[AMRadio] AM 75- 80 meters


D. Chester k4kyv at charter.net
Sun Sep 27 16:03:32 EDT 2009


> From: "Bernie Doran" <qedconsultants at embarqmail.com>

> what is this fascination with 3880 to 3885? last evening my s meter did 
> not
> fall below +20 tuning through that area and each side. there is no 
> possible
> way to have a QSO at times like that unless you are talking to your next
> door neighbor!  Of course maybe it is just that no one wants to talk to
> me!!   I have also been listening and calling on 7160 and 7290 for several
> days without a nibble.    Just about ready to throw in the towel and get 
> rid
> of my junk. Bernie

I got on the air later in the evening, about 11 PM local time, and had a 
good QSO on 3885 with no QRM, SSB or otherwise.  The QSO outlasted me, and I 
consider myself a night-owl.  I have found it easy to operate "down below" 
during the autumn/winter months when the QRN is low, but during static 
season, activity drops off, and usually about the only activity I can find 
is up in the Ghetto.  When condx improve, I find the Ghetto too crowded, not 
only with SSB QRM, but with AM stations, and any QSO established very 
quickly accumulates 5, 6, 7 or more stations and I don't care for large 
groups, so I find that the ideal time to QSY down lower in the band.


>I gave up and went to 3705, called cq for 30 minutes untill
> dave w9ad ran across me.

My solution to that was to build my automated CQ caller.  I just turn it on, 
the recorded CQ is transmitted, and after the initial call it automatically 
stands by for 30 seconds and then transmits another CQ, until I manually 
take control of the station.  That way I con work on a project at the bench, 
read something, or round up my tools and tidy up the shack while the CQ is 
running.  If, during one of the stand-by periods, I hear someone come back, 
I run over and take manual control of the station and reply to the CQ.  That 
way, I am not wasting a half hour or more sitting at the rig calling CQ 
before I can contact someone when the band is sparsely populated.


 >I could find only three or four ssb stations
> between 3.6 and 3.7.   the low end is almost not used, if it is not going 
> to
> be used the band might as well be changed back where it was.

Well, from what I have read on some of the CW mailing lists, they are trying 
to gather support for a petition to the FCC to do just that.  They feel that 
a big hunk of  the  "cw band" was stolen from them.  Their justification for 
changing it back is that phone stations are rarely using the segment from 
3600 to about 3680, so it should be "returned" to CW. But in rebuttal, I 
would point out that the CW ops have not lost any  frequencies.  It is still 
perfectly legal to operate CW on 3600-3700, so if they find that segment 
devoid of phone activity, there is no reason why they can't operate CW 
there, just as they did befor the phone band expansion.  But most of the 
time, unless there is a QRMtest going on, there is plenty of empty space 
between 3500 and 3600 as well.  And I can't see altering the band 
allocations just to accommodate QRMtests that might occur a  few weekend 
nights a year.

But they do bring up a point.  When the band was first expanded, there was a 
big scramble to get on the air on the "new" frequencies, and there was 
loads of AM activity down in the lower part of the band.  People were 
ecstatically commenting on how much better it was down there, away  from all 
the QRM and chaos up in the Ghetto.  But as weeks passed, the activity down 
below gradually dwindled, and one by one, stations migrated back up to the 
old frequencies, until it became somewhat of a rarity to hear any AM below 
3875, and particularly, below 3600.  The SSB activity on 3600-3700 has 
fallen off as well.

At one time the entire CW band from 3500 to 3750, past the old Novice band, 
was as congested with CW activity as 3500-3580 is now.  But just  before the 
change, 3600-3700 was almost always empty of signals, except for a few early 
evening traffic nets and a few RTTY/data signals.  That was one reason the 
FCC reallocated the frequencies.  Use it or lose it.

If we don't start using those frequencies, next thing we know amateurs will 
be kicked off part of the band and we'll be listening to Brother Stair on 
those frequencies.


>And yes, I
> know this has been brought up before, and yes I know there are generals, 
> not
> an excuse for most, a few hours with the license manual and you are an
> extra. I talked with a 13 year girl a while back that was an extra!!

That brings out the point that the situation on the bottom end of the phone 
band is more a matter of Incentive Licensing and licence class sub-subbands, 
than phone vs CW/data allocations.


> I will be back on the low end tonight around 3.7 +or -15, maybe I can get 
> a
> ssb to respond.

Try calling CQ-AM.  You might be surprised how many SSB'ers will try out 
their ricebox appliances on AM for the first time.  Once in a great while, 
someone will like AM well enough to want to try it again, and eventually end 
up setting up a "real" AM station of their own.  There are at least a couple 
of regular AM'ers on the band to-day a result of CQ's that I called on the 
low end since the band change.  Also, most of the SSB below 3600 is between 
3675 and 3700, while 3600-3675 may be completely empty.  We should make an 
effort to populate that portion of the band with a  few AM  signals.


> From: "Edward Swynar" <gswynar at durham.net>

> I sorta hung up my Viking II & RCA AR-88LF combo into retirement mode up 
> on
> the shelf here several years back  for the very reason you mentioned about
> 40-meters...
>
> I'd call & call CQ at various hours of the day with no responses 
> whatsoever.
> So I finally stopped trying.
>
> As for 75-meters, well, I guess some old habits are slow to die...but from
> what I've been hearing up & around the "window" of 3800-3885-KHz, more 
> than
> a few of the regular AM denizens seem to actually enjoy the challenges of
> standing-up to the random (and by times, downright vicious!) heckling from 
> a
> few of the more "expressive" within the SSB crowd...

STRAP SOFTLY AND TURN UP THE WICK!


> NOT the sort of place you'd really want to demonstrate the joys & 
> pleasures
> of AM phone, to visitors in the shack!
>
> The part of the band around 3.7-MHz seems far more civilized. I enjoy
> SWL'ing the gentlemen who come down there for some interesting technical
> QSOs on AM...
>
> ~73~ Eddy VE3CUI - VE3XZ

Plus, there are the Europeans who operate on 3705.  I heard some activity 
last night, but I am locate just a little too far in the hinterlands to work 
the usual European AM'ers.  The guys on the east coast seem to do much 
better.  But if everyone just listens for AM activity in that part of the 
band but no-one transmits, then there will be "no" AM activity heard.


Don k4kyv


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