|[AMRadio] 40 m SWBC|
k4kyv at charter.net
Wed Mar 11 14:20:09 EDT 2009
Early Tuesday evening, at about 2400 GMT I worked Steve HUZ on 7160 kHz
until the band went long and I lost him at 0030 right in the middle of a
transmission - just as if he had flipped a power switch and dropped from 1
kw down to a few milliwatts. All in about 5 seconds. But the whole time, no
broadcast QRM. My antenna is an 80m dipole, fed with open wire tuned
feeders, average height 110' off the ground.
At 0630 GMT I ran my automated CQ on 7160, and had Sergio, IT9QJM come back
to me on slopbucket. He said I was S7 to S9 and perfectly readable,
although there was a language barrier. I should have tried out my rusty
Italian! He did understand that I was on AM. He said he was using a
He also said he was running only 10 watts to a half wave dipole! He was not
pinning my S-meter by any means, but he was perfectly readable, well above
the background noise. There had been an English-speaking Bible Beater on
frequency earlier (from South Africa, I believe), but it had shut down and I
didn't hear any other broadcast on the frequency. No amateur slopbucket QRM
Hearing a 10 watt SSB station that well, and being heard at up to S9 with
approximately 300 watts carrier output, leads me to believe that
transatlantic AM should be a breeze whenever band conditions are half way
decent. I would say the best time to try would be between 0430 and 0630
GMT. Maybe earlier as the days get longer.
If most of the broadcast stations really do go away, T/A QSO's should be
possible all evening long. As Tom, K1JJ pointed out, as long as it's dark
or within an hour of darkness in both locations, the USA-EuropeDX can be
worked. The Euros on 40M should be workable any time from OUR own local
sunset to perhaps two hours before our own local sunrise, depending on
season. USA stations can be heard working them throughout that time, which
varies depending on the season. Tom says he has worked Europeans even
though they are a couple hours past their sunrise. The problem is on both
sides of the pond, people tend to sleep between 12 midnight and 4AM local
time. But this could be a window of opportunity for the night-owls who are
still up at the bewitching hour of 3 AM local time, because of the lack of
I predict a reduction in broadcast QRM, but that it won't go away entirely.
Already, there are big holes in the broadcast QRM, below and above 7200.
The most significant change is that amateurs outside Region 2 (the Americas)
will once again have use of 7100-7200 after more than a half century.
European and American hams will have exclusive or at least primary use of
the segment, while those in other parts of the world will have access at
least on a shared basis. British, Spanish and Italian hams are already
active on the new frequencies, and Ireland, Netherlands and France are
supposed to gain access on the 29th (supposedly along with the rest of
PE1MPH reported vacant broadcast channels on the following frequencies:
He suggests maybe 7160 and 7185-7195, although the broadcasters change
frequencies all the time.
One of the significant aspects of the 29 March date is that's about the time
of the normal seasonal shift in international broadcast frequencies anyway,
so mandating the changes on this daty may enhance compliance.
On this side of the Atlantic, here is a quick snapshot of what I heard on
40m on the 1st of March, listening with the 900' beverage that is generally
directional towards Europe. I started to scan the band a few minutes before
0300 GMT. Between 7100 and 7200 I heard broadcast carriers on the following
At 0300 on the dot, the 7200 station closed down. I continued to scan above
Broadcast carriers were on the following frequencies:
Then I re-scanned 7100-7200, because stations often start up or close down
at the top of the hour. BC stations were heard on:
7130 (very weak)
Amateur SSB was heard on only a couple of frequencies between 7200-7300.
Dozens of slopbuckets were audible on vacant frequencies between 7100-7200.
A few Europeans, mostly Italians were heard amongst them, some quite
No amateur AM was heard at all.
On the 9th of March, Steve WB3HUZ reported:
Freq (kHz) BC Station Signal Strength
7125 Y 5/9+20
7130 Y Very Weak
7140 Y Very Weak
7165 Y Very Weak
7180 Y Very Weak
7185 Y Very Weak
7195 Y Very Weak
7200 Y 5/9+10
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