Poor operating etiquette or is it just my gear?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' 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 Premium Subscriber 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.
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