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Reflector :: Why 7.118 for sota

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Post by G7TAS on 4th March 2013 at 11:43
I have been watching spots for last week and why is it that every body
Is picking on this one you have several large nets around it and lots using
Over 100w to talk local, so this part of band is a total mess most days
So and one near these nets can not here sota stations

Can we try higher up or lower

Ray g7tas
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Post by MM0FMF on 4th March 2013 at 12:00
In reply to G7TAS:

>why is it that every body Is picking on this one

For the same reason people pick 14.285 or 7.032 or 18.086. They are recognised* SOTA working frequencies.

By all means propose another frequency but you will need to persuade enough people to monitor it to make it viable.

Andy
MM0FMF

* recognised by SOTA activators/chasers.
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Post by G6TUH on 4th March 2013 at 12:08
In reply to G7TAS:

There is a net which operates at 7.117 nearly everyday. They are, with a couple of exceptions, all within FM contact with each other. They were most put out a few weeks ago to find a QSO in progress on that frequency and asked them both to QSY as it was "their frequency for the net". I was pleased to hear that they were told to go somewhere else for the net. A week or so ago when I was listening they were disturbed by splatter from people chasing on 7.119. Net controller said it is "those idiots on the air again" and all agreed to turn the wick up. One op was particularly pleased to do this as he was 'exercising' his Acom 2000A so I doubt if he was at 400W. I went back to 7.119 which of course was hopeless. I think you have to put up with because these frequencies have the advantages of having somewhere to monitor.

Mike G6TUH
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Post by G6TUH on 4th March 2013 at 12:09
In reply to MM0FMF:

Or perhaps 'preferred' frequencies ;-)
Mike G6TUH
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Post by G8ADD on 4th March 2013 at 12:40
In reply to G6TUH:

When we obtained the use of 7.10 to 7.20, if I remember correctly it was the German SOTA activators who started using 7.118 and the rest of us followed suit. It is really handy to have a frequency to monitor rather than tune a band full of rock-crushing signals, but we can't claim a frequency for our own use, even if we use the bully-boy tactics of the 7.117 crew - who have only claimed tenure since the band expanded, anyway!

If we decide to recommend a "centre of activity" for 40 metres, I would suggest somewhere handy for the Americans, above 7.125 would suit the Extra-class, but we need to be above 7.175 for the sake of the General-class hams. Too near 7.200 and we get splatter from the AM BC stations in the evening when there is most transatlantic activity so perhaps somewhere around 7.180 to keep the "18" in mind?

Comments?

Brian G8ADD
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Post by KD9KC on 4th March 2013 at 12:51
In reply to G7TAS:

There is one Gent in G-land that continuously laments about the poor choice of 40m frequencies in the USA when one of our activators picks a freq above 7.200. There is only a small window that the GENERAL CLASS US operator can use below 7.200, and that is often packed.

Likewise, we all see the VK stations seem to be stuck on 7.085-7.095, always SSB. I have actually heard them on the summit, and called in CW. After a few tries the comment "some idiot is using CW right on top of us" told me it wasn't going to work. <grin>.

Likewise, the choice of 7.118 will not work between UK and US, as anything below 7.125 is CW for us. SO.... if you ever hear a CW signal that seems to be QRMing you in time to your calls, listen to it. They MIGHT be calling you.

40m is an interesting band. Mostly useful for more local comms, especially during the day. And there in no international band plan that fits well beyond the "local". By local, I mean Europe, North America, or VK-ZL areas.

When I am using a frequency and a "NET" wants to grab it, they will often complain that it is a NET frequency. So I tell them that it is not THEIR frequency, and it is already in use. I had one comment that people should yield for a net, and I replied that people shouldn't just take over a frequency that is already in use. They were miffed, but went elsewhere.

40m is just a mess anywhere. I don't think we can find a common frequency. Not sure there would be many international SOTA contacts on it even if we could find a common freq.

