Saturday 27 November is my birthday (a significant one!) and despite an indifferent weather forecast I intend to be active with hopefully two activations in the depths of Cornwall. Carnmeleniss G/DC-006 should be first in late morning followed by the more attractive Watch Croft G/DC-007 in the afternoon.
To add a bit of variety to the normal for me HF activation I want to try my new 5 element Yagi and see what can be done from down there with 2m SSB. Contacts with G and GW should be possible and I will swing it south towards France as well.
A S2S would be nice but all chasers will be welcome. Birthday congratulations are optional.
If I can post a spot I will, but otherwise I will go for 144.250 if it is free. Otherwise it will be 144.300 and then QSY.
If there are any takers we can try 2m CW too. If the weather turns dry I may take the tablet and try 2m FT8 but this will be the lowest priority.
Why QSY from 144.300? It’s a centre of activity for SSB not a calling frequency. Same with 144.050 for CW. Only FM and DV have a calling frequency (145.500 and 144.6125 respectively) in the RSGB band plan.
Thank you, I didn’t appreciate that. I thought 144.300 was a calling frequency for SSB. I used it to call CQ this week and got a response from a French operator who suggested moving to 144.250 to complete the QSO, which we did. I doubt 144.300 will be so busy someone will complain.
Back in the day 144.300 was a “calling frequency” and RSGB recommended QSYing when contact was established. Why and when they changed it to a “key centre of activity” (and exactly what that means) I know not but from my experience the world has thankfully not caught up with it and hogging the frequency is not likely to be popular. YMMV.
In fact on the rare occasions where there is some activity, hogging the calling channel (because that is what it is in EU despite the RSGBs fumbling with words!) is likely to get some sarcastic remarks aimed at you!
I’ve tried 2m SSB from both Watchcroft and Carnmenellis, no dice from the former and just a reply from Spain on the latter (I settled for that!) but that was a few years ago, a spot may well stir up some activity. I remember on Watchcroft I duct taped my mast to the phallic standing stone to the west of the summit! (The tape was removed!)
Brian, assuming the situation is the same in G and DL. If there’s activity, you can call on any frequency in the SSB segment and get your takers. When the band is flat and the only frequency that would be good to CQ is blocked by rag-chewers, that is the annoying thing. Seems, these rag-chewers cannot imagine that there’s someone with a reasonable take-off (the SOTA station) some hundred kilometres away who cannot use the frequency due to their bla-bla.
I was annoyed by this poor operating skills too often. Now I don’t care anymore and start calling on the calling frequency (sic!) if they keep on chatting there.
Recent RSGB band plans don’t use the word “key” just “centre of activity”. On 144.300 SSB I’ve occasionally had stations break in telling me not to stay on the “calling frequency”. I won’t pander to their ignorance (of current and recent band plans). They go away sheepishly after I point out the fact.
It’s clear to me why [in their wisdom] the band planners demoted the 2m and 70cm SSB and CW CFs to COAs. Calling frequencies make sense when you have a lot activity like we still do with 2m FM, but sadly - except for special events - those days are long gone. Some of us still monitor and call CQ on 144.050 and 144.300 in the hope of finding someone out there. To talk about “hogging the frequency” is laughable.
Pom, I read your post. I was not talking about CFs with high, low or no activity. I was talking about COAs and one is allowed to operate as long as you like on that frequency. Some amateurs might bemoan the fact that their national band planner has demoted those frequencies from CFs to COAs. They were happy to abide by the band plans in the past but it seems they don’t want to accept the current band plan. That’s hypocrisy.
The German bandplan (as downloaded from DARC just now) identifies 144.300 as “SSB Anruf” (Calling), so it’s not a question of not accepting the current bandplan, it’s a question of which bandplan applies. I presume, for someone operating in Germany the one on the DARC site takes precedence.
Its not “hogging the frequency”, its disabling the frequency. I’ve spent hundreds of hours listening on 144.300 while doing other things or operating on HF on another rig. I wasn’t waiting for the occasional CQ or rag chew, I was waiting for an Es opening when the skip was getting short on 6m. Or, and its a long shot that has occasionally paid off, waiting for SSB via aurora when a CME impact was due.
Your deference to the “wisdom” of the RSGB band planners is noted, but I do not share it. Retaining the calling channel is vital for DX operating, people who insist on it being retained are not “ignorant”, they are more likely to be more knowledgable than the idiotic band planners with their incomprehensible “decisions”. I wonder who the planners consulted, they seem to be curiously ignorant of how the calling frequency is actually used by DXers.
Brian, All band plans are a compromise and sometimes there are conflicts between band plans of different countries. You are free of course to take a disliking to aspects of the UK band plan but that shouldn’t prevent others from adhering to it.
Thanks for all the replies, it’s been an interesting discussion. If the expedition comes off I’m going to use 144.300 as a calling frequency as radio transmissions do not respect national boundaries. My single 2m SSB QSO to date was with F0DBU this week and he suggested we move from .300 to .250 so I guess .300 is considered a calling frequency in France as well. And as the French coast will be the same distance from me as the nearest bit of Welsh coast I will follow their rules. Anglo/French relations are already bad without me making it worse.