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Author Topic: Should band plans be revised?  (Read 12411 times)
KATEKEBO
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Posts: 117




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« on: December 02, 2010, 05:22:41 AM »

Giving how anachronic Morse code has become and how few people still use it, shouldn't the band plans be revised to reduce the "exclusive" CW portions and open up more space for SSB phone and digital modes?  I think it would make a lot of sense to allow more spectrum for modern types of communication at the expense of a dying technology.  We could still leave a small portion of the bands reserved for those who want to continue playing with Morse code, but I think the vast majority of hams will be very happy to see more space available for other forms of communication.
Any thoughts?
S. Bucki
KD8KQH
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2010, 05:56:29 AM »

I freely admit to being a "No-Code" Extra.  However, I feel the CW allocations should be preserved as they currently exist.  IF I could master CW, I would use it but, I was never able to make the leap in 50+ years of trying.
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KATEKEBO
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« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2010, 06:38:00 AM »

I am also a "no-code" Extra.  I have nothing against preserving the code as something of historic and sentimental value, just like other technologies that have been replaced with newer, modern developments. It's a skill and an art.  We all use cars for transportation, but still ride horses for fun.  But this does not mean that we allow horses on the highways.  Same with the code.  We could leave a small (much smaller than today) portion of the bandplan reserved for those who want to practice the "ancient art", but use more of the spectrum available to amateurs for predominant modes such as SSB and digital.
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NK5G
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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2010, 06:52:28 AM »

You are under the assumption that CW is dead.
If CW is not popular, then why do the PSK guys get upset when they get CW QRM during a contest?
I suggest we reduce the SSB allocation and expand the CW portion.  Wink
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N3QE
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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2010, 06:55:11 AM »

From my personal perspective I see the digital modes encroaching on CW ops all the time.

I will agree that digital modes and CW are sometimes stepping on each other and I would like to see the situation amicably resolved, without OO's sending me postcards telling me that I shouldn't be operating CW on 7035 anymore because that's where PSK31 operation is.

I will agree that there is an impedance mismatch between European 40M (and other, but I notice 40M the most) CW/digital sub-bands and US CW/digital sub-bands but IMHO the answer is not to narrow CW operation even further.

And having just done the CW sweepstakes and the CQ WW DX in CW, I cannot see how anyone could suggest that there isn't CW activity or that CW activity should be further narrowed. I agree this is not 1962 or 1978 but coming here (a CW forum) and posting "shouldn't the CW bands be smaller" is a little bit like pouring gas on a smoldering fire.

Especially when it's a no-code Extra making the suggestion. I will try to be friendly, and not be an old fart, and suggest that if a no-code extra wants to use the CW bands, that he do so by using CW?
« Last Edit: December 02, 2010, 06:57:44 AM by Tim Shoppa » Logged
WX7G
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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2010, 06:57:13 AM »

The CW band portions are filled to overflowing during some contests. On other days digital modes often push CW into the bottom 30 kHz of 40 meters. 30 kHz is not much. So, the CW/digital band portions are being efficiently used.

CW is a more modern mode than voice. Voice has been used for a million years or so. CW has been used for but 170 years.


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W5LZ
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« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2010, 07:44:39 AM »

It's an opinion so take it as such. 
It seems that CW is being used as much, if not more, than it used to be.  It isn't a 'required' thing now, and since people aren't forced to learn it, it seems to be a more popular mode than people used to think.  A sort of 'reversed psychology' thing?
If there was a good reason for doing away with any license class segments of the CW portions of the band, I can't see any reason why they shouldn't be done away with.  So far, I haven't seen/heard of any good reasons.  Sorry 'bout that.  Change, only for the sake of change, is about the stupidest idea I've ever heard of.  I'm not sorry 'bout that opinion.
Paul
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N9AOP
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« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2010, 09:04:24 AM »

