Let's rethink 3880

Discussion in 'Amplitude Modulation' started by K4KYV, Dec 7, 2017.

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  1. N2DTS

    N2DTS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I know no one owns a frequency, but many people/groups have their usual frequency to gather on.
    If the band is empty, its no problem to go anyplace, but at prime times, I don't think parking on some groups usual frequency is going to
    make many friends.

    I am not sure the amount of AM activity is growing a lot, seems like mostly the usual suspects on.
    We seem to get a few drive by's trying AM but not many seem to stay.
  2. WA3VJB

    WA3VJB Ham Member QRZ Page


    The concept of voluntarily constraining ourselves to small parts of the bands carries more risk than benefit these days, and we won't be able to change that by simply promoting the existence of watering holes established years ago, for different reasons than the environment that exists today.

    AMers on 75 meters took great advantage of the FCC's decision to re-apportion the band about ten years ago to reflect levels of use between "phone" and "CW." There is consistent AM activity down low, from 3700-3740, where operators find a lot more elbow room, less congestion, and greater operating satisfaction. Brent, W1IA has called that zone the "Tranquil Valley," and I'm among the many who today look there first for an AM QSO. I also acknowledge that it's not yet a zone of habit for AMers, which can actually help rather than hurt the chance of finding a healthy place to have a QSO.

    A risk of limiting ourselves to the traditional "window" anywhere is that we are expected by others on incompatible modes to stay in our place. We lose an expectation of being able to operate anywhere in the phone portion that our licenses and conditions allow. At the same time, others fail to respect "our place," self-designated, and their presence undercuts our ability to find a clear spot on the dial in that area. We also face an unprecedented number of AM "nets," whose organizers have felt their scheduled roundtables should take place in the same area where 1:1 AM QSOs and unscheduled AM activity would have occurred.

    I do not wish to forsake any of the allocations that my license permits me to use. I also am a staunch advocate of dynamic frequency selection, finding a spot that fits the mode, the targeted signal area, and the intent. I don't feel it does us any favors to "stay within their agreement," nor would I ever want the de facto AM windows made into the force of law in any regulatory proceeding.

    Rigid, full-time sub-bands by mode are an inefficient use of spectrum, as is the unwarranted compliance with voluntary coordination when and where there's room to operate elsewhere.


    N1BCG and AC0OB like this.
  3. K4KYV

    K4KYV Subscriber QRZ Page

    When the phone band was first expanded, AMers rushed to establish themselves on the new frequencies. A number who had only General tickets upgraded to Extra so they could take advantage of the new phone privileges. AM could heard above and below 3700, and a couple of AM watering-holes appeared to be emerging, notably at 3705, around 3725, and some AM activity was regularly heard in the 3600-3700 Extra class segment. A lot of praises were heard about how great the new frequencies were. Less congestion and less nonsense from the usual miscreants than what we had grown used to in the 75m AM Window/Ghetto region.

    This lasted for a few months, until the novelty wore off. Then, activity "down below" began to slowly dwindle, as one by one, AM operators migrated back to the old stomping grounds and progressively less and less activity was heard in the expanded phone band. Now, it is quite rare to randomly listen and catch ongoing AM activity outside the 3870-90 area. Often, calling CQ down below is to no avail, or else only finally attracts someone who heard the repeated calls and decided to try his plastic radio on AM for the first time (not that there's anything wrong with that, nor helping a first-time AMer get his rig adjusted to sound good; everyone has to get his start sometime and somewhere, but still, the majority of us like to have QSOs with experienced AM operators most of the time).

    Because of the apparent dearth of interest, I only occasionally scan the lower frequencies for AM activity nowadays. I generally have better luck listening on 160, where activity has likewise been unusually sparse so far this season which is already more than half over.
  4. K9EID

    K9EID Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hello Billy. I don't watch these forums much but really need to. Please let me know what frequency and I will be there. With my Pine Board or Eico... but it WILL be nice quality AM. Stay in touch. Bob Heil
    N6YW likes this.
  5. N6YW

    N6YW Ham Member Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    Hello Bob!
    It's good to see you here. I hope the NAMM show was good to you and I hope you and Ross had a chance to hang.
    Your AM signal has always been stellar and the last time we worked, you were using the Eico/30L-1 combo and
    it was BC quality.
    I am usually a part of the 3870 gang on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Anytime you hear me on, please break in,
    you're always welcomed.
    I started this forum almost 2 years ago and it has flourished with the contributions of some of the finest people you
    will ever meet anywhere. Please contribute anytime you feel the urge, we'd love to hear from you.
    By the way, I dyed a purple stripe in my hair back in October. It looks awesome even though it's fading, I still get
    lots of compliments. I would imagine you would approve, Hi!
    73 de Billy N6YW
  6. AC0OB

    AC0OB Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I thought during the Rally we were going to work the whole band and get out the self-imposed window. I was down on 3.705 trying to drum up business there and received only one response, and that was from a Canadian operator.

    I also tried 3.721 and 3.749 but no responses there, as it seemed the majority were operating between 3.700 and 3.790.

    Clark said some other folks were on a few other frequencies about mid-band but I never heard any of them.


  7. N1BCG

    N1BCG Ham Member QRZ Page

    While activity did originate in the 3870-90 area, additional QSOs appeared down to 3800. I jumped in to say "hi" on several that required unprecedented retuning of the rig ;-)

    37xx is the Preferred Members section, and 36xx the elite high-brow community, both exclusive of the proletariat, thus void of the great unwashed.
    N6YW likes this.
  8. K4KYV

    K4KYV Subscriber QRZ Page

    There was a little activity on 160. Didn't hear anything on 40m. I pretty much stayed on 1880 and 1885, although a couple of times I strayed beyond those limits up and down the band. Some activity was heard on 1945 and at the high end, but I never got that high up.

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