Topband: Am I the only one in step?

Roger Parsons ve3zi at
Tue Mar 1 10:54:34 EST 2016


Perhaps you are correct in suggesting that only one SSB contest in the whole year impacts significantly on 160m CW activity. Therefore, for all contests and QSO parties other than CQ 160 SSB, the competitors will not be affected at all if the organisers prohibit SSB operation below 1820 kHz. Thank you for clarifying the situation, and I look forward to your support in getting that entered into the rules of each of these events.
So now the issue is that I am asking that 7 kHz (or perhaps something less) out of 40 kHz 'prime' international frequencies be reserved for CW operation during one contest. Doesn't strike me as anything that should be terribly difficult for you and other contesters to accept in the interests of co-existence and co-operation on the Gentleman's Band.
73 RogerVE3ZI

PS Top Band Expeditions: The majority of expeditions operate only CW on 160m and many have coincided with major CW contests. They only need to make a couple of contacts before they have a stream of callers who will keep any CQ machines at bay. Expeditions made specifically for some particular contest, whether CW or SSB, have little problem on either mode.

      From: Tom Haavisto <kamham69 at>
 To: Roger Parsons <ve3zi at> 
Cc: TopBand List <topband at>; Contest <cq-contest at>
 Sent: Monday, 29 February 2016, 13:54
 Subject: Re: Topband: Am I the only one in step?
Hi Roger
Thanks for making me take a second look.  For some reason, I thought ARRL had a 160 phone contest - they do not.  My mistake.As it turns out - there is only ONE SSB contest - the CQ 160 SSB that can fill 160 meters with SSB signals.  ONE weekend per year in which CW activity will be seriously impacted by a phone contest on 160.

There are the CQ 160 and ARRL 160 CW contests.  Not sure how you protect a DXpedition from contest activity if they were operating CW during a CW contest.  Would the DXpedition operate phone that weekend?  Not sure how well that would work, as they would be pushed pretty high up the band...
ALL the other contests listed have 160 meters as one band of six to conduct contest QSO's.  Folks will make a 'quick trip' to 160, look for a few QSO's, then return to higher bands.  
Even if folks operate phone in the contests you have listed, I really cannot see someone camping out below 1840 for an extended period of time looking for Q's.  Good manners and common sense seem to play a huge part in this.  Am I missing something?
How do we move a world-wide contest, based a DXpedition taking to the air at the last minute, and saying "Gee - wonder if we should operate on 160?"  I realize this may seem like an odd question, but this seems what you would like to see happen.  The weekend is advertised - years in advance - for any DXpedition to find.  Other/most DXpeditions seem to take contest activity in account as part of their planning.  Phone operation already takes place higher in the band during every contest, other than the one that just happened.  Topband is safe from SSB signals below 1840 for another 51 weeks.
Just trying to understand the issue...
Tom - VE3CX

On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 11:01 AM, Roger Parsons <ve3zi at> wrote:

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
>Topband Reflector Archives -


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