Yes, there are a lot more folks using CW in the US of A since it was dropped from the license requirement.  But there is a larger number of CW ops in other countries.  We are not alone when it comes to what goes where on the bands.
To me, there seems to be enough room for the different modes based on the current bandplan.  When there is a CW contest, the CW segment is totally full and you could make the case that more bandwidth should be provided.  The same case can be made when there is a SSB contest.  Any other time during the week there does not seem to be overcrowding in any segment.  (except PSK on 20M where everyone wants to drop their signal into the same minute area).
Also, CW is allowed anywhere in the band but the considerate CW op stays in the proper segment.  If the CW segment is
reduced, expect to find it throughout the whole band.
Art
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N3QE
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« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2010, 09:36:20 AM »

Yes, there are a lot more folks using CW in the US of A since it was dropped from the license requirement.  But there is a larger number of CW ops in other countries.  We are not alone when it comes to what goes where on the bands.
Actually according to the friendly postcards I get from OO's about me operating CW around 7035, the issue I have run into seems to be the result of band allocations in other countries.

e.g. 7035 is popular for European PSK31 because the 40M band is structured differently in the rest of the world and the phone segments are already so large over there.

IMHO declaring that CW could only be below 7035, because of the rest of the world using PSK31 on 7035, would be a huge huge mistake. I think the right thing to do would be to reallocate more room for CW and digital modes in the rest of the world, especially on 40M, so that DX PSK31 can move up the band and give more "gentelmen's agreement" that they won't step on the very traditional CW/CW-QRP watering holes. I know this flies against what the OP suggested but I cannot see any other way.

It's actually a good thing that PSK31 is getting more popular, because I notice in the past couple years that Euro RTTY QRM in the 7040 region is much less a problem (excepting RTTY contest weekends, I'm not asking anyone to solve that!)
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KE4ILG
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« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2010, 01:47:51 PM »

I recommend you just go down the beach kicking sand in the face of all you see until you get a fight, but instead you come to the cw forum to start this thread.

Rather than waste any time with your opinion I am going ask you to consider trying cw.  It is very easy to learn.  There are many locations online to learn how to operate the "out dated" mode. There are even forums where others who love this mode offer help others operate cw.  73, Mike ke4ilg
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WB3CQM
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« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2010, 03:59:45 PM »

Giving how anachronic Morse code has become and how few people still use it, shouldn't the band plans be revised to reduce the "exclusive" CW portions and open up more space for SSB phone and digital modes?  I think it would make a lot of sense to allow more spectrum for modern types of communication at the expense of a dying technology.  We could still leave a small portion of the bands reserved for those who want to continue playing with Morse code, but I think the vast majority of hams will be very happy to see more space available for other forms of communication.
Any thoughts?
S. Bucki
KD8KQH


I think more hams need to get off SSB HF and use 2 meters fm and SSB . There is wide open space no one is using . Put up a SSB beam and me amazed at how far you can talk.

You are so far in the dark on cw it is funny . The cw bands are so crowded that all you have to do is tune there and listen . Take the CQWW-CW contest for example , which some one here mentioned. There was not enough room for all the stations.

You do not need a real rare dx station to come up on cw but lets take BS7H when they were on in 07 , 50 kc wide pile ups and stations piled on top of each other. I am sure there was a few upset cw rag chewers on freq.

VP6DX statistics : 87294 cw qso 86140 ssb and 10252 rtty for grand total of 183686 qso. 

CW out dated , where you come up with that ? You want to work dx with poor man wire antenna and low power ? Morse Code makes that possible . When the band opens you will here cw When the last signals are head on the bands it is cw.

Hey I was ALL FOR NO CODE GENERAL but still think a Extra should have had 20 wpm code to become a Extra.

If I ever knew a no code ham was  going to try and take my cw bands away I would have fought that change.

Do your self a big favor and tune the cw bands and then look at Learn CW Online and also RufzXP .

World Wide Morse Code is Alive and very well.

I operate CW / RTTY / SSB / from time to time psk31 . I think the bands are find as they are. WE JUST NEED MORE CW FREQUENCY SPACE.

