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Poor operating etiquette or is it just my gear?

Discussion in 'Discussions, Opinions & Editorials' started by W4MBT, Feb 18, 2013.

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  1. W4MBT

    W4MBT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Lately, I've been seeing quite a bit more activity on the bands and one thing that seems to be happening that makes it tough to listen or make contacts are more and more operators talking all over each other on nearby frequencies already in use. Is this pretty commonplace? Is it bad operator etiquette by not moving further from a frequency in use? Or is this just a problem that my TS-2000 can't overcome but more capable and perhaps more popular rigs could filter out?

    I'm curious to hear some thoughts, especially relating to filters and how they might help. Most of the time the adjacent operators are only 2-3 Hz away.
  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    2-3 Hz? Wow, that would take some incredible filtering...and even CW and PSK31 signals are wider than that.:p

    I guess you mean kHz.

    Yeah, that's pretty close.

    But remember, sometimes you're in a place where you'll hear guys 2 kHz up and 2 kHz down, but they may not hear each other due to their locations. "QRM happens," and we try to deal with it.

    I find my PBT (passband tuning) a valuable aid in rejecting stuff; I also can pick almost any IF selectivity I want via DSP, so if 2.7 kHz is too wide, I go to 2.4 or 2.1 or 1.8 or whatever. No limit to what IF-DSP can do. On the bands above 30 meters, I have beams and they can also be helpful in rejecting interference (point towards the station you want to hear, and hopefully null out ones you don't). All sorts of "tools" in the toolbox.

    The TS-2000 isn't the greatest, mostly because it's a pretty old design now. But it's not the worst, either. If you updated the rig to a TS-590S you'd probably notice a pretty big difference in "rejectability" features.
  3. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    It depends on the "skirts" of the filters as to how close a station has to be to reduce adjacent frequency interference. Also, unfortunately, a lot of the "modern" solid-state equipment overloads with strong signals. One thing that can be done is to turn off the AGC/AVC and then use the r.f. gain control as the volume control. This often eliminates the perceived adjacent frequency interference. Of course, make sure any preamplifier is turned off as well as the noise blanker. Both of those contribute considerably to the problem of adjacent frequency interference.

    Frankly, in general, for every actual station being too close in frequency, "splattering", etc., and causing problems, at least 99 times the problem is actually generated in the receiver.

    Amateur radio operators today are sincerely blessed with narrow filters, etc. In the "goode olde dayes", with receiver i.f. bandwidth being a minimum of about 5 or 6 kHz (many receivers were much broader) adjacent frequency interference was just a "fact of life"! Since adjacent frequency interference was so common, everyone just "lived with it" and never complained. Only in the past 2 or 3 decades, with the vast improvement in receiver filters, has anyone really complained about adjacent frequency problems.

    Glen, K9STH
  4. W4MBT

    W4MBT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, definitely meant kHz....I was typing my first post on an iPad and it auto-corrected and I didn't realize it.

    The overall point is still the same, most of the QSOs are occuring about 2 kHz apart...for example if I'm trying to listen to someone on 3860 that I might try to work, it seems like more often than not now there is a conversation from someone with a 20-over signal talking on 3858.
  5. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes, 75m phone is really bad for that. There's a lot of wide open space, usually, down lower in the band, below 3800...and even more wide open space below 3700. I don't like 75m much and don't spend much time there, but when I do, I work mostly below 3800 because above that it gets weird.:p
  6. KJ3N

    KJ3N Ham Member QRZ Page

    9.9 times out of 10, I never bother with anything above 3800. Most of the band above that is a cesspool.
  7. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I agree, and it's unfortunate. But it's been that way a long time and I can't change it.

    80m has such great potential because of its spectrum placement. Great for local work daytimes, and pretty good for DX nighttimes, and very rarely "closed" altogether. But it sure attracts some crazy people.

    I skip over it and go straight to 160m for local ragchews and fight the noise and all other obstacles at night in my attempts to work DX. After 40 years of occasionally operating 160, and never with a good home station antenna, I still don't have DXCC on that band. I think I have 69 confirmed. Maybe I'll hit 100 before I croak. But it's a great challenge.

    Conversely, I've worked 178 DX entities in a single weekend on 15m. Ham radio is certainly interesting.
  8. N0AZZ

    N0AZZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    To answer your question yes receivers like the K3 has with up to 5 8 pole filters in the main and sub receiver and I can knock those stations out easy.
  9. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    To me, interference reduction isn't all that important.

