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A question for Activators in the UK

Please don’t read this as a complaint, I’m just trying to learn where I might work more stations from the UK and Europe. Any help will be appreciated.

I see a lot of activators in the UK and Europe like 7.118 in the 40 meter band for their activations. Is that a call frequency, or QRP? I’d really like to work more “across the pond” SOTA, but US Extra and Advanced frequencies start at 7.125, and General at 7.175 Mhz, so I can’t call back. Similarly, I think there is a part of the lower 20 meter band where UK hams can work SSB, and we here in the US can’t use it.

I’ve had good luck using the greyline, which basically means I hunt activations during my breakfast time, which ends up being lunchtime in the UK. So when many SOTA activations get going here in the US, it’s nearly your dinnertime.

Any suggestions for making these “across the pond” SOTA contacts work?

Thanks and 73
KB3UYT / Eric…

CW on 20m, say around 14.058MHz, tends to be very reliable for UK-USA SOTA contacts.

Hope to work you.

Tom M1EYP

In reply to KB3UYT:
Hello Eric,

7.118, 14.285, 7.032 just happen to be frequencies SOTA activators settled on as SOTA originally got going. I originally used 7.032, 10.119 & 14.061 etc from the start, close to the QRP frequencies but not on top of, in case I was disrupting QRP QSO’s.

All being well I’ll be activating Snowdon again as GB10SOTA this Monday, it would be great to get you in my log. Check the SOTA alerts/spots for details.

73
Roger MW0IDX GB10SOTA

In reply to KB3UYT:

In Europe, licence restrictions either exclude whole bands or limit power rather than offering just sub bands. Also I don’t think there is any mandatory bandplanning in Europe. In the UK, at least, you can operate anymode anywhere. Of course, you may not be very popular if you do that!

This means many European ops are not used to the idea that some frequencies will be out of limit for many non-European ops.

20m is the easy one. Most activity is close to QRP frequencies. 14.060+/- CW and 14.285+/- USB. 40m is harder to quantify as the band has only been from 7 to 7.2MHz for about 5 years in Europe. 7.118 LSB came about as it was outside the mayhem of the old 40m band and was between 2 SW broadcast stations so was clear. From what you say a frequency up around 7.180 would be better though I’m not sure how many QRP SSB EU activators will get across the pond.

I’ve seen lots of 18.140-18.150USB spots and operations on 21/24/28 are infrequent enough to say there’s no common consensus other than near QRP frequencies.

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to KB3UYT:

Hi Eric

The problem is the Eu activators habit is to activate in the morning, in their morning, while we are still sleeping. I am not blaming them. Anyway, I am currently not chasing as I don’t have a base station and plan to get one only next year.

Of course, 20 meters CW is the best shot but I’ve worked some G on 20 SSB QRP.

In reply to MM0FMF:
Interesting thread Andy,
I wonder if using frequencies adjacent to QRP allocations is a good idea. Bear in mind that chasers replying to QRP activators, are often running QRO (1KW plus) and are probably not winning any popularity contest with the QRP fraternity. I usually run at least 40 Watts on an activation, so stay clear of QRP frequencies as a rule.
I have to admit that I was not familiar with the licence restrictions on 7MHZ in the USA. I will try and activate towards the top end of the band in future. Thanks for the information Eric.
73,
Frank

In reply to G3RMD:

Here’s a link to the US Band Plan Chart:

If there’s something similar for the UK and/or any European countries, maybe we could compare.

Without actually compiling data, (but I do look at SOTAWatch daily), it seems US SOTA Activators like 20 meters and 40 meters about equally well, maybe 20 a bit more. I know there are some who have used 17/15, and a few who have used 10/6 (myself included here). Unfortunately 2 meters is stone silent in my area except for repeaters. It would be great to travel with just an HT.

73,
Eric…

In reply to KB3UYT:

Hi, Eric, here is a link to the UK bandplans:

http://www.rsgb.org/committees/spectrumforum/docs/rsgb_band_plan_2012.htm

As you probably know, the different license classes in the UK are limited by power rather than spectrum.

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to MM0FMF:

Also I don’t think there is any mandatory bandplanning in Europe.

At least in Germany there is no mandatory bandplanning by the telecommunications office. For considerate operators observing the IARU recommendations is near to mandatory. Europe is IARU region 1, so the bandplanning can be found here:
http://www.iaru-r1.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=175&Itemid=127
As the RSGB follows the IARU recommendation this is similar to the link Brian has posted already.

73 de Michael, DB7MM

In reply to G3RMD:

Before my time, SOTA ops used the actual QRP freqs like 7.030CW. Whilst many activators will be QRP the chasers are not. Moving slightly away from those QRP freqs seems wise to minimise, to some extent, any disturbance a pile-up of QRO chasers will have on a QRP-QRP and non-SOTA QSOs in place.