GL / 73 JIM
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KE7WAV
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Posts: 128




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« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2010, 04:36:48 PM »

The short answer is NO.  Thanks for asking.

....  ._ _.  .       _    _ _ _        _._.        .._        _ _ _   _.       _._.   ._ _

90% CW, but I do like to hit SSB once in a while and I am thinking of getting a SWL PSK kit, but haven't done so yet.

73 de KE7WAV
« Last Edit: December 02, 2010, 04:39:49 PM by Stephen » Logged
N2EY
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« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2010, 04:57:33 PM »

Giving how anachronic Morse code has become

That's not a given at all.

and how few people still use it

From what I hear on the bands and see in the results, a lot of hams use Morse Code - right now, today.

For example:

For the past several years I have done Field Day with a local group that has run from 4 to 8 transmitters in their operations. Every year the 'phone transmitters and operators far outnumber the CW stations and operators, yet the CW station and its handful of operators have made more points and almost as many QSOs as all the 'phone stations combined.

This past year (2010) we ran 7A + GOTA. We had one-full time CW station and 2 part-time CW stations. All the rest were 'phone only. Yet we made more than twice as many CW QSOs as 'phone QSOs!

As for digital modes, we've had a digital setup some years. Best they ever did was 86 QSOs. Meanwhile the solo CW station that year made more than five times as many QSOs. The problem wasn't technical; the digital folks had a good setup. They just couldn't find any more new ones to work!

shouldn't the band plans be revised to reduce the "exclusive" CW portions and open up more space for SSB phone and digital modes? 

Let's look at the facts as laid out in Part 97. The following is US regulations - is that what you mean by "band plans"?

First off, there are only two exclusive CW-only subbands in US amateur radio. They are 50.0 to 50.1 MHz and 144.0 to 144.1 MHz. The rest of those bands, and of all other VHF/UHF amateur bands, are already open to digital and voice modes.

So let's look at the HF bands and 160 meters.

First off, you will find very little CW operation in the 'phone subbands. Second, and more important, you will find *no* US digital operation in the 'phone subbands, because it's not allowed.

Consider each band:

160 has no subbands-by-mode at all. SSB and digital are legal everywhere on 160.

That leaves the HF bands:

80/75 is 80% 'phone (400 of the 500 kHz.). The CW and digital folks are all down in the lowest 100 kHz.

60 meters is five channels where only USB is allowed.

40 is 58.3% 'phone (175 of the 300 kHz.). The CW and digital folks are all down in the lowest 125 kHz.

30 has no 'phone subband, because it's only 50 kHz wide.

20 is 57.1% 'phone (200 of the 350 kHz.). The CW and digital folks are all down in the lowest 150 kHz.

17 is 58% 'phone (58 of the 100 kHz.). The CW and digital folks are all down in the lowest 42 kHz.

15 is 55.5% 'phone (250 of the 450 kHz.). The CW and digital folks are all down in the lowest 200 kHz.

12 is 60% 'phone (60 of the 100 kHz.). The CW and digital folks are all down in the lowest 40 kHz.

10 is 82.4% 'phone (1300 of the 1700 kHz.). The CW and digital folks are all down in the lowest 300 kHz.

If we add up the HF bands and leave out the five channels of 60 meters, we see that of the 3550 kHz total, 2393 are available to 'phone modes. That's 67.4% - more than 2/3 of the available space. If you count 160 and 60 meters, the percentage goes even higher.

But there's even more to the story.

DX 'phone stations typically operate below the US 'phone band edges. For example, on 20 meters you will hear DX 'phones operating below 14.150 MHz - and the CW and digital folks are thus pushed further down the band.

Even more important is the fact that, a few years ago, the FCC widened the 'phone subbands on several HF ham bands. 75 meters got the most added spectrum, at the expense of 80 meters. (FCC treats them as if they were separate bands -look in Part 97). This squeezed the digital folks because they can't operate in the 'phone subbands. So they moved lower, and pushed the CW folks downwards too.

I think it would make a lot of sense to allow more spectrum for modern types of communication at the expense of a dying technology.

