. The vast majority of activity is found within the 27.600 MHz - 27.995 MHz CADS/WPAS/UK FM 27/81 CB band and the 26.965 MHz - 27.405 MHz mid band FM CEPT European standard CB band.

The vast majority of parish radio broadcasts use FM mode, although AM is sometimes used.

Note that these frequencies are used outside Ireland and the United Kingdom for similar services, regular two-way CB communications, R/C purposes, data links and paging networks.

CADS operates on the 80 UK CB channels (standard CB channels 1-40 and UK FM CB channels 1-40) so 26965-27405 and 27601.25-27991.25 FM mode only. UK law defines the 27/81 UK FM CB band as 27.59625 MHz to 27.99625 MHz (5 kHz down from UK CB channel 1 and 5 kHz up from UK CB channel 40, effectively 27.600 MHz to 28.000 MHz). The mid band CEPT/EU band is defined as 26.960 MHz to 27.410 MHz. Ireland's WPAS service operates on two sets of 40 interleaved channels for a total of 80 channels. Although not technically authorized in Ireland, Churches often use the standard 40 "mid band CB" or "CEPT CB" channels as well. Ireland allows use of AM and FM on all 80 channels as part of the WPAS system, while FM is the only mode allowed in the UK. When added to the 40 mid band CB channels 26.965 to 27.405 a total of 120 channels becomes available.

In practice, several churches will share frequencies or use offset channels and/or channels in between the 26.965-27.405 MHz range and the 27.60125-27.99125 MHz / 27.605-27.995 MHz range. Narrow FM mode with 2.5 kHz to 5 kHz deviation is the standard, with some variation in deviation depending on the manufacturer and model of the radio transmitter used and when the radio was manufactured. AM mode is the standard 6 kHz to 8 kHz wide A3E emission 6K00A3E or 8K00A3E - although the de facto CB bandwidth is 10 kHz for AM and FM modes (10K0F3E for FM).

WPAS regulations allow for 1 watt carrier power in AM mode (4 watts peak PEP power) or 4 watts power in FM mode. Antennas must be vertically polarized and exhibit no more than 3db gain. Antenna gain is expressed as dbd. ComReg (Ireland’s telecommunications regulatory agency) also prohibits mounting antennas higher than 10 meters above local terrain. Apparently this rule is frequently ignored with antennas mounted on church steeples, etc. for maximum local coverage range.

Bands

CB Channel Frequency
CB Band Mid Band CEPT EU Band 26.965-27.405 MHz
UK Band UK FM 27/81 CB LW Band 27.60125-27.99125 MHz
UW Band (Ireland) 27.605-27.995 MHz

CADS/WPAS Frequencies: UK 27/81 LW and UW Channels

Note: Ireland’s ComReg technically allows use of AM mode on the LW frequencies (UK 27/81 FM CB band). AM is not permitted in the U.K.

