Monday, 2 January 2012

Happy New Year and etiquette matters

Happy New Year to all who are reading this.
I decided to revive an old tradition of mine whereby I work at least one station on each of the bands I have available to me on both New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. I used to do this in my first period of operating from 1977 to 1983 when I resided at an address where I was able to erect decent antennae. At that time only 2m and the 10,15,20,40,80 and 160m bands were available to me so not really a problem. I succeeded most years.
Did not think it through this holiday though as in addition to those I now have 70cm,6,12,17 and 30m to operate on.
New Year's Eve- success on all but 70cm and 6m - ^m band dead to me - even changed the aerial from a halo to a dipole to change my target audience, but not a signal to be heard on FM or SSB. On 70cm I use a collinear, decent take-off but silence rained.
New Year's Day same issue with those bands, and 30m eluded me also. Putting up the new dipole for 6m the day before aggravated an existing shoulder injury and I was in no position to stick at it for long, so better luck next year. Used new 6m bandplan to hunt as well

Just thought I would just pop in a comment on this. I just worked an Italian station on PSK125 low down in the usual PSK operating  portion of the 20m band - very strong but wide - I gave him 597 as IMD was clearly visible. advised him of such. A few minutes later on in the main area of the PSK operating portion 14.071 he reappeared calling CQ, still wide and obliterated 2 PSK31 stations underneath him and caused QRM to several adjacent signals. I appreciate that he may not have heard them, but there would have been some indication that QSO's were going on in that frequency range as the band was absolutely 'chocker-bloc' at my end. Finding a clear frequency for a 31Hz signal was hard enough, nevermind a 125Hz one doubled in size due to IMD products!

When the band is busy I do not use the wider modes in consideration for other Hams. There is an excuse for PSK variants at times as the messages are transmitted so much faster, but Contestia for example is just a bandwidth gobbler (IMHO).