Which technology do you mean? What do you consider "modern"?

Consider that SSB was in commercial use in the 1920s, FM in the 1930s, and FSK RTTY in the 1940s. Hams have been using those modes almost as long.

Consider too that most commercial and military operations have abandoned or are abandoning HF radio, SSB, FSK RTTY, and many other modes popular with hams, for various reasons. At best, those modes are used for backups.

What do you consider "modern"? Should we channelize all the HF bands too? That's the "modern" way.

  We could still leave a small portion of the bands reserved for those who want to continue playing with Morse code, but I think the vast majority of hams will be very happy to see more space available for other forms of communication.
Any thoughts?

I think the 'phone subbands are plenty wide enough as they are. I think that digital modes should be allowed in the 'phone subbands.

Some questions for you:

How much are you willing to leave for Morse Code? Give us some real numbers for each band.

Are you willing to allow digital modes in the 'phone subbands?

---

Here's what I'd like to see:

Divide each HF ham band into three subbands-by-mode.

The lowest subband is Morse Code *only*. No digital, no phone, no beacons, no automatic operation. Say about 25% of each band.

The highest subband is voice modes *only*. No digital, no CW, no beacons, no automatic operation. Say about 40% of each band.

The middle subband is all authorized modes - digital, CW, 'phone, beacons, automatic and semiautomatic, etc. 35% of the band.

Why not?

73 de Jim, N2EY

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AB2T
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« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2010, 07:59:38 PM »

Giving how anachronic Morse code has become and how few people still use it, shouldn't the band plans be revised to reduce the "exclusive" CW portions and open up more space for SSB phone and digital modes?  I think it would make a lot of sense to allow more spectrum for modern types of communication at the expense of a dying technology.  We could still leave a small portion of the bands reserved for those who want to continue playing with Morse code, but I think the vast majority of hams will be very happy to see more space available for other forms of communication.
Any thoughts?

_Polite Opinion_

Many countries don't have legal band plans.  Hams can operate any mode within the allotted bands.  In Canada many hams
follow the Extra bandplan (at least I do).  Generally, it's known worldwide that the lower parts of bands are CW/data and the higher parts are voice.  As you probably have observed, foreign hams do operate outside of our emission boundaries.

I would not be averse to dropping emission-based band plans.  However, Americans have been under incentive licensing for a bit more than 40 years.  I don't know if American hams would be able to discipline themselves within de-facto agreements.  We are so used to be sequestered by emission that I doubt "sharing" would be feasible.

_Impolite Opinion_

The quality of HF phone operation is much lower than CW.  The vast majority of phone operators are good operators.  However, the exceptions are prominent and offensive.  An evening's stroll across 75m will encourage anyone to pay off a shrink's car loan for a month.  I do not want to contend with screaming, cursing, racial epithets, bestial noises, etc.  A number of Technician and General phone operators disregard frequency privileges.  Operators that disregard their license privileges or refuse to act decently will probably disregard de facto emissions bandplands.  Why should the FCC reward these behaviors with discretionary bandwidth? 

73, Jordan
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2010, 09:12:12 PM »

Quote
  I think it would make a lot of sense to allow more spectrum for modern types of communication at the expense of a dying technology

a) "Dying technology" Huh Take a look at the contest statistics.  CW is alive and well, and lots of hams are using it.   I'm not very good at CW, and use CW Get as a contest aid.  I suspect there are lots more hams like me.  CW is a very effective mode; don't diss it until you've really tried it.

b)  "More modern types of communication" Huh  Like SSB -- about fifty years old, and unchanged in that time ?   Needing 2.4 kHz per QSO, and a high S/N ratio to be understood ?

If you wanted to reserve band segments for Olivia, JT65, PSK31, MFSK-16, Pactor -- which are "modern" modes -- and take some away from SSB users -- I might support that.<g>   

This topic falls under "religious arguments", so I'm not saying anything else.  And especially, I'm not saying anything else in a CW forum. 

                  Charles
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