Saturday, January 23, 2010

That was disappointing !

I got on 40 Meters and was hearing wall to wall RTTY across a large portion of the band. So I went all the way down to 7.032 MHz to put out a CQ. After listening for a bit, it looked to be relatively quiet and safe enough to put out a call. I was pleased when Dave KG4TUY out of Nashville, TN answered. I was hoping to get a ragchew in. Dave had a nice 579 signal into NJ; and this QSO looked promising.

Then, out of the blue, RTTY signals came on the frequency at only about 40dB over 9! I tightened the K2's crystal filters to the max and twiddled the RIT trying to get Dave's signal to produce a tone that my gray matter could decipher. The RTTY proved to be too strong a foe.

I thought the RTTY guys stayed up in the 7.100 to 7.060 neighborhood? I guess I'm dating myself; but I remember participating in RTTY contests; and 7.060 was always the line we did not cross out of courtesy. In recent years, I know that the digi guys have been coming down lower and lower - but as low as 7.030 MHz ? And again, whatever happened to listening to the frequency before transmitting - regardless of the mode?

So much for the Amateur's Code.

73 de Larry W2LJ


  1. Oh do I hear and share your pain! It is especially hard when you are running QRP. I dealt with it a good bit this afternoon and finally had to escape to 30m to have some decent space. Not sure what is going on, but they do keep creeping into normal cw and QRP areas. I did notice that above 7060 they were not very active. Not sure if they are US or EU stations... 40m was sure long today at times. Here in FL we got blown away by the SSB from down in South America. Hey, I still had fun and hope you did too, despite the QRM.
    Kelly K4UPG

  2. That sucks Larry. I know when I was on HF, any mode, I'd listen SSB before tx.

  3. Anonymous8:18 PM

    Guys, look at the Region 1, 2 and 3 band plans for digital/rtty on 40 meters. The problem is that EU stations and even Japan need to be as low as 7025 for RTTY. That does not excuse TX before RX by our W brethern.

    73 - Dave - NF6P

  4. And I believe it is the BARTG contest; so I guess they just couldn't hear us. I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt, even if it DID suck! :)

  5. I've noticed that any time there's a RTTY contest on you can forget about trying to hear the NCDXF beacons on 14.100.

  6. Same problem tonight for me in W6-land. Heard a station CW at 7032 and before I could get the callsign I got my ears popped by harmonics of an RTTY station about 10 miles away running *BIG* power for the BARTG.

    I sure wish the ARRL would define some exclusion bands for contests. Weak-signal CW and digimodes (JT65-HF, Olivia, etc) are being impacted.

    It seems like there's at least one RTTY contest every weekend, and an increasing level of unwillingness to respect non-contest activity.

  7. The serious RTTY ops run the legal limit and they just can't hear QRP signals, as I found years ago when trying to work RTTY using my QRP K2.

    I think RTTY really is an outdated mode. It's time people gave it up in favour of more spectrum-efficient soundcard modes like PSK31. If everyone who used PSK switched to RTTY just imagine how much space they would need.

  8. There is often some CW activity between 7110 and 7120 during RTTY contests. There was a lot of SKCC activity there last weekend.

    Otherwise it has become a QRS hangout.


    Steve N6VL