[AMRadio] more grousing


D. Chester k4kyv at charter.net
Mon Jun 29 01:25:57 EDT 2009


Some time ago a thread appeared on two other amateur radio forums concerning 
US amateurs using phone below 7125. Several comments suggested that we 
should lobby the FCC to expand the US phone band down to 7100 or even to 
7075. Others harshly responded with suggestions to the effect that this was 
nothing but more "anti-CW rubbish".

Saturday night (Sunday GMT), I decided to give 40 a listen while the Field 
Day operators were in full force. Since this contest includes all modes, and 
during the evening 40m seems to be the most active band for the contest, I 
thought this would be a good opportunity to take a snapshot of the usage of 
the various modes throughout this band. So I scanned the band several times 
between 0315 and 0340 GMT, when contest activity was probably at its peak.

One thing I noticed right away was that the CW band seemed substantially 
more active with signals than the phone band, although more than the usual 
amount of phone activity was heard competing with broadcasters on 7200-7300. 
7125-7200 was fully occupied, but the congestion was not unbearable as I 
recall the phone band on FD in years past.

I slowly scanned the band several times during this time period, and here is 
what I observed:

7000-7067: Heavily congested with CW, peaking around 7040. Somewhat less 
active above 7050, but well occupied by CW stations all the way up to 7067. 
No RTTY, data or foreign SSB was heard on this segment.

Data signals were heard on 7068, 7071, between 7073-7075 and 7101. One RTTY 
signal was heard on 7080.

The only CW to be heard above 7067 were three signals: on 7108, 7113 and 
7117. At one time during that 25-minute period I heard a total of four CW 
signals above 7067.

At any one time, a total of 3-4 foreign SSB signals were heard between 7075 
and 7125.

The question I have to ask is this. If maintaining the current U.S. subband 
restrictions in the 7075-7125 segment is so essential for the preservation 
of the CW mode as some claim, why was there not more CW activity to-night in 
this segment during the contest, which brings stations of all modes out of 
the woodwork? Why was over 90% of the RTTY/Data activity between 7068 and 
7075? Why was the rest of the band moderately to heavily congested with 
contest and other activity, while 7075-7125 was practically devoid of 
signals?

There would be less griping from the DX crowd about AM'ers operating near 
7160 if US amateurs, and US amateurs only, were not restricted by the FCC 
from using almost half the segment of the "new" 40m band where phone 
operation takes place world-wide.

Don k4kyv
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