Topband: Am I the only one in step?

James Rodenkirch Rodenkirch_LLC at
Tue Mar 1 10:31:16 EST 2016

>From what little I've read - I am a "newbie" to 160 meter operating,- I gather a band plan carries little "weight," in the bigger schemes of things?

Below is the 160 band plan, courtesy of that august group, the ARRL:

160 Meters (1.8-2.0 MHz)
1.800 - 2.000 CW
1.800 - 1.810 Digital Modes
1.810 CW QRP
1.843-2.000 SSB, SSTV and other wideband modes
1.910 SSB QRP
1.995 - 2.000 Experimental
1.999 - 2.000 Beacons modes mean "what?" E.G., JT-9/65 found on 1.840 or so...
......SSB from 1.860 and up observed hourly, each day.....

I.E., no one pays much attention, one can expect...

What ends up happening, one can surmise is: specific mode operators kinda migrate or coalesce around a self-imposed or popular range of frequencies....that can be labeled a "culturally derived behavior/result" --- attempting to modify that culturally-imposed behavior because it's viewed as counter to another mode of operation is sure to irritate those who embrace that "culture."

Also, is "antenna bandwidth is part of the problem"?? I view that more as constraint, not a "problem"

72 de Jim Rodenkirch K9JWV

From: Topband <topband-bounces at> on behalf of Roger Parsons via Topband <topband at>
Sent: Monday, February 29, 2016 9:01 AM
To: Tom Haavisto
Cc: TopBand List; Contest
Subject: Re: Topband: Am I the only one in step?

Thank you for your comments Tom.

The NA band plan has phone at above 1840kHz. My proposal is for phone above 1817kHz (and perhaps below 1810kHz) which seems to me to accept that this is not normal band loading.

Please see my previous post regarding antenna bandwidth.

I don't know where you get your 'two weekends a year'. I did a quick skim and found the following significant phone contests which include 160m:


Obviously the effects will vary between contests and between different areas of the world. There are also many QSO parties and a great number of smaller contests.

CW contests do not preclude phone operation on top band - they just move it further up the band. SSB contests at present leave no space whatsoever for any other modes.

Your wonderings leave me bemused. Your question can just as easily be reversed: "Why would somebody plan a 160m phone contest when there is a DXpedition planned?" and make just as much sense. I believe that one of the current DXpeditions is actually a spare time operation of people who are working in the country for a short period. Difficult to change that timing. And why on earth should they be prevented from operating on 160m if that is their pleasure, any more than you should be prevented from operating in a 160m phone contest when that is your pleasure.

But the most important fact is that it is entirely possible for CW and phone to coexist during a 160m phone contest. Leave a very small bandwidth (enough for 3 SSB stations) where phone contest operators are not permitted. Write it into the contest rules so that regulations and bandplans become irrelevant.

Again I ask. Why not?

73 Roger

From: Tom Haavisto <kamham69 at>
To: Roger Parsons <ve3zi at>
Cc: TopBand List <topband at>; Contest <cq-contest at>
Sent: Sunday, 28 February 2016, 19:19
Subject: Re: Topband: Am I the only one in step?

I think there is a few things that need to also be taken into account.

A bandplan is designed for *normal* band loading.  Clearly, when there is a contest on, we are NOT dealing with normal band loading.

As has been noted, antenna bandwidth is part of the issue.

Phone contests will take up two weekends out of the year on Topband.

What happens when there is a CW contest?  We move up the band to accomodate the extra activity...  With a phone contest, with folks using <1Khz spacing, every little of extra space helps.  So yes - folks DO move down into the CW part of the band.

But - I cannot help but wonder - why would someone plan a DXpedition (much planning involved), and NOT take a 160 phone contest into consideration?  I have seen some DXpeditions go to the WARC bands if there is a major contest on when they are on.  Or - they operate the other mode (operate CW when there is a phone contest on, and vice versa).  Could a DXpedition not stay off 160 for the weekend they are there (assuming they are not there FOR the contest), and focus on 80 meters instead?  Not EVERY serious DXer is on 160, and I am sure more than a few of them would appreciate the extra attention (a weekends worth) to their favorite band/mode/whatever as the DXpedition does not operate on Topband.

Just "seems odd" to me.

Tom - VE3CX

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On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 10:22 AM, Roger Parsons via Topband <topband at> wrote:

I enjoy contests but...
>This weekend has seen the CQ 160m SSB Contest. It has also seen CW activity or attempted activity from a number of extremely rare DX entities.
>Why is it reasonable or even acceptable for the band to be full of SSB contesters from 1800kHz to about 1960kHz? The vast majority of contacts made in the contest are same continent, and in the case of NA could and should all comply with the band plan. Why is the CW part of the band full of SSB whereas the top (phone) end of the band is almost empty?
>I have previously suggested to the contest administrators at both CQ and ARRL that they set in the contest rules a lower operational limit of 1820kHz dial frequency. That would give contesters 23kHz of the 'prime' international frequencies between 1810kHz and 1840kHz, and a total 183kHz for many countries. The CW DX operators would have 7kHz internationally. Neither CQ nor ARRL have treated this suggestion seriously, nor come up with any alternative.
>Why not?
>73 Roger
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