AM and CW Prospects on 40 meter band

Radios R. Me radios_r_me at YAHOO.COM
Tue Mar 10 18:35:27 EDT 2009

MARCH 29, 2009 is the last day for Broadcasters to USE 7100 to 7200 kHz.
Hopefully most will honour their agreement.

This will be a great time for AM and CW operators who have been increasingly SQUEEZED on the 7000-7100 and 7200 - 7300 kHz 
segments to let THEIR voices be heard in the new segment!

I understand that both AM and CW are legal there. Can someone correct me if I am wrong?

= = =

With only a few weeks to go before broadcast stations are due to have migrated from the band 7100-7200kHz as that 
band is restored to the Amateur Service, a scan watch has begun to identify stations still currently using that segment.

IARU Region 3 Monitoring Systems Coordinator, B.L. (Arasu) Manohar, VU2UR, has been scanning the segment.

He did this for four days recently to identify 58 broadcast transmissions, their frequencies, times and signal strengths. 
The broadcasters use 5kHz channel spacing.

The worthwhile yet painstaking task also notes the languages of the transmissions including Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, English, 
French, German, Indian, Japanese, Russian and Turkish.

Adding to the complexity of the task are jamming stations, heterodynes, low powered regional or domestic stations and many 
powerful broadcasters using relays to cover their audience target area.

Arasu, VU2UR, says similar scanning and monitoring work may be necessary in other parts of the world to get a fuller picture 
of broadcast activity and he's prepared to share the spreadsheet result of his work.

Mapping of broadcasters on the 40-Meter band will be important should be IARU need to mount a case to fight any 
continued occupancy of the 7100-7200kHz after 29 March 2009.

That is the departure date set by the World Radio Conference 2003 and coincides with the new broadcasting schedule for 2009.

Jim Linton VK3PC
= = =

And from N4KZ:

A new U.S. ham recently posted a question on eHam about operating on 40-meter phone. At night, he said, he only hears strong 
shortwave broadcast stations and very few hams. Don't hams operate on 40-meter SSB at night, he asked? That's a good question 
and, fortunately, some relief is on the way for 40 meters -- in just a few months. And the change to 40 meters should be rather 
profound worldwide.

As experienced hams know, 40-meter phone at night can be horrible in the U.S. phone band because of the ear- piercing 
interference from foreign broadcast stations. Many of their signals are strong enough to nearly peg our S-meters and if music 
is broadcast, it can seemingly splatter across large segments of the band.

But some relief is on the way. As of March 29, 2009, foreign shortwave stations broadcasting on 40 meters between 
7100 and 7200 KHz are to cease. They will be permitted, however, to continue using 7200 to 7300 KHz. So, that will free 
a 100-KHz portion of the band from the terrible interference those high-powered stations generate. As such, the 40-meter band 
will double in size for many of the world's hams.

At present, the band is just 7000 to 7100 KHz in much of the world. (Quite a few countries have already given their hams 
early permission to use the band above 7100 KHz.)

The 40-meter situation -- with shortwave broadcast stations sharing the band with hams - has a long and complex history. 
But here is a short version. Prior to 1938, 40 meters was a worldwide ham-only band from 7000 to 7300 KHz. But in the years 
leading up to World War II, some governments began pushing to use part of 40 meters for broadcasting. Why? It's prime shortwave 
real estate and as the world would soon discover, they had war on their minds and wanted good propaganda outlets via shortwave radio. 
Hence, they obtained international permission to broadcast on a portion of 40 meters provided they did not interfere with hams in 
North and South America, which comprise Region 2. None of them ever took the non-interference issue seriously and hams in 
North and South America got stuck with terrible interference and the hams in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Regions 1 and 3, 
lost their use of 7100 to 7300 KHz as a result.

This injustice was partially rectified five years ago when the World Radio Conference voted to evict the broadcasters from 7100 to 7200 
and return that portion of the band to hams in Regions 1 and 3. This has no direct impact on us in Region 2 other than after March 29 of 
this year, the band from 7100 to 7200 KHz should be free of foreign broadcast stations and all the interference they generate. 
Although many hams around the world will probably continue operating SSB below 7100 KHz -- as they do now -- many will certainly 
move up into the U.S. phone band above 7125 to work us simplex instead of operating split frequency.

Just imagine -- ragchewing at night on 40-meter phone between 7125 and 7200 without BC interference? Or working DX stations 
right on your frequency without having to listen down below 7100. Or, if you're in Regions 1 or 3, you can operate from 7000 to 7200 KHz.

I can't wait.
73, Dave, N4KZ

= = =

FCC says:

After March 29, 2009, 7100-7200 kHz will be allocated to the Amateur Service on an exclusive basis throughout the world, 
except in some Region 1 and Region 3 countries.

"As such, Amateur Service use of this 100 kilohertz will be on a de facto secondary basis in Regions 1 and 3 until the broadcasting 
service vacates the band 7100-7200 kHz at the conclusion of Schedule B in 2009," the FCC noted. "This means that amateur stations 
in Regions 1 and 3 will shortly be permitted to transmit in the band 7100-7200 kHz, if they can find a frequency that is not being used 
by an international broadcast station."

The FCC said it doesn't think it needs to update its Part 97 Amateur Service rules until administrations in Regions 1 and 3 implement 
changes to allow amateurs to transmit in the 7100-7200 kHz segment. 


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