40m - it is what it is.

Vy73 - Mike - KD9KC.
El Paso, TX - DM61rt.
W5-SOTA Association Manager.
NA-SOTA info: www.na-sota.org
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Post by G8ADD on 4th March 2013 at 13:06
In reply to KD9KC:

An alternative is to nominate a centre of activity below 7175 for EU and a centre of activity for NA higher up, and work each other with a wide split - I have done this during contests so I know it works!

73

Brian G8ADD
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Post by KD9KC on 4th March 2013 at 14:39
In reply to G8ADD:

I don't think we will ever find a real working band-plan for 40m, not as long as there are regional differences in the size of the band. Right now some use 7.0-7.1. some 7.0 to 7.2, and some 7.0-7.3 MHz.

In checking my stats, I find that I have worked more summits on 30m than on 40m by a radio of 2.5:1.

This is understandable when you realize that the land area of Europe is about 10 million km/sq, and the land area of North America is about 25 million km/sq. Interestingly enough, a ratio of 2.5:1. 30m has a little more range than 40m, and SOTA ops in the USA have adopted 10.115 as a SOTA freq.

To be certain, I am grateful for every one of my 40m contacts. Often they were close enough that 30m and 20m were skipping right over me.

Vy73 - Mike - KD9KC.
El Paso, TX - DM61rt.
W5-SOTA Association Manager.
NA-SOTA info: www.na-sota.org
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Post by G3NYY on 4th March 2013 at 16:22
In reply to KD9KC:

> Likewise, the choice of 7.118 will not work between UK and US, as
> anything below 7.125 is CW for us.

CW or data modes. In the USA, 7.070 - 7.085 is used extensively for data modes. If I want to work the USA on RTTY, PSK31 or JT65, I have to use these frequencies ... which is far from ideal, because that's right in the middle of the SSB sub-band in Europe!

The fact is, there is no perfect solution on 40m because the frequency allocations differ so much from Region to Region, are are further complicated by the various license classes in North America.

73,
Walt (G3NYY)
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Post by G7TAS on 4th March 2013 at 17:32
All I can say is why do we put a spot on for the frequency we use, i do not leave a radio on 7.118 as it is chasing a different station
Infact when on a summit I rely on spots for summit to summit
We know that there is a group that turn on the power as soon as they here the slightest murmur of any one on 118

I think we need to look for a clear frequency than just go for that one and spot it if you can or ask a contact, which most will do

Several stations at the weekend spoted them selves on 118 and 14.285 when some one was already on there it seem they did not check, or with hind sight they could not here the gb100

Ray g7tas
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Post by MM0FMF on 4th March 2013 at 17:54
In reply to G7TAS:

>All I can say is

Forgive me Ray but this comes across as "I can't use these frequencies so please choose others". If activators are unable to make contacts on 7.118 or 14.285 then they will use other frequencies. If they are making contacts then they will continue to use these frequencies because they work.

Perhaps you can suggest a clear frequency we can all monitor?

Andy
MM0FMF
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Post by DB7MM on 4th March 2013 at 18:07
In reply to G7TAS:
To my mind 7.160 - 7.166 MHz is used alternatively for SOTA especially with 7.118 already used. As activator I often alert 7.118 and 7.165 MHz but when arriving at the summit normally both frequencies are occupied. So I end up somewhere else and have to selfspot such an uncommon frequency.

73 de Michael, DB7MM
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Post by M1EYP on 4th March 2013 at 18:11
The bonus of activating on CW is that once you've posted your alert - which doesn't even need to be specific nor accurate about your intended frequency or band - the RBN spots you, on your frequency, within seconds of your first call.

This can be almost replicated, with just a few more seconds delay, by activators self-spotting on their mobile devices once they've selected their working frequency. I am sure that activators will not choose to operate on an already-occupied frequency. We have to accept that a frequency that sounds busy to us may well appear to be vacant at the activator's side.