As said, in Europe, the bandplans are voluntary, and for the avoidance of any doubt, nobody owns any frequencies, but observing the bandplan does tend to help with keeping more compatible operations grouped together.

I noted a comment in a spot that 7.200 is the top of band and not usable in the UK. I’m not sure what the problem is but 7.200 LSB seems fine to me. I must be missing something subtle.

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to MM0FMF:

There was a spot for 7.205, but that was for a different activation. 7.200 LSB would obviously be OK in the UK. However, It is certainly worth considering other countries band plans & places (eg USA) where adherence to it is mandatory.

I’m not sure which I prefer? Virtually full spectrum usage for any class of license with power limits, or 1.5KW for all, with some spectrum limitations. I suppose we could all moan about our own administrations restrictions, but we can still communicate & we still have fun don’t we?

73,

Mark G0VOF

In reply to MM0FMF:

What? 40m goes up to 7.2MHz? I don’t believe it :wink:

My FT817 from Feb 2001 (it’s older than SOTA!) stops at 7.1MHz :frowning:

If I ever get my finger out and fill in the 5MHz NOV form, I’ll perform some corrective surgery on the wee beastie.

I too was a little worried of calling CQ so close to the QRP frequencies - the frequencies listed -7.030, 14.060 etc, are all suggested ‘Centre Of Activity’ frequencies, so QRP stations are not likely to be exactly on the spot frequency - especially if they are using home brew gear :slight_smile:

I’m always QRP if not QRPp, so no worries from my side of the QSO - can some rigs really put out more than 5 watts? :wink:

I think this dicussion is very important - I have been actively trying to contact US stations of late and I have had to look into the slightly different band usages.

73
Colin

In reply to MM0FMF:

In reply to G3RMD:
snip=========>
usable in the UK. I’m not sure what the problem is but 7.200 LSB seems
fine to me. I must be missing something subtle.

Andy
MM0FMF

Not too subtle - my Flex5KA is set to a transmit bandwidth of high 2900 and low 200 therefore if I were to transmit on 7.200 then my signal would be crossing the ‘boundary’.

Mike
G6TUH

In reply to KB3UYT:

Please don’t read this as a complaint,

I see a lot of activators in the UK and Europe like 7.118 in the 40
meter band for their activations. Is that a call frequency, or QRP?
I’d really like to work more “across the pond” SOTA, but US
Extra and Advanced frequencies start at 7.125, and General at 7.175
Mhz, so I can’t call back. Similarly, I think there is a part of the
lower 20 meter band where UK hams can work SSB, and we here in the US
can’t use it.

I for one have also noticed that a number of US stations use frequencies above 7.200 Mhz which are not accessible to European stations as our allocation ends at 7.200

Peter
G1FOA

In reply to G6TUH:

…Therefore if I were to transmit on 7.200 then my signal would be crossing the ‘boundary’.

Only if you are using USB (which you would not on 40m). LSB will be fine with the settings you mention.

73 Marc G0AZS

In reply to G0AZS:
Your right about the freq. determination on LSB if you know how to set up your radio tx bandwidth - not sure how many do. You only need to spread 1kc to be out of band. I have the good fortune/misfortune to live with someone who works as a senior manager in Ofcom and she says best to stay away from the border
:sunglasses:

Mike

In reply to G6TUH:

The thing to look at is opposite sideband suppression and carrier suppression, they are typically respectively >50 dB and >40 dB. Transmitting on a nominal 7.200 megs (and how accurate is that?) there is bound to be a weak transmission that is out of band. A prudent ham would allow a guard band a couple of kHz wide (unless there was something he really wanted to work that was in that guard band, of course!)

Pedantry can be fun!

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:

If only to add to Brian’s comment…

In addition to the opposite sideband issue you also must consider the following. A very small percentage of your transmission is permitted to fall outside any amateur band you are using. For a well adjusted radio, a carrier frequency of 7.200 MHz using LSB should not cause any problems. In fact for most modern radios with good TX filters & PA’s that aren’t being overdriven, you could probably run with a zero beat carrier frequency of 7.2003MHz (ie 300Hz above band edge) before your out of band emissions exceed the set limits.

I do not recommend this, as few of us have radios with such sharp TX filters.

The theory is sound though.

Edited to add: Maybe somebody should tell the broadcast station transmitting on 7.200 MHz using broadcast bandwidth AM that they shouldn’t be there :wink:

Best 73,

Mark G0VOF

But it all depends on what make of radio you are using - some rigs show the carrier frequency and some show the frequency in the centre of the filter. If yours is one showing carrier frequency then 7.2000MHz LSB is fine (ignoring any considerations of other sideband suppression); if your radio is one that shows the frequency at the centre of the filter this would mean that half your transmission would be outside the permitted band.

Best to leave a guard bandwidth and keep off the absolute band edge.

73

Barry GM4TOE

In reply to GM4TOE:

Absolutely Barry.

73

Mike
G6TUH