I've been playing with the WARC bands lately, specifically 17 and 30 meters.
However, I notice a lot of weak signals, and the excuse usually is they're using an antenna for some other band "tuned down" to 17 meters (or 30 meters).
So why not put up a real antenna for them? Even a dipole will work! Consider this -
- They are free of contest activity
- They offer propagation characteristics similar to your other favorite bands, but unique in their own regard
- No "california kilowatts" on 30 meters. 200 watts maximum, legally.
- WWV is an excellent propagation beacon for 30m.
My MonstIR of course will do 30 and 17, but also my vertical with the 17m add on and the 30m kit does wonderfully as well.
The amp works well on 17, but is not needed most times, and not really allowed on 30. (it is, but I like to keep it barefoot)
Foundation licensees in the UK seem to love the 17m band, and therefore it is a great band to encourage newcomers to the hobby!
So why aren't more of you on WARC?
I tune them in once in a while, don't hear anyone, and move on. That's my excuse.
I do most of my operating in the evening, and by then even 30 Meters has gone bye-bye. Heck, I often can't even hear WWV on 10 MHz!
I have a secondary dipole for 17 & 30 slung beneath my trap dipole. It's made from lengths of ladder line cut for 17 Meters, to which single wires long enough to resonate on 30 Meters have been connected to one of each of the ladder lines' conductors.
"Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty."
John Basil Barnhill
"To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."
Great advice Ryan!
Have several nice DX contacts in my log as well as a handful of some nice SS CW contacts.
Most recent DX on 17 was AO1YO on 18.140 USB
Even though it is not allowed for contests, lots of stations conduct their "station checking" on there.
Right before CQ WPX last year, I worked a lot of DX getting ready for the contest on 17 meters.
They were just calling CQ hoping to adjust audio and make sure everything was running OK.
30 is the same.
True freedom is having a 3rd choice.
My radio doesn't operate on them. I've heard good things about them too from local ops, though - especially 17m. Maybe one day a new rig will be in the cards.
Originally Posted by [b
Probably because they stand a chance in being heard because, whilst most people are shouting and screaming with their kilowatts on 20m, they're having a nice easy QSO on 17m!
Originally Posted by [b
I much prefer 17 and 15 (I know that's not a WARC band) to 20m. I haven't really tried 30m yet (might have gone on psk once), I'm still learning the code and I don't often have the computer to hand to do PSK etc whilst I'm in the 'shack'.
The ARRL antenna book (20th edition) has a great tri band wire beam antenna for 12, 17, & 30 meters. I can't use it at my current QTH - but if I had the property, I'd probably have one of these in the air (if I didn't have a MonstIR).
73 de Joe NE3R
My latest homebrew rig is a "warc" band only rig for 30 and 17. (a 14mhz vfo and a 4mhz IF gets you both bands via the old school "band imaging" way).
30m is like 160, the gentlemans band, mostly due to the fact that I've never heard the word "destinated" (or any other word for that matter) uttered there ; )
17m provides great DX QRP opportunites, I now have hundreds of QSO's logged on that band, almost all at around 5 watts.
Ryan, half of the weak signals you hear are probably the plethora of QRP guys that hang out there, the other half are coming from the other side of the planet.
I work 17 & 30 meters by tuning up existing antennas with a transmatch. 12 meters is always vacant when I check so most of the time it is out of mind. I often wonder how much use these bands get in relation to the other HF bands that we have had for years.