[CQ-Contest] Band edges?

k8cc k8cc at mediaone.net
Sat Dec 16 00:50:42 EST 2000

At 08:33 PM 12/15/00 +0000, Barry Kutner wrote:
>Today, I had the pleasure of receiving an OO card (my first since
>novice days when I had a mismarked crystal!) from W3FAF for
>"operating out of band" during the CQWW CW contest. My
>frequency is listed as 21000.46 +/- 0.03 KHz. In the Remarks area,
>W3FAF wrote, "By FCC definitions your sigs were out of band -
>carrier below 21.000 MHz or CW bandwidth is too wide."


A couple of years back we had the same experience from K8CC.  We got a OO 
card from a station in Ohio claiming we were operating on 3499.75 KHz in 
CQWW CW.  I went back to the NA log file (which records frequency to 100 Hz 
if a computer interface is in use), found QSOs in the time period in 
question and found the frequency was 3500.5.  That particular radio 
happened to be one of mine, so I turned it on, let it warm up, set the VFO 
so the computer interface was reporting 3500.5 and measured the frequency - 
yup, 3500.5.

Now I don't think there is any way we were 750 Hz off from our recorded 
frequency in the contest.  Our 80M op worked a bunch of guys on this 
frequency over an hour or more.  If we were really that far out of the 
band, I don't think very many people would have gone out of band simply to 
work a K8.

No, I think its more likely that this particular OO in question had no idea 
how to determine the exact frequency of a CW signal.  He simply tuned it 
in, noted what the digital readout said, and started filling in the OO 
card.  If he had been using a radio without a CW filter, the error could 
have been quite pronounced, perhaps even on the wrong side of zero 
beat.  An all of this assumes that he knew what his BFO offset frequency 
was, or whether the radio had to be tuned to zero beat for the frequency 
display to be correct

Perhaps someone from the ARRL could enlighten us here on the reflector as 
to the frequency measurement qualifications of todays OOs.  I remember 
getting a OO card back in 1969 where the frequency was reported to two 
decimal points (KHz).  OO used to participate in on-air "Frequency 
Measuring Tests" to keep their skills up to snuff.  Are today's OOs just as 


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