40m Sub bands are a mess!!!

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KN4BQH, Nov 21, 2020.

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  1. KN4BQH

    KN4BQH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello everyone, KN4BQH here. I thought I post out of concern because I’ve been a ham for a few years now and I’m getting in CW now. But I’ve noticed in my time that the CW call frequencies are just seemingly purposefuly squashed by FT8 and other digi modes now. I own crystals for some frequencies that I can’t seem to use because of this. Like 7049khz or 7040khz? Who’s idea was it to set these frequencies as default in these FT8 applications? I’m not against any mode here. But aren’t you suppose to check to see if the frequencies are in use BEFORE you just squat on them?
    But to me.... this seems like a mess.

    may be I’m just missing something?
  2. WA1GXC

    WA1GXC Ham Member QRZ Page

    The famous bank robber Willy Sutton was asked by a reporter, "Why do you rob banks?" He replied, "Because that's where the money is."

    No, OM, it's not your imagination. There is a lot of emotional energy around here on the Einstein Memorial Internet Chat-Space (QRZ.com) with
    folks railing about FT8, how they're illegitimate offspring running illegitimate communications systems in an illegitimate manner. The problem with that
    argument is that 90% of Amateurs here in the U.S., if majority ruled, would tell us CW operators that we belong way up at 7280 with The
    People's Mongolian Radio Front. FT8 has defaulted to tight grouping where you find them, because that is where they find each other. I don't know this
    factually, but in other regions of the world international treaty for high-power HF broadcasting renders broad chunks of spectrum unusable to us as a
    practical fact --and don't forget, all this FT8 and other digital gear is sold all over the world.

    We all operate in a way shaped by habit. We need to spread out on 40m and elsewhere--there's plenty of room available, we just need to gradually adapt
    and change our patterns. You'll find slow-speed CW above 7100, moving to where the old Novice Band used to be.

    The digital hams should (and are required by ethical and good operating practice) to find a clear frequency before blasting the world with their
    pulses. Lots don't, but I hear just as many SSB and CW operators all the time exhibiting the same poor lack of standards and talent.

    Decades ago I operated RTTY with real machines and real bad equipment. I was probably a pain to some of my fellow CW ops around 7070kHz.
    But it's only 2-way Amateur communication. We all need to get along and let the other guy and gal be as good or as bad operator as their knowledge
    and experience allow.
    Spread out and have fun. And if you're crystal-bound, good hams with good ears will pull you thru. That's what hams have always done. Good luck and don't
    be discouraged or angered.

    N4CVX, N2EY, WD4ELG and 2 others like this.
  3. KJ4KPW

    KJ4KPW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've only been a CW op a little over a year. But I have also noticed the last several months a lot digital/phone creeping in.

    I understand the ops using phone between 7.050-7.065 are within their privileges in their region, better propagation now I guess.

    Maybe because I haven't really used a mic since learning CW, but I'm always surprised how much bandwidth they take up!
  4. W4KYR

    W4KYR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I heard digital interference on the W1AW bulletin on 80 meters last night.
  5. KN4BQH

    KN4BQH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the response you all. I wasn’t expecting quite so many replies to my inquiry so quickly. Please know that I am not angry or upset, I’m just trying to figure this out. Can you guys suggest some other frequencies that are frequented? One of you mentioned about 7.100?

  6. KJ4KPW

    KJ4KPW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I didn't think you were upset/angry at all. It can definitely be annoying, but I'm sure despite careful listening I've walked over someone else's QSO! That's life.

    Above 7.100 you can find some slower code. But for whatever unlucky reason, I don't hear much activity. I'm slower, around 13wpm, and most of my QSOs on 40 are between 7.050-7.065.
  7. WA1GXC

    WA1GXC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I didn't mean to imply that you sounded angry, just that it would be easy to let that happen and become discouraged. Again, patterns change solely
    out of habit. Not that many years ago, 7060kHz was where all the QRP guys hung out, then it moved down to 7030. I hear many of the SKCC gang
    7050-7065. Maybe this conversation will get the ball rolling--Let's all listen 7050 all the way up to 7125--and start calling CQ at the higher end of
    that segment (7075+) . With your initial question, perhaps you've started a movement. Who knows? Maybe with this, the problem will be fixed in the
    next few months as everyone slides bit-by-bit. Just curious, what Xtals do you have and do you have any above 7100. Obviously, that can be a
    Just as a possible tip, Mouser Electronics has computer clock crystals in subminiature HC-18 holders that can be fitted to and inside HC-6
    and FT-243 crystal holders. Lots of 40m and 80m freqs. The crystals are dirt-cheap. The only problem is with older tube-type transmitters with high crystal current that might fracture them. With solid-state oscillators, they work fine.

  8. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've noticed this also, and do work 40m CW quite often (nearly every day, often between 0000 and 0130 UTC).

    7040 seems to be a Pactor/Winlink (?) frequency and I hear digital ops there 24/7/365 now. "Used to be" a good CW QRP calling frequency, but that's about impossible today. As the sun sets and the propagation improves, those signals get stronger and seem to come from several directions.

    But, there really are no official calling frequencies, that's all just suggestions and band plan stuff. If I want to raise a higher speed CW QSO on 40m, that's mostly below 7040; if I have time and want to raise a slower-speed CW QSO, I call CQ above W1AW's frequency (7047.5), maybe from 7049 up to 7060 or so, and then again there are several "slow coders" between 7100 and 7125. If I call a slow-speed CQ up there (maybe 12-15 wpm), I usually get an answer.

    Being crystal-controlled these days is quite a handicap. Most all rigs designed for crystal control will work with a VFO that has compatible frequency and amplitude output levels, and a synthesized one can be homebrewed for probably $25 or so by a knowledgeable and fairly experienced builder.
  9. VA3TFC

    VA3TFC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Same here. I was trying to practice copying the slow code on Weds night on 80 meters and there was some kind of digital transmission coming through.
    W4KYR likes this.
  10. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Happens pretty frequently on 40m also (7047.5). Such as last evening starting right after W1AW began their code practice transmission at 0000 UTC.

    W1AW's signal is powerful enough (here) to blast right through the digital stuff.
    VA3TFC likes this.

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