Topband: Topband and the DX-Window

Paul Kelley N1BUG paul.kelley.n1bug at
Wed Feb 1 15:37:41 EST 2006

herbs at wrote:

>Please, please, please be carefull in the advocacy of spreading the contest
>across the topband. Watch what you ask for as certainly one of those old fogy
>midwest AM-ers will decide he has been offended and his territory infringe
>It could end up quickly with him and his gang retaliating big time down the
>band...and we may end up with no useable DX segment at all during contests.

I usually avoid discussions on band usage / planning like the plague 
because it inevitably gets us nowhere. I will make an exception this one 
time because the above quote was in response to something I said (but 
wouldn't say if I had it to do over again).

Your point is well taken Herb. That is certainly a valid concern. I 
wasn't advocating anything that isn't already standard practice. As far 
as I can see that bridge was crossed a long time ago. The contest is 
already spread across the band. During the past two runnings of this 
particular contest there has been so much CW activity up as far as 1.890 
as to significantly displace phone operations for the duration of the 
contest. It's not nearly as congested as the bottom 50 kHz but it is 
there in large enough volume to "take over" for the most part. I'm not 
saying it is a good practice but it has come to be a fact. I was absent 
from the band for some time prior to last year, but I suspect this has 
been the case for many years prior to that? We don't have room for this 
amount of intense contest activity in the traditional CW segment so it 
inevitably spreads upward.

Of course we could also talk about what happens to the CW band during a 
phone contest despite the band plan calling for SSB only above 1.843... 
CW is completely eradicated for the duration. Or we could talk about the 
routine SSB operations below 1.843. We could talk about FCC mandated 
segmentation of the band by modes, but judging from the comments filed 
in response to RM-11306 most top band DXers / CW operators don't want 
that or are indifferent about it.

There are many potential problems inherent in current contest practices 
on both CW and phone. We do open ourselves up to "mode war" problems. I 
am open to suggestions on how we can better the situation, but I have to 
say not particularly optimistic. We have very limited spectrum with 
thousands of stations trying to squeeze into it.

Paul N1BUG

More information about the Topband mailing list