Friendly Reminder - BAND PLANS, folks

Discussion in 'General Announcements' started by K0OKS, Oct 7, 2017.

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  1. K0OKS

    K0OKS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Those are all in the data portion of the band. None of them have a *single* specific frequency assigned to them in the bandplan. I do find data users to move when there is a conflict, because in that case nobody "wins." With SSB many people just continue talking over others.

    All I am asking is to put yourself in the shoes of the SSTV operators and think to yourself, "I guess I could call CQ further up the band." Or return a CQ in that portion but mention to the other party, "Maybe we should move up a few kcs, as this is the SSTV frequency." It's just a matter of an operator thinking about somebody other than himself or herself. It is Good Amateur Practice.

    47 CFR 97.101(a) "In all respects not specifically covered by FCC Rules each amateur station must be operated in accordance with good engineering and good amateur practice."

    I completely understand that that is the official word from the FCC. We are supposed to self regulate, by following the bandplan. I realize some people are simply going to be stubborn and want to interfere with others. Or many are ignorant of the frequency. This was the reason I made the initial post.

    There is a huge difference between some hang out or net that is not listed in any bandplan and a frequency explicitly listed for decades in the official bandplan. As a considerate operator I respect other people's desire to hang out on a certain frequency or conduct a net there. If someone tells me they would like to use the frequency for such-and-such I say go right ahead, and I QSY. As a considerate operator I also avoid known frequencies like SSTV, or even known nets like the Maritime Mobile, Hurricane net, etc.

    I realize that some people will completely ignore this and continue operating wherever willy-nilly without thinking about how it might impact others. They are allowed to do that by the rules. They are not allowed to do that by the Golden Rule, which is generally a good way to act.

    I refuse to be one of those operators that does something rude "because I can." I someone else wants to then so be it.
  2. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Again, a band plan isn't an assignment. It's a recommended practice, authored by someone who has no authority over frequency usage. Why is this so difficult to understand?

    There is no "official band plan" for HF. If there was, it would be published by FCC. All the band plans were cooked by hams, whether they be at ARRL, or 30MDG, or some other nonauthoritative organization.

    I'm sure there is some of that going on, but most people simply realize that all frequencies are open for use. The fact that your favorite watering hole sometimes gets used for SSB doesn't change the fact that that frequency is available for use by SSB operators.

    Why can't the SSTV guys do that? You're asking for others to do something you aren't wiling to do yourself. An SSTV transmission in the panadapter looks the same at 14325 as it does at 14230.

    And yet, you are committing the exact same error that you are accusing others of doing to you, just in reverse.

    Now we're getting somewhere. :cool:
    N2EY likes this.
  3. K0OKS

    K0OKS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You are making an assumption here. I completely understand this. (How many times do I have to say that?) Do you not understand that it is disrespectful to your fellow hams to ignore what you just called recommended practice?

    The ARRL bandplan is about as official as it is going to get here in the US... I understand the ARRL is not a regulatory body, but like them or not they are the most influential group.

    SSTV operator most certainly can and do do this when needed. However, it is much easier for an SSB operator to spin the dial than it is for some (especially legacy) SSTV setups.

    Error? First off, it is NOT the same, since the SSTV frequency is specified in the bandplan. It is much more egregious and discourteous, to use the SSTV frequency for SSB than it is to use the SSTV frequency for SSTV. It is absolutely simple to use another frequency for SSB. I don't get your argument. You are talking like you *want* to be rude and a poor operator by purposefully using the SSTV frequency for SSB. I doubt that you really want to do this, but that is the way the argument sounds. Basically, there is no downside to using another frequency for SSB (unless all are full, or some DX comes in, or other exigent circumstances). Whereas there is a downside to the SSTV stations changing frequency.

    Again, this is really like driving 45 in the left lane of a multilane highway (not a two lane where it is often illegal except to pass). It is just plain rude and shows a lack of respect for other drivers.

    If you wish to exhibit that behavior that is your choice. I do not.

    I started this thread to remind courteous amateurs of something they may have forgotten or not realized. Poor operators will just ignore the bandplan anyway. We all hear it too frequently. Do what you wish with this information.
  4. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    One of many such conflicting documents, none of which have any regulatory authority. That band plan? Heck, if I go to Google and type in "FT8 calling frequency for 40m" I get all kinds of different answers on what the "band plan" is.

    Then there is no authoritative band plan in the US. That's just the truth of the matter. Even ARRL will tell you that the band plan is no more than a suggestion. It has less regulatory authority than the "gentleman's agreement" that there will be no contests on the WARC bands.

    Now who is making assumptions?

    I'm saying that SSB and SSTV are absolutely no different from each other with respect to any entitlement or perceived entitlement to exclusive use of any frequency. That's it. I'm not the bad guy here. I don't splatter on your SSTV transmissions. I don't call CQ CONTEST at your watering hole. I'm one of the guys who spins the dial preemptively just to avoid being the kind of dork that you are talking about. In fact, it's extremely rare for me to use SSB at all because SSB is a crappy mode to start with, and it's even worse in the low-sunspot years. The last time I listened to a phone contest, I couldn't understand anything that anybody was saying, so it just wasn't any fun to try.

