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40 meters SSB

Mar 12th 2012, 03:04

K2ADK

Joined: Jun 12th 2011, 20:32
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Okay, I don't claim to own the airwaves. I'm only coming up on my first year as KD2AIP. And yet, I feel, as a Northeasterner emerging from a weird winter, eligible to moan and complain.

I have a General license. I can do about 15 wpm in code, so I split my time between CW and SSB. I get home from work about 5 every weekday, and try to get on the radio by 7 for a little while. At that time, the international broadcasters are in full swing above 7.200, so I seek a spot between 7.178 and 7.200.

Talk about an exercise in frustration. There are daily nets that essentially own .178, .185, .192, and .195 beginning at 7 p.m. Try squeezing in between those frequencies.

Perhaps all this is a conspiracy to get us Generals to study and upgrade to Extra! Ah, surely this must be it, because I'm scheduled for a May exam! 7.150 here I come...
Mar 12th 2012, 23:29

K7SN

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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Total Posts: 0
Nets - can't live with and can't live without them! Don't let them drag you down - I have seen way to many of my good ham friends either driven from amateur radio, outcast or vilified because they spoke out about the abuses perpetrated by those that think using your words because they are "daily nets that essentially own ...” most useable east coast 40 meter phone frequencies for a General Class license. Nothing will change; you could get there first before they start their net, get a clear frequency but I'm sure that some self-appointed net policeman will make your hope for an enjoyable QSO unobtainable. You can (Your words again) “moan and complain” but the few allies you get will be bitter and disgruntled and the friends of nets far outnumber them so that won’t work either. Some net do really great service in time of disaster and real emergencies, so having good net skills and etiquette is important to be a well round amateur. Other nets collect a bunch of hams with similar interests in one place where otherwise they would be clogging up the airwaves seeking such similar interested people. My friends choose to fight out west and nobody won. It can get really ugly and no good can come of this. I wandered down to Novice freqs and trolled for newbies who had trouble sending their own callsigns (And privately chortled while they tried to find a couple more letters to add to my callsign). We don’t have novice bands now but there plenty of places to lurk and enjoy our hobby which are relaxing and not “an exercise in frustration” – Good luck in May and maybe you can put this behind ya.

Bob - K7SN
Mar 14th 2012, 00:59

K2ADK

Joined: Jun 12th 2011, 20:32
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Bob (K7SN), thanks for your very kind input. You're right about nets, and it is quite true that there are some very good public service nets. The Maritime net on 14.300 is a good example. Or the net that (shudder to think!) I am a member of, which meets Monday nights on 147.030 for emergency preparedness.

I spent a good part of tonight listening to W1AW code practice so I can spend more time in the more interesting zones of CW. I also answered what must have been a 2 wpm CQ on 40, and it was a lot more fun than I thought -- and the ham I called was on his very first CW QSO!

Thanks for the words of encouragement on the Extra license. I have the ARRL book and now have signed up for Hamtestonline because I can't let this go past May or I'll be dealing with what may be a new curriculum.

I'm glad everyone finds a niche in amateur radio. Niches, actually. One of mine is -- you guessed it -- bemoaning the state of the world. The other is making sure this remains the purest fun I can possibly enjoy. And surely it is that. I'll post in this thread when I get my Extra!
Mar 20th 2012, 07:05

wc5b

Joined: Mar 19th 2012, 14:18
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Age old argument. Contesters a few weekends a year always get blamed for "taking over the bands" and ruining ham radio, while daily nets EVERY DAY take over the entire general portion of HF phone bands. This is why its pretty rare to hear CQ's anywhere SSB 20-40-75. A great band to find neither a band filled with Nets nor Contesters is 17 meters. Old school CQ'ers all the time. Most open for Chit Chat, or just quick hit and runs. Whatever you wish. When the band is open, CQ'ers come out of the wood work on 10-12-15. Other then that, extra class is the answer. That or Digital. Digital is a real equalizer in the HF spectrum.
Apr 17th 2012, 18:30

KA5TJI

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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Total Posts: 0
You are correct to a point. It now seems that the DX chasers have taken over 17 meters on a daily basis. No room here for a casual QSO. They will let you know in a hurry that there is "DX" in QSO somewhere in the world on the frequency! Not sure what the answer is but not much room left for us old timers.
Jul 5th, 18:11

N8RDP

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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Total Posts: 0
I JUST GOT MY GENERAL AND have not yet got a 20 meter die pole up but after reading the above QUOTES im not sure i want to put up another antenna for 20 meters and try the band maybe i should just stay on 10 meters and talk to locals i had problems back years ago on 11meters with a bunch of dummys who tried to push people off the band thats why i got into amateur radio ant now got my general so i can talk with good operators not sure now 73 n8rdp
Jul 25th, 13:14

N0NB

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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Total Posts: 0
I see the term nets used here and no mention of roundtables. As I see it, and I could be wrong, a 'net' consists of a Net Control Station (NCS) and various assistant stations taking check-ins and passing traffic or doing whatever the net is chartered to do. I see these operations as distinct from a roundtable where a group of operators are chatting in a semi-random fashion. Some roundtables do keep an order of stations and pass it around so everyone has a chance to speak while others are of the "loudest or quickest" gets the soapbox. The latter often has a lot of 'doubling' (two or more stations transmitting at once) going on. Both groups are generally protective of their frequencies for better or for worse.

The positive side of these operations is that friends and interested parties know where and when to meet. The negative side is that as noted there is often not a lot of territory available between the groups for calling CQ and having a casual one on one contact.

On 40m, at least out here in the middle of the continent, there are openings between the SWBC where contacts can be made. These openings are easier to find during this time of the year when the band doesn't open to Region 1 until much later in the evening.

Persevere! These are just a few of the challenges amateur radio presents and take heart, we all face them, not just the new ops.

73, Nate
N0NB.us
Aug 6th, 16:19

K4KYV

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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Total Posts: 0
Try listening above 7200 some more. I have found that in the past few years the foreign BC stations are thinning out. Plenty of blank spaces with no broadcasters - or hams. Often a 20-30 kHz swathe of open space in the vicinity of 7230 around 8 PM.

BC activity seems more heavily concentrated on 7300-7500 than on 7200-7300. Many of the former big ones, like Voice of Russia (ex-Radio Moscow), Radio Netherlands and BBC have either gone dark entirely, or no longer beam to North America. Many countries, including USA, have severely cut back their international broadcasting budget, since nearly every country in the world claims to be hurting for money, and listeners are increasingly receiving via internet steaming rather than over-the-air short wave, which remains popular in lesser developed regions like equatorial Africa.

I think a lot of hams just assume 7200-7300 will be jam-packed with BC QRM during the evening hours and don't even bother to listen.
Aug 7th, 19:17

N4AAB

Joined: Jan 16th 2013, 01:39
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Looking through my copy of WRTH ( world radio and tv handbook) the number of short wave broadcasters has dropped greatly. Many have gone to web sites.

I have a 5btv antenna and when I get electricity out ot my ham shack, I'll try 40 and 20 meters.
Aug 13th, 13:12

N0NB

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Right now there is an article on the front page of ARRL.org about a study that shows SWBC has a minimal impact on its intended audience. From the USA, at least, expect VOA, et. al. to be curtailed even more. I doubt this will have any impact on the religious SWBC, however.

73, Nate
N0NB.us
Aug 24th, 01:29

N4AAB

Joined: Jan 16th 2013, 01:39
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I agree most of it does seem to be religious SWBC, but I did hear last week some Romanian SWBC doing a travelogue on the Carpathian Mountains. Protected species, tree types, etc.

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