[Top] [All Lists]

Topband: USA 160 meter News

To: <>
Subject: Topband: USA 160 meter News
From: (Tom Rauch)
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 05:28:42 -0500
The following 160 meter related news from the 
ARRL BOD meeting over the weekend in Irving, 
Texas. I'm adding a couple comments of my own 
following the double asterisks.

The Board:

     approved a motion calling on the ARRL 
Technology Task Force to
      study the possibility of asking the FCC to 
authorize "a limited
      number of low-power, automatically 
controlled beacon facilities in
      the 160-meter band." The narrow-bandwidth 
beacons would be used to
      study propagation with an eye toward 
possibly establishing a
      real-time, computer-based MF propagation 

**We'd better watch this one, and make our 
voices heard! A few people who enjoy hobby-type 
broadcasting are tying to have rules amended to 
allow low-power 24 hour unattended beacons. Any 
technically-experienced 160 meter operator would 
know the computer-based MF propagation system is 
a smoke screen for allowing "broadcasting". 

Little-to-zero useful information in propagation 
information can be gathered from watching a low-
power signal with unknown antenna efficiency and 
receiver noise make it over a 200 mile (or 
whatever) path. It's simply a technical 
"smokescreen" for those who enjoy broadcasting, 
and collecting SWL reports and is NOT needed on 
a band that is already squeezed for CW operation 
space many days out of the year.**     

     approved formation of an ad hoc committee 
to study the current
      160-meter band plan, solicit membership 
input, and report back to
      the Board at its July 2001 meeting.

**This is a direct result of the recent digital 
invasion of the DX area, and our comments to the 
board members. The ARRL has no idea how to 
handle the problem because they have no 
"committee" in place to study the problem. 

PLEASE,we should all watch these issues like a 

The bandplan is already poorly conceived. We all 
know most of the DX is between 1825 and 1837 on 
CW, and 1840 (carrier frequency) and 1845 SSB. 
With digital modes coming on board in large 
numbers, we ALL need to push the IARU and the 
ARRL to align the band plans to fit current 160 
meter usage. We need to make sure someone at HQ  
doesn't make another mistake like occurred with 
the present 1830-1850 DX Window.

The IARU and the ARRL also specify digital modes 
are "allowed" in the DX Window area, and 
software writers for MFSK and PSK are telling 
people to operate +- 1838 kHz. This has caused 
digital modes, formerly never heard on 160, to 
operate on a nightly basis on frequencies 
between 1825 and 1840.

If we have a bunch of low-power 24 hour beacons 
on the low end, plus the digital modes (of which 
both PSK and MFSK have technically-related 
bandwidth problems caused by transmitter audio 
chain and modulator harmonic-distortion), plus 
an influx of non-CW types from higher bands as  
sunspots drop, things will get very very tough! 
Please, let's make our voices heard before it is 
too late!**

73, Tom W8JI

P.S.  de W4ZV...E-mail your ARRL Director at or
see if you don't know his call.

FAQ on WWW:     
Administrative requests:

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Topband: USA 160 meter News, Tom Rauch <=