75/80 meters

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KI4SGQ, Nov 2, 2010.

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  1. KI4SGQ

    KI4SGQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    It seems to me that this band is full of round tables and nets all the time.I never hear anyone calling CQ unless they are down in the dx window.I normally stay between 40 and 10 meters but would like to start working some stations on 80 this winter.Where do people call CQ on this band?
  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    On CW, RTTY and PSK31. Probably a few other digital modes, too.

    On CW, everybody calls CQ. I certainly do, and usually get answers on 80m CW, anytime from about an hour before dark to about an hour after light.

    During the real daytime, not so much.:p
  3. KD2BD

    KD2BD Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's been my observation as well.

    The "secret" is to monitor the empty spectrum between the round tables and the nets while doing other things around the shack. Sooner or later, you'll hear a CQ (that will typically go unanswered).

    That's where you jump in. :)

    73, de John, KD2BD
  4. W5HTW

    W5HTW Ham Member QRZ Page

    First of all, roundtables are just groups of people who have grown to be friends on the air. Sometimes they know each other in person, but often do not. So one thing a person can do is listen to a specific roundtable for a few nights and see if it is an interesting group. If so, check into it sometime, and see if you can contribute something to it. Don't just check in for a 'radio check' though. Have something to say on the current subject.

    Nets are a bit more formalized, and often are set up on 75 meters to handle regional traffic, though they rarely do. Usually they have a time when a guess can check in, as the net is wrapping up, but unless you have a specific reason to fit it, it is probably a waste of time. You may get a signal report, but not much else. If that.

    If you can find a clear frequency, and be sure it is clear, calling CQ is completely appropriate on 75 meters. Just try really hard to avoid interfering with someone already there. You might be surprised. I rarely call CQ anywhere, but I hear people on 75, as well as on 40, call CQ and get answers.

    On 75, though, you have to battle the conditions. In the early evening short range contacts up to 200 miles are the norm, but by 8 pm local, that has expanded to 500 miles. Plenty of noise, not just atmospheric, but local power line, electronic gadgets, and the like, can affect how well you hear on 75. That is not as bad on 40.

    Remember, too, a lot of those 75 meter folks are funning legal power or near it. But keep in mind, only 3db separates your 100 watt signal from his 1000 wat signal. So if he is listening where you are calling, he may well respond ot you. If you have monitored 75 much, though, you know it is a noisy band. Not QRM but noise in general.

    It should improve in late November, at least a bit. Over my man years in this hobby I have used 75 for local contacts almost exclusively. I have 'accidentally' worked some DX on it, as well as on 80 CW, but most often I have found I use 75 meters for up to 200 miles, and when it goes long after about 8 pm, I just move to 40 or 30.

    Understand the band, understand its propagation, and you will see why it is so popular for nets and round tables. A round table can hang in there for several hours without propagation becoming a serious problem.

    So give it a try, but realize what it does best before you do.

  5. K2QI

    K2QI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've heard a few stations calling CQ on 75m... I answer them when I can. A majority of the time though, I end up spinning the dial on most of what I hear.
  6. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Once again, I repeat the story that when I was a new ham, my father advised me to stay off 75 and 20 meter 'phone until I was 'more mature'. I'm close to cashing in my 401K now, and I'm still not mature enough!

    If you must subject yourself to 75 meter phone, try one of the open nets - the Northern Florida Phone Net meets on 3950 LSB at 1830 (1930 summer). There are several other phone nets in Florida on 75, and you should probably also look for nets in Georgia and South Carolina. http://www.arrlwcf.org/nts.html
    The Worked All States Net on 3905 is a lot of fun. I often listen in when mobile, and check in if I'm in a 'rare' state.

    I second the motion to try CW, PSK31, or RTTY. It's harder to do RTTY on this band these days - we all used to hang out above 3600 and that's the phone band now - but PSK31 is fairly popular. The PSK Warbler is a popular QRP rig for soundcard modes like PSK31 for 80 meters.
  7. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page


    Slight miscalculation! The difference between 100 watts and 1000 watts is 10 dB, not 3 dB. The difference between 100 watts and 200 watts is 3 dB.

    Glen, K9STH
  8. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    On 80M, I generally call CQ around 3550 several times every evening. I usually get an answer after a few tries.
    Members of the SKCC generally hang out there.
    I also try a CQ around 10120, 7055 , 7114, 1820 and down.
  9. KI4SGQ

    KI4SGQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the info about the way this band works.I should of made it clear that I was asking about ssb.I have heard plenty of calls on the cw portion and worked a few.Thanks again
  10. W9PSK

    W9PSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't hear too many people calling CQ on 75/80. It really is more of a ragchew/net type of band, and there's nothing wrong with that. The trick to getting in with a lot of these roundtable groups is to listen in for awhile before you jump into the conversation. That way you can get a feel for how the conversations generally go. Some of these groups just cannot help but get into political, religious, and other controversial subjects. After listening in for awhile you will know whether you want to establish communications with them or not. You will also know who the players are in the group. I have noticed that most of these roundtable groups aren't really all that different than other groups--there are generally leaders and followers.

    Of course, there's always the nets. I can't speak for everyone else, but my interest in nets comes and goes. Sometimes I just don't see what the point is in waiting 30 minutes or longer just to check in, only to wait another 30 minutes or longer for the 73 round. Other times I enjoy participating in them. It's a good way to get to know other hams.

    So, I am not discouraging you from calling CQ on 75/80, but you will do a lot more talking by participating in nets and joining the different rag chew groups. Either way, just have fun with it. Hope to yak with you someday.
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