[AMRadio] Trouble Brewing in AM Window

Donald Chester k4kyv at charter.net
Fri Dec 13 11:54:20 EST 2013

I started this  thread hoping to instigate a few more "tall ships" to
operate in the vicinity of 3885 during the evening hours.  One of the
reasons the miscreants on 3892 have moved down to 3890 was because of a
dearth of AM  activity there lately. Whenever I have checked the "window" in
recent weeks, most of the activity seems to have gravitated towards 3875...
USE IT OR LOSE IT! Remember, the SSB ops have just as much right to be there
as we do. 

For many years, we have thought nothing of operating AM with other AM
signals only 5 kc/s away, often with simultaneous AM QSOs for hours at a
time on 3875, 3880 and 3885. If we can routinely tolerate the monkey chatter
from other AM signals only 5 kc/s away, certainly we can tolerate the monkey
chatter from a SSB signal that same distance away from our frequency. If
the SSB ops choose to operate that close to an ongoing AM QSO the QRM is
mutual; they have to suffer from our monkey chatter just as much as we
suffer from theirs, while they still have the option of enjoying a more
QRM-free channel on their original 3892 hangout.  Operating a little too
close for comfort to another QSO in the ham bands is not an FCC matter,
since  no rules were broken. Amateur radio by its  very nature operates on
an interference-expected basis.

The deliberate jamming with SSTV and other garbage is a separate issue, but
like monkey-chatter from stations 5 kc/s away, this is nothing new. If we
STRAP AND IGNORE, the culprits will eventually go away in frustration. I
doubt that FCC agents are going to take a lot of time doing detective work
to trace down the origin of unidentified signals that are causing
interference to a group of radio  hobbyists. Just keep your ears open in
case the culprits slip up and leave a clue to their identity. Once some
reasonable evidence of the source is discovered,  that would be the  time to
contact the FCC.

Instead of wringing our hands over the "invasion" of the mythical "AM
window", we need to simply make it a point to operate more AM in the
vicinity of 3885, while avoiding any over-the-air mention of the situation
but making sure we observe good operating practice at all  times.

As Rob said, we now need to focus our attention on the Baud Rate petition.
We have only about a week left to file comments before the deadline. Last
night I skimmed over some of the 400-odd comments  submitted so far, and see
many submissions pro- and  con. One comment grabbed my attention in
particular; the writer suggested that AM phone be limited to a maximum
bandwidth of 8 kc/s. Many of those on both sides of the Baud-rate issue are
suggesting that a "better"  solution to the problem might be to revive the
regulation by bandwidth proposal, instead of further revamping  the present
system of regulation by mode-of-emission. I think many will agree  with me
that we should be extremely leery of any move towards  specific bandwidth
limits to signals of any kind on our HF bands.

Don k4kyv

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