WPAS Channel Frequency MHz Frequency kHz
Channel LW01 27.60125 MHz 27.601 MHz 27601.25 kHz
Channel LW02 27.61125 MHz 27.611 MHz 27611.25 kHz
Channel LW03 27.62125 MHz 27.621 MHz 27621.25 kHz
Channel LW04 27.63125 MHz 27.631 MHz 27631.25 kHz
Channel LW05 27.64125 MHz 27.641 MHz 27641.25 kHz
Channel LW06 27.65125 MHz 27.651 MHz 27651.25 kHz
Channel LW07 27.66125 MHz 27.661 MHz 27661.25 kHz
Channel LW08 27.67125 MHz 27.671 MHz 27671.25 kHz
Channel LW09 27.68125 MHz 27.681 MHz 27681.25 kHz
Channel LW10 27.69125 MHz 27.691 MHz 27691.25 kHz
Channel LW11 27.70125 MHz 27.701 MHz 27701.25 kHz
Channel LW12 27.71125 MHz 27.711 MHz 27711.25 kHz
Channel LW13 27.72125 MHz 27.721 MHz 27721.25 kHz
Channel LW14 27.73125 MHz 27.731 MHz 27731.25 kHz
Channel LW15 27.74125 MHz 27.741 MHz 27741.25 kHz
Channel LW16 27.75125 MHz 27.751 MHz 27751.25 kHz
Channel LW17 27.76125 MHz 27.761 MHz 27761.25 kHz
Channel LW18 27.77125 MHz 27.771 MHz 27771.25 kHz
Channel LW19 27.78125 MHz 27.781 MHz 27781.25 kHz
Channel LW20 27.79125 MHz 27.791 MHz 27791.25 kHz
Channel LW21 27.80125 MHz 27.801 MHz 27801.25 kHz
Channel LW22 27.81125 MHz 27.811 MHz 27811.25 kHz
Channel LW23 27.82125 MHz 27.821 MHz 27821.25 kHz
Channel LW24 27.83125 MHz 27.831 MHz 27831.25 kHz
Channel LW25 27.84125 MHz 27.841 MHz 27841.25 kHz
Channel LW26 27.85125 MHz 27.851 MHz 27851.25 kHz
Channel LW27 27.86125 MHz 27.861 MHz 27861.25 kHz
Channel LW28 27.87125 MHz 27.871 MHz 27871.25 kHz
Channel LW29 27.88125 MHz 27.881 MHz 27881.25 kHz
Channel LW30 27.89125 MHz 27.891 MHz 27891.25 kHz
Channel LW31 27.90125 MHz 27.901 MHz 27901.25 kHz
Channel LW32 27.91125 MHz 27.911 MHz 27911.25 kHz
Channel LW33 27.92125 MHz 27.921 MHz 27921.25 kHz
Channel LW34 27.93125 MHz 27.931 MHz 27931.25 kHz
Channel LW35 27.94125 MHz 27.941 MHz 27941.25 kHz
Channel LW36 27.95125 MHz 27.951 MHz 27951.25 kHz
Channel LW37 27.96125 MHz 27.961 MHz 27961.25 kHz
Channel LW38 27.97125 MHz 27.971 MHz 27971.25 kHz
Channel LW39 27.98125 MHz 27.981 MHz 27981.25 kHz
Channel LW40 27.99125 MHz 27.991 MHz 27991.25 kHz
Channel UW01 27.605 MHz 27605 kHz
Channel UW02 27.615 MHz 27615 kHz
Channel UW03 27.625 MHz 27625 kHz
Channel UW04 27.635 MHz 27635 kHz
Channel UW05 27.645 MHz 27645 kHz
Channel UW06 27.655 MHz 27655 kHz
Channel UW07 27.665 MHz 27665 kHz
Channel UW08 27.675 MHz 27675 kHz
Channel UW09 27.685 MHz 27685 kHz
Channel UW10 27.695 MHz 27695 kHz
Channel UW11 27.705 MHz 27705 kHz
Channel UW12 27.715 MHz 27715 kHz
Channel UW13 27.725 MHz 27725 kHz
Channel UW14 27.735 MHz 27735 kHz
Channel UW15 27.745 MHz 27745 kHz
Channel UW16 27.755 MHz 27755 kHz
Channel UW17 27.765 MHz 27765 kHz
Channel UW18 27.775 MHz 27775 kHz
Channel UW19 27.785 MHz 27785 kHz
Channel UW20 27.795 MHz 27795 kHz
Channel UW21 27.805 MHz 27805 kHz
Channel UW22 27.815 MHz 27815 kHz
Channel UW23 27.825 MHz 27825 kHz
Channel UW24 27.835 MHz 27835 kHz
Channel UW25 27.845 MHz 27845 kHz
Channel UW26 27.855 MHz 27855 kHz
Channel UW27 27.865 MHz 27865 kHz
Channel UW28 27.875 MHz 27875 kHz
Channel UW29 27.885 MHz 27885 kHz
Channel UW30 27.895 MHz 27895 kHz
Channel UW31 27.905 MHz 27905 kHz
Channel UW32 27.915 MHz 27915 kHz
Channel UW33 27.925 MHz 27925 kHz
Channel UW34 27.935 MHz 27935 kHz
Channel UW35 27.945 MHz 27945 kHz
Channel UW36 27.955 MHz 27955 kHz
Channel UW37 27.965 MHz 27965 kHz
Channel UW38 27.975 MHz 27975 kHz
Channel UW39 27.985 MHz 27985 kHz
Channel UW40 27.995 MHz 27995 kHz

CADS/WPAS Frequencies: CEPT CB Band or "Mid band"

