Saturday, September 26, 2009


I saw a post from Sam Morgan K5OAI on QRP-L about the RTTY contest this weekend. I headed down the basement to give a listen on 40 Meters for a few; and sure 'nuff, it's almost wall to wall RTTY right down to 7.025 MHz.

Makes me glad that I'm an Extra!

Seriously, however, where has the courtesy gone? I was very active for a time with RTTY and the digital modes in the 80's and I remember very clearly, that even on a contest weekend, RTTY signals low in the band (below 7.060 MHz on 40 Meters, for example) were the exception rather than the rule. We tried very hard not to claim the entire CW portion of the bands for ourselves.

Seems that selfishness rules these days; and that thinking of anyone beyond our own needs is an anachronism.

In one vein, it is good that the bandwidth is being made use of; but on the other hand, it really is a bummer when the only real time you get to operate is the weekend and you can't because your favorite band is crowded with ......

73 de Larry W2LJ


  1. I think that this weekend the CQ Worldwide DX Contest -- the largest RTTY contest of the year.

    Sam's complaint is a little like being upset to hear so many people calling CQ FD on Field Day. HI!

    The WARC bands are a refuge in times like this, even without an Extra ticket.

    73 de Jeff

  2. I participated throughout the weekend through I was primarily in a S&P mode vs calling CQ in Run mode. The specific hot band at the time was very full but the other bands were very open - 20m during the day, 40m late in the day and 80m in the evenings. The thick of the signals were from the normal start portion and up.

    On 20m, though the signal did go down into the PSK area on 14.070-14.075 I think people did their best, at least in the US, to stay out of that portion. It did extend, at peak times, from 14.070 down to 14.050. I didn't see it go below that when I was down there. On the other hand, it went up from 14.080 to about 14.150 or so during the heaviest of times. I also saw, for the most part, people staying away from 14.100.

    On Sunday I was calling CQ around 14.130 I think in one of the few times I was calling CQ. As an op from Italy came back to me, someone came on blasting in RTTY "PLEASE STANDBY FOR TRANSCANADA PHONE AND CW NET" over and over. I asked him to stop QRMing and I will QSY in 1 minute but he just kept sending it over and over. Funny how it's ok for someone to constantly send a message over and over in an unidentified manner yet they are the first to claim they are following the rules and others are interfering with them. What a jerk!

    As Jeff mentions, this is one of the big 3 RTTY contests over the course of the year. Amazing how the bands open up when everyone is actually on the radio!