Tom M1EYP
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Post by G7TAS on 4th March 2013 at 19:03
In reply to MM0FMF:
It's not just me read some of the spots from the weekend
If I live 150 miles up country from from one station the blots 6 kcs each side how meany others
Will suffer
I was on a summit (barden hill) and I could not use 118 and missed several s/s and chaser
I have had a chat will other chasers at rally and they said the same
So I decided to bring it up as the other stations said in other thread on here they can not go above 7.100
All I am stating is that it is getting harder for chasers on this particular one, not just me
I go up on a summit to give every one a chance to get some points not just the ones that have a filter system that
Cost arm and leg,it's the swls as well, that get the same rubbish across the band
It was a thought to help all to injoy sota rather than turn radio off because of the few dedicated idiots that keep there shacks
Warm , splattering

Ray
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Post by G4OIG on 4th March 2013 at 19:04
My take on the question is why did we start using 7.118 in the first place? It does seem a little strange as it doesn't fit the QRP + 2kHz rule which many SOTA centres of activity are based on. The G QRP Club lists the following QRP frequencies:

CW. 1.836, 1.843, 3.560, 7.030, (USA also uses 7.040), 10.106, 10.116, 14.060, 18.086, 18.096, 18.106, 21.060, 24.906, 28.060

SSB. 3.690, 7.090, 14.285, 18.130, 21.285, 24.950, 28.365.

Logically we should have settled on 7.092. From one recent thread, it would appear that the European novices would be pleased if European activators moved there.

73, Gerald G4OIG
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Post by MM0FMF on 4th March 2013 at 19:24
In reply to G4OIG:

> why did we start using 7.118

Because it was above 7.1 and so was clear. Especially as a few countries (G, DL) got access to 7.1 upwards before other countries did when the band was released.

7.115 had (has) some BC rubbish so .118 was a nice offset from the QRM otherwise it would have been .115.

>we should have settled on 7.092

Except that is below 7.1 and was as busy as a busy thing. That's why.

I have to admit that I find 40m SSB so unpleasant to operate I steer well clear unless I have to operate there. One of the best moves I ever made was becoming competent enough at Morse to be able to use for SOTA activations. I realise this is not for everyone which is why I didn't mention until Tom did. Being competent at Morse alone and calling near 7.032 was enough to guarantee success. When linked with RBN, Eric KU6J's software and SOTAwatch there is a system that makes getting a pileup almost trivial. Nearly on any band as well! I continue to run my own SMS spotter to fill in the gaps between RBN skimmers and for SSB users. I'll run that FOC as long as there's a need.

But when all the spotting aids fail we still need to call near some known frequencies where people leave a receiver monitoring.

Andy
MM0FMF
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Post by G8ADD on 4th March 2013 at 19:29
In reply to G4OIG:

It is easy to forget what it was like on 7 megs before the band was enlarged. There was a huge amount of traffic in the SSB segment below 7100, often it was impossible to activate on SSB, our 5 watts could make no impression on a mammoth QRM-fest, and the ability to flee to the open spaces above 7100 was what made SOTA on 7 megs practicable. Remember that we were one of the first few countries to get the extended band, it took some years before the French got the right to use the segment that they were entitled to. At that time the idea of QRP on 7090 was nothing but a rather sad joke, things may be different now but my impression is that the LF end of the phone band is still heavily congested...well, all the band is congested in daylight but the LF end is worse.

Gerald, note that the QRP+2 rule is useful on CW - or so I assume, I prefer the greater challenge of phone [:-)] - but it won't work on phone as the passband is wider than 2 kHz. We need at least QRP+3 on phone, probably more to be comfortable as the activators might be QRP but the Chasers definitely aren't.

I repeat what I said above, if we hope to include the Americans in transatlantic SOTA then we need to bear in mind the American bandplan, which is mandatory for them. On this basis 7090 is not practicable...and as I have worked America on 40 with a wide split and just 5 watts it would be wrong to assume that the Americans have no place in this discussion.