Mid Band CB UK, Europe, Ireland (used unofficially in Ireland) Defined under UK and Irish law as "26.96 MHz to 27.41 MHz"

CB Channel Frequency
Channel 01 26.965 MHz
Channel 02 26.975 MHz
Channel 03 26.985 MHz
Channel 04 27.005 MHz
Channel 05 27.015 MHz
Channel 06 27.025 MHz
Channel 07 27.035 MHz
Channel 08 27.055 MHz
Channel 09 27.065 MHz
Channel 10 27.075 MHz
Channel 11 27.085 MHz
Channel 12 27.105 MHz
Channel 13 27.115 MHz
Channel 14 27.125 MHz
Channel 15 27.135 MHz
Channel 16 27.155 MHz
Channel 17 27.165 MHz
Channel 18 27.185 MHz
Channel 19 27.185 MHz
Channel 20 27.205 MHz
Channel 21 27.215 MHz
Channel 22 27.225 MHz
Channel 23 27.255 MHz
Channel 24 27.235 MHz
Channel 25 27.245 MHz
Channel 26 27.265 MHz
Channel 27 27.275 MHz
Channel 28 27.285 MHz
Channel 29 27.295 MHz
Channel 30 27.305 MHz
Channel 31 27.315 MHz
Channel 32 27.325 MHz
Channel 33 27.335 MHz
Channel 34 27.345 MHz
Channel 35 27.355 MHz
Channel 36 27.365 MHz
Channel 37 27.375 MHz
Channel 38 27.385 MHz
Channel 39 27.395 MHz
Channel 40 27.405 MHz

CADS WPAS Church Radio Parish Frequencies Overlapping Channels In Order

Irish legislation specifically indicates 10 kHz channel bandwidth +/- 5 kHz from center frequency, so 27.605 MHz covers 27.600 MHz - 27.610 MHz, 27.60125 MHz covers 27.59625 MHz to 27.60625 MHz, 27.995 MHz covers 27.990 MHz - 28.000 MHz, 27.99125 MHz covers 27.98625 MHz - 27.99625 MHz. However, ComReg rules state the frequency spectrum for WPAS is 27.6 MHz to 27.99 MHz, leaving out the 27.99 MHz to 28.0 MHz slice that covers LW40 and UW40 channels 27.99125 MHz and 27.995 MHz.

