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SOTA in the Beacon Band?

Whilst looking back at the activations spotted over the weekend, I noticed one was apparently posted on 144.450 SSB. This might have been posted in error, but if that was the actual frequency it was right in the middle of the beacon band and was liable to be QRMing DM0HVL and LA7VHF, amongst others. These beacons are maintained as an international network for use as propagation guides, amateurs interested in weak signal work and anomolous propagation conditions frequently monitor them, and they are often the first warning of an opening.

Can I remind those of our participants that might have forgotten that it is bad manners to transmit in the beacon band, 144.400 to 144.490 MHz, and if you cannot find a clear channel in the regular parts of the band (due perhaps to a contest or a major opening) it would be better to find a channel in the all-mode section, 144.500 to 144.794 MHz.

73

Brian G8ADD

Surely it was really 145.450MHz FM, and you have nothing to worry about Brian.

Tom M1EYP

In reply to G8ADD:
Theoretically you are absolutely right. However I absolutely agree with Tom. It must have been a common human error, a simple typo. The spotter accidentally pressed a neighboring key (‘4’ instead of ‘5’) and carelessly sent the spot without prior reading it. So sit back and relax, Brian! :slight_smile:

73: Joska, HA5CW

In reply to HA5CW:

Joska, I hope you and Tom are right, but whilst this (if real) was unusual in being SSB it is not unusual to find FM and even SSTV operation taking place in the Beacon Band. Like many serious V/UHF operators I have many European beacons permanently in the memories of my rig and often check them out to see what conditions are like, and I often hear these interlopers. On one occasion, believe it or not, it was a club net!

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to HA5CW:

Hmm… I’m not so sure - if it had been “FM” then I’d agree but the spot was for “SSB”.

Also the call involved was an “M6” it’s more likely that this is a newly licensed Amateur that isn’t quite as familiar with the band plan as they should be.

The activation hasn’t been logged yet, but once it has perhaps an administrator could have a quiet word.

EDIT: However the log indicates “FM” - which makes me think the spot is suspect.

This brings me to a related topic - is it possible to see activator logs other than your own?

Colin G8TMV

In reply to G8TMV:

This brings me to a related topic - is it possible to see activator logs other
than your own?

Yes. (That’s a valid answer to your question!)

I suppose you want to know how? :wink: You need to be logged in to the database and then click:

View Results>Activator Roll of Honour and click view next to a callsign.

You can then select “Show All QSOs” at the top of the page or “Save to file” at the bottom of the page.

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to G8TMV:
OK, Colin, your information seem to be more specific, thus you must be right! I agree with Brian, G8ADD, since I am also VHF fan who worked 598 #s and 90 DXCCs at 2m. I assumed goodwill, awareness of stipulations and compliance with those, but not this was the case… :frowning:

73: Jóska, HA5CW

In reply to HA5CW:

Hi, Joska - 90 DXCCs on 2m, I am IMPRESSED!

We older V/UHF specialists would not dream of straying outside the band plan, but alas! not all the newer hams are so punctilious. However, I did not give more specific information, as it was a recent callsign he may not have been fully aware as yet of the bandplan, and in any case the spot might have been in error, possibly 144.450 should have read 144.350, but it seemed worth mentioning that the beacon band should be sacrosanct to avoid future encroachment.

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:

We older V/UHF specialists would not dream of straying outside the
band plan, but alas! not all the newer hams are so punctilious.

Strangely I find as many old timers ignore (or don’t know) band plans as newer hams. Indeed new hams are often more up-to-speed on the bandplans and licence conditions than people who have not looked at them for many years. I suspect the Scottish 145.8 crowd are not newer hams in the main.

73

Richard
G3CWI

In reply to G3CWI:

I suspect the Scottish 145.8 crowd are not newer hams in the main

The “ring leaders” are GM8 and GM4’s licenced before 1977.

Andy, MM0FMF
(Not a 145.8 AM user)

In reply to G3CWI:

You may well be right, Richard, the sort of people who are likely to pop up in the wrong places are the guys with an FM rig that they fire up to talk to a few mates but otherwise they spend their time on the DC bands, they don’t know and don’t care about band plans, an FM rig is more like a cheap phone to them…and I wonder if the 145.8 crowd are rock-bound, with an SCR-522 under the desk! :wink: As you suggest the newer hams are more recently exposed to the rules of the road…although some of them (thankfully not many) are getting some rather strange tuition!

I still think that the real V/UHF people are more likely to be knowledgable about at least the main features of the bandplans, I know I would have to look up things like digital voice channels or gateways but at least I know where the random MS calling frequencies are, and my rigs memories are full of beacons!

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to G3CWI:

Strangely I find as many old timers ignore (or don’t know) band plans
as newer hams.

I have to agree with Richard on this one, the biggest problem is usually when some old key clicker gets roped in for a special events station and finds himself on 2M FM or SSB and does not understand the concept of QSY from the calling frequency.

Regards Steve GW7AAV (lights blue touch paper and retires to a safe distance) :0)

In reply to GW7AAV:

Come on Steve, Richard has made a valiant effort to get to grips with 2m FM and SSB, especially since developing his MFD, and it is surely bordering on the disrespectful to call him an “old key clicker” - although I remember well when he was just that.