73

Brian G8ADD
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Post by MM0FMF on 4th March 2013 at 19:36
In reply to G8ADD:

>if we hope to include the Americans in transatlantic SOTA then we need to bear
>in mind the American bandplan

Split operation and remember to "make a leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeessst"!

Sorry wrong thread! (Other threads are available.)

Seriously, whenever the big contests are on, US contest stations work split to work Europeans on 40m and vice-versa. There's no reason why it wont work for activations with a bit of planning in advance.

Andy
MM0FMF
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Post by G8ADD on 4th March 2013 at 20:19
In reply to MM0FMF:

> Seriously, whenever the big contests are on, US contest stations work
> split to work Europeans on 40m and vice-versa. There's no reason why
> it wont work for activations with a bit of planning in advance.

Exactly, Andy, it worked for me, it should work for anyone with a half-way decent antenna and a bit of low cunning! We could facilitate this if the Americans could nominate a frequency for us to monitor on forty, but that is material for another thread...

Looking back through my log for this year (from Jan 1st) I see that I logged 38 chases on 40, 24 of which were between 7115 and 7125, 11 on 7118. Just one was below 7100 and one in the American General allocation. This suggests to me that if we try to break the 7118 habit we will be asking a lot of activators to change their operating habits, just because of an occasional net on 7117. I rather think that any such effort would fail, but if enough people are prepared to consider a different frequency - and agree on it - then we could give it a go. I suspect 7090 isn't on - even now there are three QSO's jostling for that space!

73

Brian G8ADD
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Post by G4OIG on 5th March 2013 at 08:37
In reply to G8ADD:

> ......and as I have worked America on 40 with a wide split and just 5 watts it would be wrong to assume that the Americans have no place in this discussion.

Quite right Brian - I wasn't suggesting that they should be excluded. However, it does appear that the incompatibility between the band plans dictates that ne'er the twain shall meet. So split working looks like being the only practical means of Eu to US working on 40m SSB.

I agree that a habit is hard to break. The question is though, is 7.118 a bad habit and can we improve on it if it is?

73, Gerald G4OIG
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Post by MM0FMF on 5th March 2013 at 08:41
In reply to G4OIG:

40m SSB... there are no good frequencies. There are only less bad frequencies.

Andy
MM0FMF
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Post by G8ADD on 5th March 2013 at 09:19
In reply to MM0FMF:

True. Even the bleepers hiding down the bottom end have trouble. The thing is that it is a terrific band both for local working and for DX after dark, no wonder its so busy!

"Quite right Brian - I wasn't suggesting that they should be excluded. However, it does appear that the incompatibility between the band plans dictates that ne'er the twain shall meet. So split working looks like being the only practical means of Eu to US working on 40m SSB."

And yet in the evening you can often hear Americans in the shared part of the band. It isn't hopeless, its just difficult - you have to be up for the challenge, but yes, split is the easiest route, and having a preferred frequency to monitor both ends will ease things. This brings us back to 7118, a habit that has persisted since the band was expanded, and it has persisted because it gives results. It is only a bad habit in a very restricted sense and an awful lot of people would have to be convinced that they would benefit from changing. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever heard you on forty! :-)

73

Brian
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Post by G4OIG on 5th March 2013 at 11:08
In reply to G8ADD:

> Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever heard you on forty! :-)

Not often as an activator and when I do it is usually 7.032 CW. I do chase on 40m SSB when the opportunity arises. Overall I much prefer a quieter life Brian, but even 10.118 can produce around 40 contacts on occasion. :-)

The last serious use of 40m SSB for SOTA was from the first six summits in Orkney last year when a good number of chasers were worked, including yourself on a couple of summits. Paul used the band / mode on the remaining three summits and you may well have worked him on those.

73, Gerald G4OIG
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