  • 26.175 MHz - Begin FIXED/MOBILE band (on-site paging, low power devices, short range devices, remote control, Citizen Band Radio) 26175 - 27500 kHz
  • 26.350 MHz - UK begin FIXED/MOBILE band to 27.5 MHz
  • 26.960 MHz - begin CB band / CADS mid band
  • 26.965 MHz - CB01
  • 26.975 MHz - CB02
  • 26.985 MHz - CB03
  • 27.005 MHz - CB04
  • 27.015 MHz - CB05
  • 27.025 MHz - CB06
  • 27.035 MHz - CB07
  • 27.055 MHz - CB08
  • 27.065 MHz - CB09
  • 27.075 MHz - CB10
  • 27.085 MHz - CB11
  • 27.105 MHz - CB12
  • 27.115 MHz - CB13
  • 27.125 MHz - CB14
  • 27.135 MHz - CB15
  • 27.155 MHz - CB16
  • 27.165 MHz - CB17
  • 27.175 MHz - CB18
  • 27.185 MHz - CB19
  • 27.205 MHz - CB20
  • 27.215 MHz - CB21
  • 27.225 MHz - CB22
  • 27.235 MHz - CB24
  • 27.245 MHz - CB25
  • 27.255 MHz - CB23
  • 27.265 MHz - CB25
  • 27.275 MHz - CB27
  • 27.285 MHz - CB28
  • 27.295 MHz - CB29
  • 27.305 MHz - CB30
  • 27.315 MHz - CB31
  • 27.325 MHz - CB32
  • 27.335 MHz - CB33
  • 27.345 MHz - CB34
  • 27.355 MHz - CB35
  • 27.365 MHz - CB36
  • 27.375 MHz - CB37
  • 27.385 MHz - CB38
  • 27.395 MHz - CB39
  • 27.405 MHz - CB40
  • 27.410 MHz - end CB band / CADS mid band
  • 27.500 MHz - end FIXED/MOBILE band (on-site paging, low power devices, Citizen Band Radio)
  • 27.500 MHz - begin METEOROLOGICAL AIDS, FIXED, MOBILE band (on-site paging, fixed/mobile service, WPAS is a FIXED SERVICE)
  • 27.59625 MHz - begin 27/81 UK FM CB band per Ofcom frequency allocation
  • 27.600 MHz - begin WPAS allocation per ComReg frequency allocation
  • 27.60125 MHz - LW01
  • 27.605 MHz - UW01
  • 27.61125 MHz - LW02
  • 27.615 MHz - UW02
  • 27.62125 MHz - LW03
  • 27.625 MHz - UW03
  • 27.63125 MHz - LW04
  • 27.635 MHz - UW04
  • 27.64125 MHz - LW05
  • 27.645 MHz - UW05
  • 27.65125 MHz - LW06
  • 27.655 MHz - UW06
  • 27.66125 MHz - LW07
  • 27.665 MHz - UW07
  • 27.67125 MHz - LW08
  • 27.675 MHz - UW08
  • 27.68125 MHz - LW09
  • 27.685 MHz - UW09
  • 27.69125 MHz - LW10
  • 27.695 MHz - UW10
  • 27.70125 MHz - LW11
  • 27.705 MHz - UW11
  • 27.71125 MHz - LW12
  • 27.715 MHz - UW12
  • 27.72125 MHz - LW13
  • 27.725 MHz - UW13
  • 27.73125 MHz - LW14
  • 27.735 MHz - UW14
  • 27.74125 MHz - LW15
  • 27.745 MHz - UW15
  • 27.75125 MHz - LW16
  • 27.755 MHz - UW16
  • 27.76125 MHz - LW17
  • 27.765 MHz - UW17
  • 27.77125 MHz - LW18
  • 27.775 MHz - UW18
  • 27.78125 MHz - LW19
  • 27.785 MHz - UW19
  • 27.79125 MHz - LW20
  • 27.795 MHz - UW20
  • 27.80125 MHz - LW21
  • 27.805 MHz - UW21
  • 27.81125 MHz - LW22
  • 27.815 MHz - UW22
  • 27.82125 MHz - LW23
  • 27.825 MHz - UW23
  • 27.83125 MHz - LW24
  • 27.835 MHz - UW24
  • 27.84125 MHz - LW25
  • 27.845 MHz - UW25
  • 27.85125 MHz - LW26
  • 27.855 MHz - UW26
  • 27.86125 MHz - LW27
  • 27.865 MHz - UW27
  • 27.87125 MHz - LW28
  • 27.875 MHz - UW28
  • 27.88125 MHz - LW29
  • 27.885 MHz - UW29
  • 27.89125 MHz - LW30
  • 27.895 MHz - UW30
  • 27.90125 MHz - LW31
  • 27.905 MHz - UW31
  • 27.91125 MHz - LW32
  • 27.915 MHz - UW32
  • 27.92125 MHz - LW33
  • 27.925 MHz - UW33
  • 27.93125 MHz - LW34
  • 27.935 MHz - UW34
  • 27.94125 MHz - LW35
  • 27.945 MHz - UW35
  • 27.95125 MHz - LW35
  • 27.955 MHz - UW36
  • 27.96125 MHz - LW37
  • 27.965 MHz - UW37
  • 27.97125 MHz - LW38
  • 27.975 MHz - UW38
  • 27.98125 MHz - LW39
  • 27.985 MHz - UW39
  • 27.990 MHz - end WPAS allocation per ComReg rules
  • 27.99125 MHz - LW40
  • 27.995 MHz - UW40
  • 27.99625 MHz - end 27/81 UK FM CB band CH40
  • 28.000 MHz - end WPAS / CADS from 27.59625 MHz / 27.6 MHz (27.5 MHz to 28.0 MHz FIXED SERVICE band)
  • 28.000 MHz - end METEOROLOGICAL AIDS, FIXED, MOBILE band (on-site paging, fixed/mobile service)
  • 28.000 MHz - begin 10 meter amateur radio 10m ham radio band

Further Reading - Regulations, Technical Requirements, Frequency Allocations

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0026/51587/consultation.pdf

https://www.comreg.ie/media/2016/04/WPAS-Licence-Application-Guideleines0517R1.pdf