Tom M1EYP

I have been alerted to this discussion whilst working a SOTA today, mainly because evidence would suggest that I am implicated.
I was taught to be cautious, but why give references to reported activations without facts which would eliminate all those who may be dragged into question?
Yes, somebody did book me down on the wrong frequency on the wrong mode, but said person was probably the one who kindly put me wise to the fact that I was giving the wrong SOTA reference - maybe a distraction too.
If it is me who is being reffered to, then I assure you that anybody who knows me sufficiently would be horrified at any malicious gossip that could possibly be directed towards me.
I strongly object to the suggestions that M6 holders are any more inferior than any other qualified radio amateur, what grounds is this based on. Even more to the point Brian, why did you not contact said M6 with advice? Negative mentorship via a bulletin board surely is not the way to go, especially without the knowledge of these posts (like me!)
I am sure the majority of SOTA Activators would agree that any fumbling M6 working is better than no points! And I am sure there are many M6 Activators who wish some of the old hands would raise a point for them, instead of wigging silently in the midground.
Do you know, its the likes of you who make me have to hug a camera with me, because without the electronic time date registering, I could stand accused of not making these trips.

Enough said I think; I might be new, I passed with 98%. I am not stupid.
The Mountain Rescue Dog Handler (on an exercise) who was with me during most of my trip will vouch that no transmissions were made on that frequency!!!

Oh, before you report me again, I forgot to add /P after my callsign taday
:wink: how up to date are you?

PAUL WOODBURN
M6PEW

I have been alerted to this discussion whilst working a SOTA today, mainly because evidence would suggest that I am implicated.
I was taught to be cautious, but why give references to reported activations without facts which would eliminate all those who may be dragged into question?
Yes, somebody did book me down on the wrong frequency on the wrong mode, but said person was probably the one who kindly put me wise to the fact that I was giving the wrong SOTA reference - maybe a distraction too.
If it is me who is being reffered to, then I assure you that anybody who knows me sufficiently would be horrified at any malicious gossip that could possibly be directed towards me.
I strongly object to the suggestions that M6 holders are any more inferior than any other qualified radio amateur, what grounds is this based on. Even more to the point Brian, why did you not contact said M6 with advice? Negative mentorship via a bulletin board surely is not the way to go, especially without the knowledge of these posts (like me!)
I am sure the majority of SOTA Activators would agree that any fumbling M6 working is better than no points! And I am sure there are many M6 Activators who wish some of the old hands would raise a point for them, instead of wigging silently in the midground.
Do you know, its the likes of you who make me have to hug a camera with me, because without the electronic time date registering, I could stand accused of not making these trips.

Enough said I think; I might be new, I passed with 98%. I am not stupid.
The Mountain Rescue Dog Handler (on an exercise) who was with me during most of my trip will vouch that no transmissions were made on that frequency!!!

Oh, before you report me again, I forgot to add /P after my callsign taday
:wink: how up to date are you?

PAUL WOODBURN
M6PEW

In reply to M6PEW:

You are over reacting, Paul. Note my reply of 15th September at 10:44, and the second sentence of the opening post. I was well aware of the possibility that the spot had been in error. However, the previous evening I had tried to monitor the beacon network (I have 32 2 metre beacons programmed into the memories of my rig) and had been stymied by an FM net right in the middle of the band. This is an unfortunately all too frequent occurrance, so I decided to draw general attention to the need to avoid the beacon band. I made no attempt to identify the person who had been spotted, the point was not to criticise an individual but to give a reminder to people, a reminder that to the vast majority of us I hope is superfluous.

Please acquit me of any belief that M6’s are inferior. They are not. Some of the best operators that I know never felt the need to progress beyond their Foundation license, some terrible operators (no names!) have held a license for over half a century. Furthermore I do not suffer from the OT’s disease of regretting the existance of the Foundation license - I would have loved to have had the opportunity to have one back in the Cretaceous when I passed my RAE!

Paul, unless you want to carry a camera with you for your own pleasure, don’t. SOTA works on trust. Most people finish an activation with no proof that they were in the place that they claimed, but so what? The hills are their own reward, there is little point in cheating, and it keeps us free of the hideous bureacracy that surrounds the older award schemes.

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to M6PEW:

Even more to the point Brian, why did you not contact said M6 with advice?

Paul, I would have contacted you privately for a quiet word, unfortunately your QRZ profile doesn’t contain an email address.

Colin G8TMV

In reply to G8TMV:
Oh I do apologise for not having given this info by mistake, I would certainly have thought that the RSGB would have some form of contact but then me being an M6…
The perpetrator certainly has his email address in place, and as my tutor, I am sure he would reply if you had made contact.
My email address is now in place - do I forward all spam accumulated therefrom?

Seeds were planted in your first submission.

In reply to M6PEW:
My fault entirely, half awake and packing for Arran with Sands Contest Group. I hold my hands up, Paul was not operating in the Beacon allocation, and lets remember, that the band plan is a gentlemans agreement rather than the law