I must admit to being disappointed to some of the responses to Mal's
comments. Not surprised, but disappointed.
Yes, the issue of SSB encroaching on the 40 meter CW band has been discussed
before, some might even say ad infinitum ad nauseum. However, in the past,
the discussion has centered around SSB below 7030 kHz or 7025 kHz. I don't
recall (although I could be wrong) a past discussion about SSB all the way
down to 7007, 7005, even 7001 kHz -- effectively obliterating the CW part of
the band. Sorry gentlefolk, that's bad amateur practice.
Yes, it's allowed in many administrations around the world. That doesn't
make it right. Just because you can do it doesn't mean that you should.
Yes, the band from 7030 to 7100 is often crowded and finding a clear spot
can be tough or near impossible. That doesn't justify "pushing the
envelope" all the way down to 7000 kHz. That's the nature of 40 meters, and
it will remain that way for years until (if ever) we get 7000 - 7500 amateur
exclusive worldwide again (don't hold your breath on that one). Deal with
it, but within the SSB band.
Yes, it might be tough to enforce a "no SSB below 7020 kHz" rule, but it
could be done. Yes, some big guns and little pistols might get their scores
reduced or even DQ'd, but maybe that has to be done.
By QRM'ing or even squeezing out the non-contesters running 40 CW, we invite
trouble. Do we really need more anti-contest advocates against us, because
a few decide to flex their metaphorical muscles? It is arrogant presumption
on the part of a few that is causing us these headaches. It is that same
arrogance that dismisses comments about the situation with replies telling
those of us who are concerned to go do something else; if anything, that
makes the point that we have an attitude problem.
Even more appalling was the big guns I heard & saw spotted listening below
7003 kHz. On top of everything else, you're inviting DX amateurs to operate
with some or most of their LSB signal below 7000 kHz; that's as bad as the
DX working 14.247.5 USB who entices some of us to operate USB above the band
edge. A Popkin-gram or a pink slip is bad enough; do we want some poor
DX'er to lose his ticket or worse for going below the band edge, all because
one of us didn't pay attention to the little details? (And I have to admit
to being disappointed in most of the calls I heard doing this, I thought
better of most of them. One didn't surprise me, but the rest...)
It's actually quite simple. Call it ethics, call it a gentleman's
agreement, call it good amateur practice, call it being practical. IMHO,
wiping out the CW sub-band on 40, or anywhere else for that matter, for the
sake of a clear SSB frequency in a contest is wrong and will come back to
haunt us. If we won't do it unofficially, then draw the line in the rules.
...and yes, I know CW will creep up above 7030 on 40 in the CW part of the
contest next month. The "line" between SSB & CW on 40 can be flexible to
accomodate the needs of all users of the band -- and should be. And I would
have the same comments if CW operators try to push out most or all SSB ops
next month (poetic justice?).
Bottom line is, we have to self-enforce this, or have something we don't
want or like imposed on us in the contest rules. Which way would you rather
73, ron w3wn
CQ-Contest mailing list