HF band for WPAS usage HF band 27.60 MHz - 27.99 MHz two banks of 40 channels each - channel bandwidth 10 kHz

  • EN 300 1134 (Radio equipment intended for the transmission of data (and/or speech) using constant or non-constant envelope modulation and having an antenna connector)
  • EN 300 1354 (Angle modulated CB radio equipment CEPT PR 27 Radio Equipment) 26.96 MHz - 27.41 MHz
  • EN 300 4334 (Double Side Band (DSB) and/or Single Side Band SSB amplitude modulated AM CB radio equipment)


26.965 MHz to 27.405 MHz amplitude modulated, angle modulated voice sound broadcasting phase modulation or frequency modulation A3E and G3E or F3E 26.96 MHz to 27.41 MHz band with the exception of 26.995 MHz 27.045 MHz 27.095 MHz, 27.145 MHz, 27.195 MHz. 27500 kHz 27.5 MHz to 27.6 MHz 27.6 MHz to 27.995 MHz 27.60125 MHz to 27.99125 MHz 27.59625 MHz 27.99625 MHz 27.605 MHz 27.995 MHz

  • The following maximum effective Radiated Power (ERP) limits will apply to WPAS systems.
  • Base Station equipment using Amplitude Modulation (AM): 1 watt (0dBW)
  • Base Station equipment using Frequency Modulation (FM): 4 watts (6dBW)
  • Antennas must be non directional and antenna gain must not exceed 3dBd
  • Antenna polarization must be vertical
  • Antenna height must not exceed 10 metres above local ground level
  • 26175 kHz - 27500 kHz 26.175 MHz - 27.5 MHz CEPT/ERC/DEC/(96);19,I.S.ETS300.224 CEPT/ERC/DEC/(96);02,I.S.ETS300.135 Paging (private, on-site) Low Power devices Citizen Band Radio (26.96 - 27.41 MHz.) Model Control 26.995 MHz 27.045 MHz 27.095 MHz 27.145 MHz 27.195 MHz FIXED MOBILE except aeronautical mobile S5.150

S5.150 - The following bands: 13553 - 13567 kHz (center frequency 13560 kHz), 26957 - 27283 kHz 26.957 MHz - 27.283 MHz (center frequency 27120 kHz 27.12 MHz), 40.66 - 40.70 MHz (center frequency 40.68 MHz), 902 - 928 MHz in Region 2 (center frequency 915 MHz), 2400 - 2500 MHz (center frequency 2450 MHz), 5725 - 5 875 MHz (center frequency 5800 MHz), and 24 - 24.25 GHz (center frequency 24.125 GHz) are also designated for industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) applications. Radiocommunication services operating within these bands must accept harmful interference which may be caused by these applications. ISM equipment operating in these bands is subject to the provisions of No. 1815/S15.13.


  • 27500 kHz - 28000 kHz 27.5 MHz - 28.0 MHz CEPT/ERC/DEC/(96)19,I.S./ETS.300.224 METEOROLOGICAL AIDS FIXED MOBILE
  • 26350 kHz - 27500 26.35 MHz - 27.5 MHz kHz - FIXED MOBILE - except aeronautical mobile
  • 27500 kHz - 28000 27.5 MHz - 28.0 MHz - FIXED MOBILE - except aeronautical mobile

Responsibility for granting permissions to use frequencies in this Allocation rests with Defence. All frequency permissions are reserved exclusively for Defence use except where assignments for Civil use are agreed with Ofcom.

Responsibility for assigning frequencies to this Allocation rests with Ofcom. Frequencies in this Allocation are exclusively assigned for civilian use except where permissions for military use are agreed with the Ministry of Defence. Ofcom coordinates assignments with the Ministry of Defence. Further information can be found in the document “Frequency sharing arrangements between civil and military services”.

The MoD requires at times to activate stations of the land mobile service, employing low power for voice communications, in the range 1.5 - 30.0 MHz. Temporary assignments will be negotiated directly with Ofcom and the Departments concerned or likely to be affected. In certain bands however this general but qualified agreement to MILITARY out of band usage cannot be permitted. These bands are annotated by the footnote UK9 in the UKFAT.



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