[CQ-Contest] [RTTY] I just have to ask

Ron Notarius W3WN wn3vaw at verizon.net
Sat Mar 7 13:45:31 PST 2009

Propagation beacons are one of the more useful tools in a DX'er's and
contester's arsenal, as they can give you a passive indication of
propagation on a particular band to a particular part of the world.

For the beacons to be useful, they need to be found.  Which means that a
given beacon is voluntarily coordinated to avoid interference with other
beacons in the same band in other parts of the world.

Yes, strictly speaking, a beacon operator doesn't "own" a frequency, any
more than a repeater owner "owns" a repeater pair.  But it is in our own
best interests, for ourselves as contesters and for other amateurs pursuing
other types of activities as part of the Amateur Radio Service, to recognize
the purpose of the beacons, why they are placed where they are, and to try
and avoid interfering with them if at all possible.

We used to call that "good amateur practice."

And I do believe that the FCC, here in the US, expects us to use "good
amateur practice" in our day to day operating.

So, with that in mind... why are we trying to stir up a hornet's nest with
the beacon operators?


-----Original Message-----
From: cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com
[mailto:cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com]On Behalf Of W0MU Mike
Sent: Saturday, March 07, 2009 12:38 PM
To: w0yk at msn.com
Cc: cq-contest at contesting.com; rtty at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] [RTTY] I just have to ask

My problem has been the emails received where the beacon people would like
me to believe those frequencies are theirs which is not correct.  They have
no more right to use a frequency than any other licensed operator.

14100.00 nor any other frequency used by the beacon network is protected.
If the FCC would like to step in and create protected frequencies great.
That has not happened.

When a group tries to take a frequency and tells me I can't use it or a kc
on either side then we  have a problem.  The beacons don't ever own the
frequency.  They use a very finite band segment for automated hf operations.
They are a shared user just like the rest of us.  QRM happens to all of us.

"A slip of the foot you may soon recover, but a slip of the tongue you may
never get over." Ben Franklin
-----Original Message-----
From: J. Edward (Ed) Muns [mailto:w0yk at msn.com]
Sent: Saturday, March 07, 2009 9:44 AM
To: 'W0MU Mike Fatchett'
Cc: cq-contest at contesting.com; rtty at contesting.com
Subject: RE: [RTTY] I just have to ask

> Would using the beacon system to check propagation put you into the
> assisted category?

No, because listening to the Beacon System or WWV solar conditions is not
directly finding potential QSOs for you.

(Let's not start another heated thread about the Assisted vs. Non-Assisted
categories, hi!)

> I am all for the beacon network.  What I don't like is the apparent
> feeling of ownership of the frequencies by the beacon operators.  If
> someone can point me to the exact waivers and rulings by the FCC
> giving anyone exclusive right to the beacon frequencies I would
> appreciate it.

The Beacon System doesn't own the frequencies they occupy (all the time).
OTOH, many of us greatly appreciate their presence and make use of the
propagation information provided.  If the beacon service weren't seen as
broadly valuable, it would probably be QRM'd more.  My hope is that we work
together to keep the Beacon frequencies clear because we choose to do so.

Ed - W0YK

CQ-Contest mailing list
CQ-Contest at contesting.com

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list