Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Traffic Dodge Ball

A few weeks ago, I met a guy at the gym who was wearing an ARRL shirt.  Good conversation maker.  We discussed our operating preferences.  I told him I was interested in traffic handling & CW. He said "Oh, are you on 3575 [kHz]?  I used to check into that one."

"Sure.  3575 is RN6."  Been there a long time!

Traffic nets are usually on 80, 40 & 20 meters, above where most casual ragchews & small operating events occur.  RN6 has been on 3575, tucked nicely below the JT65 (digital) sub-band, which is about 5 kHz wide, going upward.

That has all changed recently, putting RN6 "on the run."  Presumably we aren't the only one.  So non-regulars can find us, we start calling the net on 3575 & then move it out of the way if there is an encroachment.  Normally we didn't have to.

Now there is another related digital band right on top of us.  They don't listen first.  Lately, it seems that JT65 is moving to frequency we normally were moving off to.

It is well known in ham radio that "no-one owns a frequency."  First come, first served.  So we aren't surprised to have to move now & then.  But there are ops on the band who don't listen first to find out if someone is there, things become difficult.  We don't speak the same language, either.  They speak JT65 & we speak CW.

Yes, RN6 is on 80 meters.  Try & find it!!

1 comment:

  1. An aside ... my understanding of these low-data-rate digital modes is that they were designed as weak-signal modes, good for EME & QRP DX, etc.

    Last night made it clear to me, however, that the digital stations we hear are not local to us. At RN6/2 time (9:30 pm) the 80-meter band was long; fxF2 was 3.30 MHz (per the on-line Pt Arguello ionosonde). RN6 was NOT HEARD. The FT8 signals were going strong, so they must be more distant stations running power. Weak-signal, indeed!