    Almost all the best DX I ever worked was through "tons" of interference, in many cases right dead on the same frequency, and there's no way to eliminate that.

    It's what makes it fun.

    There's an old story about a ham who dies and ends up in a place where there's no interference, no static, the bands are open 24 hours a day, and working DX is like picking up a telephone.

    After about six months he gets kind of bored and says to one of the other ops, "Gee, I wonder what Hell is like?"

    And the other guy says, "Where do you think you are?":p
  10. AC4BB

    AC4BB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I packed my bags and moved to the lower 100KHZ years ago, and ain't moving back up either.
  11. K7JBQ

    K7JBQ Moderator QRZ Page

    Ayup, and the lower 25 is even better.

  12. WH2HAO

    WH2HAO QRZ Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes, This is a very common problem with the TS-2000. Look at eham reviews, this is the number one complaint and a well know problem. That is why most serious hams operate the Yaesu FTDX 9000MP. It filters out all QSO QRM, that is why it is so expensive, but definitely worth it. You will never have this problem again.
  13. W0AKR

    W0AKR Ham Member QRZ Page

    COuld be a bit of both. Two regions not hearing each other and just happens you are where you can hear both sides and it appears they are overlapping, but if you were to go to either station, likely, you wouldn't hear the other QSO. As to radio, the 2000 is known for poor close in performance but I don't think that is what you are referring to. That would be more along the line of a QSO in progress and someone is "splattering" or the QRM is covering them up which may or may not be a product of poor close in performance. I don't know that you need to spend $8-10K on a radio that is "stellar" in some opinions, there are others out there just as good, not very old previous models that work well in crowded band conditions. If you are a top shelf contester and wallpaper means the world to you, then by all means, go for the $10K radio and get more paper, otherwise, consider your operating needs and habits and go accordingly. The 2000 isn't bad but is by no means a radio for a contest condition. For general rag chewing, occassional DXing, should be fine. Even with a $10K radio you will encounter situations of intense QRM due to poor operating practices that no amount of filtering will make into an arm chair copy. GL and hope you got some answers to your question!
  14. W0AKR

    W0AKR Ham Member QRZ Page

    FOrgot to hit the Quotes button, regarding moving to the lower 100Khz region...I find in the CW region, much more enjoyable, less QRM and much easier to filter, tune, adjust out anything close, I mean really close...

    Regarding CW mentioned by Bryan:
    "I packed my bags and moved to the lower 100KHZ years ago, and ain't moving back up either."

    Amen...much more effective and Q rates can be substantially higher..
  15. N3AWS

    N3AWS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I thought the number one complaint was that the receiver was deaf on HF.
  16. W4MBT

    W4MBT Ham Member QRZ Page

    That would certainly be a nice rig to own, but I could never justify the expense until my kids are all out of school. At this point I'm not looking for perfect, just something that's more effective than what I've got.
  17. G4OTU

    G4OTU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I sypathise with the OP but ...that's life.

    I came back to ham radio about 3 years ago after nearly 20 years away...joined a local club - mostly people who have received their licences in the past 5 years or so. I was astonished to find that they pretty much expected QRM free spaces plus and minus 3 khz around their frequency! I would have been pretty happy if I had free space plus and minus 1 Khz.

    I think the fact that activity levels are now lower than they were 10/20/30 years ago has produced this expectation of a "clear frequency".
  18. W8MW

    W8MW Ham Member QRZ Page

    You do have a point and it's more about operators than equipment. There is a lessening of courtesy with people starting up a new QSO too close to one already in progress. There can always be reasons why 2 kHz spacing is the best they can do. Sometimes legit reasons. Other times it's being thoughtless and not grasping the concept of staying out of the next fellow's passband when it isn't necessary to move in too close.

    FCC has a very strict policy about all of this: Okay kiddies, play nice in the sandbox with each other.

    73, Mike
  19. N3AWS

    N3AWS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I almost bought a TS-2000 when they first came out. But I was pending a move at the time and decided to wait.

    Seems the Icom 9100 is one heck of a rig! If Icom upgrades it to a color realtime panadapter then I'd buy one. But most likely the K4 will be out by then with the "promise" of other super rigs "any time now..." So, like so many others, I settle for yesterday's technology and wait for my dream rig...

    (BTW, I hope the OP knows I was only pulling his leg about the receiver on the TS-2000)

  20. KJ3N

    KJ3N Ham Member QRZ Page

    Try a TS-590, or a K3.
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