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Exclusive CW bands in USA - Sort of...

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by VK5EEE, Mar 11, 2016.

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  1. VK5EEE

    VK5EEE Ham Member QRZ Page

    OK, to make it clear, the reason I'm starting this thread, is to try to get to the reality of whether the ARRL has stopped showing exlusive CW bands on its band plans, and if so, why -- did this happen quietly, and/or with some future motive intent, and/or was an ommission?

    So, before responses come in, let us make it clear what we are looking at. Let's say we want to know the band plans in USA. There are 2 pages on ARRL that come up:

    1) Chart/Hambands_bw.pdf -- this is basically the FCC rules on which frequencies and modes can be used by which license classes. No surprises, no "exclusive CW" sub-bands, and a mention in the side bar that CW can be used on all amateur radio frequencies. But, taken in itself, it seems to rule out SSB in the traditional CW sections, but allows RTTY and DATA on all formerly exclusive CW sub-bands, not as in a particular DATA-CW shared sub-band as in other countries.

    2) Then there is this: which is where everyone would turn to, to see which modes are allowed where on each band. Here the ARRL shows that on 160m CW is allowed across the entire band, and it is clear by deduction that CW is exclusive 1810-1843kHz. On other HF bands the ARRL doesn't even mention CW, nor SSB, and seems to have forgotten about these two modes.

    However, by deduction it appears clear that there are still CW exclusive bands at:

    3500-3570, 7000-7040 (DX QSO), 7000-7080 (USA), 10100-10130, 14000-14070, 18068-18100, 21000-21070, 24890-24920, 28000-28070. The 6m band mentions all modes properly.

    It's a very poor presentation compared with RSGB:

    The ARRL would do well to fix this, as it makes it look as if CW and SSB don't exist any more!
  2. KO6WB

    KO6WB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    In the USA there are only two frequency allocations that are for CW only. That's from 50.0 to 50.1MHz and another at 144 to 144.1MHz.
    Every place else mixed modes are permitted and everywhere in our amateur allocations CW is allowed, everywhere, every single frequency, we are allowed to operate CW (except for 219-220MHz).
    There are licenses that allow for operation of CW only but that doesn't apply to higher license classes.

    For those outside the USA, you may have it even better or maybe not.
    The ARRL has little influence on the operations by the majority of amateurs in the USA. Band plans are mere suggestions as far as those reflected by the ARRL. They are not a matter of enforceable rules and regulations from our Federal Communications Commission (they are the ones that regulate amateur radio here).

    Have fun
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2016
    VK5EEE likes this.
  3. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    From the graphical chart notes (upper right panel):
    Note: CW operation is permitted throughout all amateur bands.
  4. VK5EEE

    VK5EEE Ham Member QRZ Page

    -- I did say that.
  5. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    As a matter of regulation, CW can be used on ANY Amateur frequency; there was an exception for the 5.00 MHz shared allocation, which formerly allowed only UPPER Sideband, but that has recently been changed somewhat, because it IS a shared (Amateurs are secondary users) with government services. As a matter of practice, CW is generally not welcome on frequencies normally used for SSB communications.
    And at the ARRL site, I see segments of 80 M, 40 M, and 15 Meters in the HF range that ARE strictly for CW. Chart/Hambands_bw.pdf
  6. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think you're misreading the chart. The segments of 80m, 40m, and 15m that show the sine wave, indicating CW only, are showing it only for novice and technician class licensees. General, Advanced, and Extra class licensees can use data on those same frequencies, but Novices and Technicians are restricted to CW only. In practice, it's quite rare to hear a novice or technician on those frequencies.

    That chart does show the two CW-only portions of the bands: From 50.0 to 50.1 MHz, and from 144.0 to 144.1 MHz.

    All other parts of the bands that are open to CW are also open to RTTY and data. There are customs that mostly keep CW separated from RTTY and data, but there are no enforceable regulations to do so.
    VK5EEE likes this.
  7. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I WISH there were CW exclusive segments but , sadly for me, they are all mixed data/CW segments. I guess the Data guys don't recognize a CW QSO because too many times I will get a RTTY or some other digi mode start up right in the middle of my CW QSOs.
  8. VK5EEE

    VK5EEE Ham Member QRZ Page

    K8JD indeed for some really odd and destructive reason ARRL have given over the entire CW bands to RTTY and Data "shared" with CW -- CW just can NOT compete with data signals bandwidth and continuous QRM. This is madness and aimed at the destruction of CW, and shows why the no-code should have been allowed onto HF only ith the FCC proviso that their licenses thus don't allow them onto CW exclusive bands. We've now seen the end of CW exclusive bands by the ARRL that I was looking forward to joining -- now most certainly not. This is very bad news. Eventually CW is going to have to migrate to the SSB bands where there may then be less harmful QRM.
    W5BIB likes this.
  9. VK5EEE

    VK5EEE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Folks, do you remember how needlessly CW was wiped out of ship-shore communications and replaced by machines that give constant fake alarms, and no trained communications officer any more. This occured purely and simply because there was no union and no unity between radio officers. Had there been an international radio officers union, I'm pretty sure there'd still be radio officer jobs. Well the same thing with CW on Amateur Radio. ARRL no longer is our voice, heck, they and RSGB don't even have a CW column in the magazine, which even down here in little Australia we do have. If we don't get together and grow a voice, the future is going to look a mess: endless QRM not just local high noise levels killing all, but RTTY, DATA, and Digital SSB occupying the CW bands. We should get together, even via an internet conference, book one into the future, these days not even a need to meet in person, and then have regional physical conferences as follow up. I'm sure we can receive papers and proposals, motions for discussion, and democratically vote and try to reach concensus, and come up with a real outcome to be followed up.

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