There’s nothing to stop you Karl. They are kept clear for beacons by cooperation and consent. When 10 is not in its manic state now as we approach the Solar max, being able to scan the beacon band and see if there any propagation is very useful. There is significantly more propagation when the Sun is more asleep than people think. You find this out when WSPR works or you can hear beacons.
So just remember if you work people calling CQ in the beacon sections then all the other the right thinking hams in the world will think you are some kind of Orc who should be shunned and never worked.
People are welcome to disagree with my view on keeping the beacon bands for beacons. But they need to accept they are wrong.
Which is what I said. There is nothing to stop anyone, at least in the UK, operating any mode any where. You can do that. But you will be almost universally despised. By consent, the vast majority agree to follow the band plans. We all agree to keep out of beacon bands and operate differing modes in their allocated places because it works best for everyone.
There’s a RTTY contest now. I have my new toy sat on the bench plugged into a power meter and dummy load. It’s set to 14.100, the International Beacon Project frequency. And there is some goon calling CQ TEST in RTTY every 15 secs. He (it will never be a lady) is not getting many takers probably of where is operating. But he’s banging away blotting out all the HF beacons.
For decades now the beacon bands have been considered sacrosanct. Many of us have lots of beacons programmed into the memory register for our bands of interest, they are often the first warning of the start of an opening. The beacon band may seem empty or just a few beacons audible but the rest of the band is channels that will become occupied when the propagation is there, and at any time there may be many hams clicking through the channels looking for DX beacons. Andy understates it, those misusing the BB are lower than orcs, barely above slime moulds!
checking the IARU Region 1 Bandplan, the frequency from 28225 - 28300 is labelled as All modes with up to 2700Hz bandwidth and is coloured Yellow, however in the following column the “Preferred mode” is listed as Beacons.
I can see how someone looking for the all-mode section of 10m would think that 28225 to 28300 is allowed (and it is) as it’s a shared area. The chart shows the Exclusive Beacon frequencies as 28190-28225 kHz.
It appears that IZ8RVA runs his private beacon on 28240 but also that 10m crystals (such as used to convert a CB radio) are also available on eBay for 28240kHz.
So the ZS station was not doing anything wrong as regards the IARU R1 band plan but I am sure if they see this post they will probably operate above 28300 in future (that’s unless they are crystal controlled (which is unlikely on SSB)).
The RSGB is a gen review of band explaining the basics un like the region one paper work. Really must print it off again and re review 10m again as not used in god how’s long in last time used the bands.
Yes when we took license’s was told avoid the beacon section back in 2002,
Regardless what the HF bandplan says, I can’t understand why there is a need to operate on this part of the band when there is so much bandwidth available on 28MHz. Look at that big gap between 28,500 and 29,000 MHz: as far as amateur ops, very few operate consistently here, other than SSTV (28.680) and a few local nets. That biggest user have been the intruders, amongst them the Iranian Over the Horizon Radar, Chinese fisheries, fishing and navigation GPS buoys and so on.
Ditto for the AM and FM simplex sub bands, the satellite links portion (why does it exist? It’s been decades since the last use) up to the repeater output 28.620-28.690 MHz, where, luckily, I guess, the ID talkers and keyers do the favor of keeping that portion of spectrum busy.
On the other hand, I wonder if there is a country specific limitation to operate on 10m? Could that be the case? Is there someone from ZS here that might shed some light on it?
One example is the Technician license in the USA, where phone operation is limited to 28.30 to 28.50 MHz. There are many of them so it becomes sensible to operate in the part of the band where they can operate.
Ten is a big band, about as big as all the other HF bands put together. It takes time to search the band. Activators get the chasers guided by the spots, but if they want to add in random non-SOTA callers (which may be tasty DX) then it is sensible to stay in the more populated part of the band.
I’m not sure if it’s the same ZS operator as you found, but this morning there was a station in the bottom part of the all modes (but beacons preferred) section at 28.280 from a 10-pointer. Check SOTAWatch to see who I mean.
He was completely within his “rights” to transmit in that section and, as far as I know, there is no beacon registered to operate on that frequency. Higher in the band contest stations and electronic QRM was present, which may be why he chose this frequency.
Lately, the biggest limitation in chasing EU summits on 10 m SSB is not propagation but QRM. I have heard quite a few activations that would have been strong enough to work, had they been “in the clear”, but they were thoroughly clobbered by one or more fixed EU stations in their skip zone.
No guarantees of course, but it seems conceivable that whatever U.S. Technician-class licensees or knob-turning chasers are missed by operating above 28.500 MHz might be offset by contacts gained by virtue of less interference.
My anecdotal experience is that only a small percentage of “Techs” are active on 10 m, but, if you want to be within their allocation, 28.300 to about 28.350 MHz looks like the best chance of avoiding QRM.
I see “Meeester Splaaaaater” is operating on 28.495
So that suggests some operation on around 28.6 after a spot to allow those who can operate there to chase you and you can benefit from a quieter band section. Then when the pool of callers dries up, QSY down to 28.3-28.5 and spot and work again. In more hectic conditions!
Here in Arizona the bottom end of ten meters (the CW portion) is pretty jammed up in the mornings with high powered CW stations from the East Coast of NA and from Europe. Additionally If rare a DX station or DXpedition is on it’s even worse. Add in the Digital QRM on 28.075 (and above) and it does make it difficult to hear the QRP SOTA stations down low in the band.
So going higher up in the CW band could/should help…maybe the CW SOTA ops can make an effort to move up a bit…say centered around 28.150 ish or???
The only problem I do see with that move might be that we loose many random/non SOTA QSO’s as many non SOTA CW ops never operate that high in frequency on 10 meters…except for contests.
Anyhow, just thinking out loud…it turns out that pulling out a weak QRP CW signal buried under massive KW QRM is a great challenge…and an accomplishment in itself!
Another possible catch is that there may be fewer RBN skimmers listening there, and that will affect the RBNhole-generated spots which many CW operators (particularly on summits where mobile coverage is poor) rely on…
I have to say that I am getting intense enjoyment out of all this QRM! Not too long ago people were wringing their hands over the lack of activity, asking where was everyone, and predicting the imminant demise of ham radio! What a difference a few sunspots make!