I have to agree with you, Ron. And with Mal, of course ... at least in
this instance ;)
I operated 40m single band during this contest and listened to several
of the big guns from this very reflector giving their SSB listening
frequency well below 7010 during prime time for the CW DX'ers. The
reason they were listening down there is that those frequencies were
more or less clear of SSB signals, left that way by the rest of the
world that had far more courtesy and far less arrogance. I even heard
two of these ops (possibly the two biggest stations on the east coast)
complaining to each other that after giving their listening frequency as
being below 7010, other DX stations would occasionally jump down there
to call CQ! You have to wonder at the mentality of that.
A few respondents to Mal commented that the QRM in Europe is horrendous
on 40m SSB, as if that were some kind of excuse, but I've heard lots of
Europeans the last two evenings and the culprits all seemed to be on
this side of the Atlantic.
There is no question that contests are going to stretch informal band
plans and create some friction, but it doesn't do the hobby any good for
contesters to take over ALL of the band. It's bad manners and as you
say, it's getting worse. Last year I only heard one really bad culprit
(the full audio file of his 2005 operation is still available online
from his website, by the way) who used 7002 for hours, but this year
there were several big guns doing it.
And if it turns me off, how should we expect the non-contesters who
suffer from it to react? Can someone tell me how the hobby is advanced
by this kind of behavior? It's silly to spend much of the year debating
how we can draw more new participants to contesting and then during the
actual contests give the most prospective ones (DX'ers, in my opinion)
great reasons why they wouldn't want to. All because a few guys think
they are more important than the rest.
Ron Notarius W3WN wrote:
> 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
> have it?
> 73, ron w3wn
> CQ-Contest mailing list
CQ-Contest mailing list