    What I'm trying to explain is that no mode has any priority over any other mode within the space allocated (in the FCC sense) to those modes. There are some exceptions in VHF+, but not at HF. Everybody has to share, SSTV included. The idea that one mode is easier to move than another is nonsense. SSTV users' radios have a dial just like everybody else's. If your favorite frequency is in use, spin the dial. It sounds from your OP that the SSTV crowd probably needs to come up with a few extra calling frequencies, so that they have a secondary plan in case 14230 (or wherever) is found to be unusable, for whatever reason.

    If that is true, then there is also no downside to using another frequency for SSTV. Both require a single clear voice channel to operate, and there are lots of places that either set of users can find that.

    There is a similar discussion going on about DV modes on HF: They are making the exact same complaint, and it is just as vacant -- their watering hole is not being left "clear" by SSB users, and it makes them angry. What can I say? Change the rules or spin the dial. Those are their only options(*) and they are your only options.

    (*) I would also point out that the DV thread's OP does describe that they have at least one backup frequency for just this kind of thing. If their watering hole is already busy, they QSY to frequency #2 to call CQ. The whole idea of a watering hole is fine, but if you don't have a backup (or three), you are only limiting your own ability to find others using your favorite mode. And apparently the DV crowd understands that.​
    WR2E likes this.
  5. K0OKS

    K0OKS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You did leave out the part where I said I doubted that you personally wanted to cause interference. ("I doubt that you really want to do this...") I have enjoyed your posts here and elsewhere, and you seem to be a respectful, intelligent guy. I apologize if that came across as pejorative. The other quote was referring to if you wanted to drive 45 in the left lane. That is your choice to do so, but by convention and "gentleman's agreement" you should not.

    The bandplan is part of the agreement between ARRL and the FCC to let us self-regulate. If operators ignore the bandplan and behave recklessly the FCC may come an impose additional, legally bind regulations which none of us want. (Of course considering their inaction on many more egregious acts this is highly unlikely.)

    I understand your argument, but I do think that the SSTV frequency being on the bandplan from (the completely un-official) ARRL *does* mean that there *is* a downside to using SSTV on another frequency while there is NOT a downside to using SSB on another frequency. So even the smallest of advantages would lean in the favor of simply using another frequency for SSB when possible.

    This is what a considerate, respectful operator would do. He or she may certainly forget and use that frequency by mistake, or use it when there is no other space, but an operator doing it intentionally just because they think the bandplan doesn't apply to them since it's not officially from the FCC is a poor choice. As they say, "Don't be that guy."
  6. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    ARRL has no power to allocate or assign frequencies. FCC allows hams as a service some latitude to self-police, but that's not the same thing. Regulation is and always has been exclusive to the Commission, regardless of what ARRL's press releases might implly from time to time.

    But you do have a good point because the whole issue of self-policing requires everybody to share the road. Threads that claim some kind of special access or priority on a frequency or range thereof are not sharing the road. It's a territorial kind of behavior that is not only unfair to others, but it is completely inconsistent with FCC's very explicit instructions(*).

    You won't agree with me, and that's both obvious and fine. But until everybody understands that their favorite mode has no special status over anybody else's favorite modes, people who posts requests of, "please stay off our frequency," are going to be continually and irreparably frustrated until they learn to share the road in the same manner that they are requesting of everybody else my making such a request. Asking people not to deliberately QRM you is quite appropriate. Asking people to keep "your frequency" clear is not.

    (*) The current FCC 605 requires the applicant to certify that, among other things:

    1) The Applicant/Licensee waives any claim to the use of any particular frequency or of the electromagnetic spectrum as against the regulatory power of the United States because of the previous use of the same, whether by license or otherwise, and requests an authorization in accordance with this application.
  7. K0OKS

    K0OKS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Police vs. Regulate is kind of semantic.

    I am not asking people to stay clear of my frequency. I am asking people to respectfully by familiar with and abide by the bandplan whenever possible. In the case of the SSTV frequencies they do have a special status, in that they are specifically named and called out on the bandplan. This may not be a special status to the FCC, and it may not be legally binding. However, it is on the bandplan for a reason. It is not there to tell people to use that frequency for SSB. It is there specifically to encourage SSB operators NOT to use that frequency. Why else would you list the frequency?

    We have established ad nauseum that the bandplan in not regulatory, and not legally binding. However, it is there for a reason-- namely to help us all cooperate and be respectful of one another and various modes. I am merely encouraging amateurs to know the bandplan and try to use it when possible. There is pretty much zero downside to using the bandplan. The entire argument seems to pretty silly. There doesn't have to be a law against something for it to be wrong, and most reasonable people want to cooperate.

    Except during contests, when anything goes apparently, there is pretty much always an opening in the SSB portion of the band. So why not just use it rather than the designated frequency on the (completely unofficial, non-regulatory, non-binding, non-legally binding, we get all that, blah, blah) bandplan??

    What is the possible POSITIVE outcome of using the SSTV frequency for SSB when there is another frequency open? There simply is none. Whereas there is a negative outcome to using the SSTV frequency for SSB, however minor. So anything slightly greater than zero is better than zero. It is really simple. If nothing else it keeps annoying SSTV QRM off the rest of the band.
  8. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Wow!! You guys should get a room, a bottle of scotch, and put out the Do Not Disturb sign :D:D:D

    N7ANN, N2SUB, ND6M and 3 others like this.
  9. K0OKS

    K0OKS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yeah, I think we have to agree to disagree.
    KK5JY likes this.
  10. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just "Do The Right Thing". How difficult it is apparently. Sad.
    KK5JY and W7UUU like this.

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