I?ve been more active on topband this season with a new receiving array (8
verticals designed by W8JI) and have been thinking about the CQWW SSB
contest and the US band plan.
A few years ago Jeff ?ZM suggested that the US stations refrain from
transmitting SSB below 1842 including or especially during the contest
weekend and I think for the most part this worked very well. There were
some split operations from DX stations (transmitting below 42 and listening
above 42). I think this was a good idea and also worked well.
But in the last couple of years the plan has kind of fallen apart during the
contests because it seems like only the US 160 operators remember and try to
abide by it. During the times other then the 3 major contest that have SSB
on 160 (CQWW SSB, ARRL DX SSB and CQWW 160 SSB) I?ve heard stations
informing others of the plan and to vacate the area below 42 if using SSB.
One W8 persists in calling CQ on about 36 often even though he has been
informed by others (but he is really the exception in the Midwest). I
mentioned the band plan to one of the ops at HC8L a few days ago since he
was on 26 on SSB and he immediately moved above. So that confirms that the
plan is not universally known (especially by DX stations).
What I am afraid of is the fact that with the super conditions on 160 the
past couple of months, I know DX stations and VE?s will be calling CQ on SSB
below 42 and some of us will not be sure of what to do. I believe this
situation is similar to the situation on 40 meters of the band plan to limit
SSB to above 7040 but this has been falling apart during contests weekends.
So what I am saying is that on the 3 weekends a year the die hard, non SSB
contest, 160 meter operators are most likely out of luck in keeping SSB from
I know this should have been posted much earlier rather then the day of the
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