[CQ-Contest] From VO1DD re Interference with emergency traffic

Robert Chudek - K0RC k0rc at citlink.net
Wed Dec 1 16:51:03 PST 2010

*In the USA*, a specific section of Part 97 reads:

          § 97.403   Safety of life and protection of property.

No provision of these rules prevents the use by an amateur station of 
any means of radiocommunication at its disposal to provide essential 
communication needs in connection with the immediate safety of human 
life and immediate protection of property when normal communication 
systems are not available.

          § 97.405   Station in distress.

(a) No provision of these rules prevents the use by an amateur station 
in distress of any means at its disposal to attract attention, make 
known its condition and location, and obtain assistance.

(b) No provision of these rules prevents the use by a station, in the 
exceptional circumstances described in paragraph (a) of this section, of 
any means of radiocommunications at its disposal to assist a station in 

Basically, *for the US ham*, this is carte blance authority to establish 
a communication link BY ANY MEANS AT ITS DISPOSAL. If I was on a sinking 
ship (and foolish enough to have amateur radio as my only communication 
capability), I would be operating *outside *14.000 ~ 14.350 MHz if my 
life threatening disaster occurred during the world's most popular radio 
hobby weekend.

I spent some time looking through Industry Canada's regulations but 
could not find any section dealing with emergency situations or 
relaxation of their RF spectrum management rules. Maybe I missed it. 
Whether it's in the rules or not, a bureaucratic process is really 

My point is that just because there are white lines defining the traffic 
lanes on a highway, if I see an impending life threatening situation (a 
truck coming head-on toward me), those white lines will loose all 
meaning to me. I will seek an alternate path to save my life.

73 de Bob - KØRC in MN

On 12/1/2010 6:00 AM, Edward wrote:
> Doug, You sound like a sincere and level headed op from this post and thank
> you for the service you are providing to the ham radio community.  Here are
> a couple of my opinions on the situation you describe based on my 20+ years
> of contesting experience:
> -          You were right in assuming that speaking on SSB to a contesting
> CW op would not work.  Personally, I am typically using 250hz filter
> bandwidth with steep skirts and often listening back and forth on the upper
> and lower sideband of the center frequency.  I would never hear you.
> -          How is your German?  A huge number of non-english speaking
> contesters and DXers only know the callsigns and exchange and a few Q
> designators.  Even if the German ham was well intended, he very likely had
> no idea what you tried to say unless you sent SOS to him.
> -          When that didn't work, and recognizing a serious situation is at
> hand, did you QSY to a clear frequency up the band?  I personally know that
> the wall of CW did not get much above 14.125 since I was up there numerous
> times.
> -          I was not aware of your net frequency or service until this
> posting.
> -          Even now being aware, as you probably are aware, the US amateur
> regulations specifically state that no amateur operator "owns" a frequency,
> 20 year net schedule or not.  So as the unintentional QRM began, here in the
> US, it would be as much your obligation as the German operators obligation
> to move to a new frequency, unless a emergency or significant health and
> welfare situation exists (which arguably it did in this case).  I certainly
> hope for the sake of the vessel in need, you moved up 5 or 10 kc to stay on
> top of the situation given your reasonable efforts to move the German
> contester failed.
> The fact is that there were over 5,000 has contesting last weekend.  From a
> spectrum allocation standpoint, it would be more prudent for your net to
> move once in a while to continue its good service than to force 99% of the
> traffic volume of last weekend into a smaller spectrum so that 1% can go on
> as if it's a normal weekday.  Likely 350 days a year, that is the case
> without issue.  The rest of us would appreciate a little consideration for
> the 16 days a year that would help us out.
> All that being said, had I been the op, I would have quickly moved for you.
> But I understand english fluently.
> 73,
> Ed N1UR
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