[CQ-Contest] Re-allocate Novice CW to RTTY

R.S.Hradilek ids at nol.net
Sat Jul 25 17:14:32 EDT 1998

I am sure many will jump on the bandwagon over this one and bemoan the 
effect the ARRL proposals will have in hastening the demise of CW. I feel it is 
the prior lightening of standards that brought us to the state we are in. The no-
code tech license and SSB privileges on 10 have brought many into the hobby 
and now they are the majority. The furor over the new proposals properly 
belongs on other newsgroups and forums, but I have another point to make that 
primarily effects us contesters.

For a long time I have noticed how the novice CW bands have been abandoned, 
while at the same time digital modes (RTTY, AMTOR, PACTOR) are gobbling 
up more and more of the CW bands. We only notice this during contests, when 
we need the extra spectrum. The digital ops, like the slow scan guys on SSB, 
will not yield their part of the band during a contest.

Now the ARRL proposes to reallocate the novice CW bands to SSB, thus 
overlooking the need for the digital modes to have some spectrum of their own. 
Over the long term it is the RTTY guys, and not SSB, that will take over the 
CW bands. I have felt for a long time that portions of the unused novice CW 
bands should be reserved for digital operation. If this is not done, we will soon 
find ourselves with only about 25-30 KHz to use in a major CW contest - 
perhaps in the coming sunspot peak.

During the peak of the last cycle, it was EXTREMELY difficult to find and hold a 
frequency on 10 CW in a major DX contest from Texas. The band was totally 
staked out several layers deep by the east coast before the band even open 
west of the Mississippi. It was easy to grab a frequency between the RTTY 
guys, but rates suffered and they would jump on the frequency to reclaim it as 
theirs. Meanwhile, 28.100 - 28.300 was completely unused. Re-allocation of 
parts of the novice CW bands to digital modes looked like an obvious solution, 
and I hope this idea gets some consideration in the upcoming debate.

It looks like the League is anticipating a huge influx of SSB activity, and with 
the changes they are proposing it is a good assumption. Why do we need 
more hams anyway? I can understand why equipment manufacturers would 
want to open up ham radio for the masses, but why the League? I hope it's not 
just the dues revenue. 

Roy - AD5Q

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