Topband: ARRL

Tod tod at
Tue Dec 6 21:29:31 EST 2005

Bob. I am sure you did not mean to suggest that the ARRL had an SSB mode
contest on 160 meters -- the closest thing to that is the ARRL DX SSB
Contest which has 160 meter SSB activity. Although a few folks do use 160
for ARRL SS Phone, it is not  a big thing. I think you meant to name the CQ
SSB contest on 160.

I am not aware of ARRL beacons on any band -- the NCDXA has beacons on 20
meters and there are many beacons on other bands (maybe even 160) that are
operated by individuals or groups. On 160 as I recall we permitted new modes
and beacons in the 1995-2000 kHz range. I don’t think many beacons are being
operated but frankly I don’t even tune up to that end of the band.

There is no doubt in my mind that sending bulletins and code practice on 160
is a low return expenditure of energy, but in days gone by ( and maybe
still)  it did provide at least one signal that you could know would be
there for a known period of time if you were trying to check out antennas
and receivers.

You wrote," They should check the  frequencies before firing  up.  The point
that they are on 1817.5 every evening is valid, and if you dont like qrm,
then go elsewhere in the band - there is plenty of room (if  there  isn't a
contest!). Maybe they should qrt in one of  their own contests? "

As a practical matter when you are operating simultaneous transmitters on as
many bands as W1AW does, checking the frequency prior to transmitting would
be a very challenging thing. In general we amateurs have accepted this
departure from what we consider 'good operating practice' for individual
station  because of the benefits we perceived came from having W1AW provide
the transmissions that it does. It may be that this should be reviewed -- if
so we all need to find our particular ARRL Director and speak with them or
write them during December or the first couple weeks of January. The annual
ARRL Board meeting is in January and all the Directors will be there. If
there is a reason to consider a review of W1AW operation on 160 (or any
other band) this would be a good time for the Directors to specify that they
want such a review to be initiated by HQ staff. Remember the Directors set
policy so this would be an appropriate thing for them to consider as a
possible policy change. If such a review is done there would almost
certainly be an invitation to amateurs in the US to comment and that would
allow various opinions to be sent to HQ for consolidation. 

I do think it would be very simple for W1AW to modify its transmitting
pattern so that on the DX Contest weekends and the 160 meter contest
weekends (Both for ARRL sponsored and CQ sponsored contests) there were no
160 meter transmissions. Any other time I think it is easy enough for
individual stations to QSY a couple of kHz . Operating here in Idaho I must
admit that W1AW is not a signal that causes me any trouble { I know I need
better RX antennas}, but I can imagine that it is a real nuisance some other
places in the US and Canada. Still, there are a lot of guys who manage to
work a lot of stations in spite of the fact that W1AW is loud in their neck
of the woods when it is on.

Since I managed to do a WAS in the recent 160 contest I guess I am one of
the guilty "band clutterers".  I hope we continue to be friends in spite of

>The ssb contest is especially poor.  Maybe a poor 
> analogy is  removing dams from rivers, so the rivers can get 
> back to what they used to be,  and the fish can swim upstream 
> (or WAS can be achieved without a contest). 

Bob, I fear that only the MT, WA, OR and ID guys will know what you are
talking about when you discuss removing the dams. The analogy is not bad,
but the audience won't know the nuances of the problem and why it is so hard
to do the dam removal once the power is being sold at low prices -- even if
it appears to be the "end of Salmon fishing as we know it". (knew it
actually since it has changed and it was a BIG DEAL when a Salmon fishing
season was opened this year in the vicinity of  Salmon, ID.)

I hope that above is only a tiny phzzt and not a real flame Bob.


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