Topband: gentlemen's band

Mike Armstrong armstrmj at
Sun Mar 10 14:19:29 EDT 2013

Guys, I think the explanation for why 160 (and the dx crowd on 80, too... not necessarily the 75 meter "throw a wire in the air rag chew crowd) are more gentlemanly (and ladies, of course) is very simple.  It is REALLY simple to explain:

To put a decent signal out on those bands takes some very real effort.  Generally speaking you cannot "buy" your way to a great signal on those bands.... It takes thought and effort to be successful there.  Only the most dedicated of hams will even attempt it and those "dedicated hams" are gentlemen everywhere they operate.  Their dedication to the hobby being "the thing."  
The non-dedicated (lazy, if you will) hams don't even try to put a signal there.  Thus, those who don't appreciate the hobby (and what it is for or what it can do) are automatically excluded.  Those are usually the people whose manners are less than savory.

I can hear the cries and gnashing of teeth already starting, so before it does:  I AM NOT SAYING that those who only operate the higher bands aren't dedicated or gentlemen!  There are numerous reasons for why an individual ham can or simply desires to operate the higher bands exclusively..... One being property limitations, obviously!  Inability to get sufficient free time, at night, to operate those bands for DX would be another rather obvious reason.  Thus, the 160 crowd seems to be a somewhat older group of people (read that: retired).

What I AM SAYING IS that those who make the attempt to put good signals on the low bands must be pretty dedicated because it does take such a terrific effort as compared to the higher bands.  A natural follow-on conclusion is that the lousy operators are generally lazy, don't appreciate the hobby to begin with and won't put out the effort involved in low band operation..... So, as I said above, they are almost always automatically excluded from the low band DX world.  It is like a natural filter.  But, like I said, that doesn't mean that ALL high band ops aren't gentlemen..... It just means that most, if not all, non-gentlemen will almost surely be high band only operators..... There are exceptions, but they are exceptions, not the rule.

I guess the correlation is that "Gentlemen Hams" = "Dedicated Hams" no matter where they operate.... Same holds true the other way around in that "Dedicated Hams" = "Gentlemen Hams."  At least that has been MY experience over the last 50+ years of my personal ham operation.  Show me someone who isn't dedicated to this hobby and I can almost invariably count on the fact that they will be the ones who misbehave or don't care about whether they learn proper operating procedures..... They just don't care..... Again, you CANNOT be a "don't care" ham AND put out a worthy signal on 160/80.... I just don't think it is possible.  Well, maybe, but still you know what I mean..... 

When you add in the difficulties involved in just plain DXing on those two bands, the reasons for gentlemanly behavior become critical.  Contact throughput is pretty slow on those bands under the best of conditions.... Deep fades, high noise, you name it...... If you add misbehavior or rudeness to the mix, it is almost impossible to have successful DX contacts there, right?  So those who are simply selfish have a reason to display gentlemanly behavior there..... If for no other reason..... LOL.

Lots of words.... And I said it was "simple" to explain.... LOL.... Sorry about that :)

Take care and great DXing,
Mike AB7ZU (who ALWAYS aspires to be a gentleman on any band) 

Kuhi no ka lima, hele no ka maka

On Mar 9, 2013, at 19:26, "Mark Lunday" <mlunday at> wrote:

> Wonderful.  It restores my faith in the hobby when I hear this courteous and
> professional behavior.
> Mark Lunday, WD4ELG
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Topband [mailto:topband-bounces at] On Behalf Of N7DF
> Sent: Friday, March 08, 2013 6:31 AM
> To: topband at
> Subject: Topband: gentlemen's band
> The TX5K SSB operation last night on 160 was a joy to listen to    everyone
> stood by for the station being called and paid attention to the DX
> operator's instructions  quite a contrast to some of the higher bands
> _________________ Topband Reflector
> _________________
> Topband Reflector

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