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Respect For The AM Window on 75M




 
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W1GFH
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« on: February 05, 2005, 10:43:55 PM »

I actually got on the air earlier this week, which is becoming more and more rare for me. It was on 75 meters at 4PM in the afternoon, a sked with Gary W6GY on 3870. Two other AMers were up on 3900 happily gabbing away. After about an hour and a half had elapsed, the night time propagation started easing in, bringing with it dozens and dozens of SSBers, indeed, a group had formed on our frequency and commenced operations, zero beat with our carriers. 3850-3950 was quickly stacked solid - every 3 kc. with SSB QSO's. We AMers threw in the towel due to the increasing QRM.

Unfortunately this is pretty much the norm for 75 meter behavior on the W. Coast in Southern California.  There is no real recognition for the AM window, or AM operations in general.  The frequencies we wish to operate are squatted on for hours at a time by loosely-defined, free form, ad hoc SSB QSO's, i.e. long periods of silence punctuated by a lazily drawled word or two:

SSB STATION #1: ....Uh huh...
(30 sec SILENCE)
SSB STATION #2:...Damn....
(15 sec SILENCE)
SSB STATION #1: ...Wal...alright then...
(1 min SILENCE)
SSB STATION #3: ...Ayup....

(*NOTE: ALL DIALOGUE GUARANTEED GENUINE)

It's true that no one "owns" a frequency, but I mean COME ON, there's not even a conversation going on there, more like a few guys sitting around the cracker barrel whittling. When these guys (every 3 kc. in the AM window)  finally decide to call it a night, it can be 10PM or later. Again, the AMers get the scraps, sometimes jumping in for a quick QSO before bed, and more often not even bothering to operate.

The Wednesday night W. Coast AMI net is the exception to the rule. True, it is still occasionally jammed by SSBers, but by and large, it is left alone, probably due to the fact that our few Enterprise-Class Tall Ship stations show up, pour on the steam, and cut a swath for the rest of us.

So here's my question. What do you guys in the Northeast do to get your slice of bandwidth? From what I recall (circa 1980's) AMers simply OWNED 3885 with constant QSO's from morning till the wee hours. SSB stations moved off, or got trampled.  Somehow, an equilibrium or an understanding was reached. Of course I know you guys have problems with K1MAN (thankfully we have none of that stuff out here), however, the fact that we are discouraged from operating AM during prime time hours gets me wondering if we're doing something wrong out here.
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k4kyv
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Don
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2005, 11:05:52 PM »

If no-one is talking on the frequency, then no-one is using it.  My response to the SSB groups who monitor for hours in silence, but start up the moment they hear someone else attempt to use  the frequency, is that when you abandon your place in line at the bank, you lose your spot in the queue and have to start back at the end.  You weren't using the frequency, so you lost it, buddy.
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Don, K4KYV                                       AMI#5
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2005, 11:45:54 PM »

Joe,

Not sure about the west coast, but most people in the red states around here get on in the morning. Several years ago the colorado group decided to get together in the evenings, it didn't work because we just don't operate then, or go to sleep early. Late afternoons or early evening I check out 14286 or 7290. About 4 AM when I get up I listen on 75. I think in the last 15 years I've only made a handful of contacts on 75 in the evening, and that was because W8VYZ, W6PSS etc. decided to try moving down off of 40 because we were losing propagation.

Try getting up realy early, I can almost always hear W5OD and the Texas bunch up here in Wyoming at 4-5 AM MST on 3880.

Don't know what to say, other than there must be a reason our late news is on at 10 PM, not 11 PM like on the east coast.

73, Marty WPE2HGD   (hey, liked your website)
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W1GFH
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2005, 12:26:20 AM »

Quote from: k4kyv
If no-one is talking on the frequency, then no-one is using it.  My response to the SSB groups who monitor for hours in silence, but start up the moment they hear someone else attempt to use  the frequency, is that when you abandon your place in line at the bank, you lose your spot in the queue and have to start back at the end.  You weren't using the frequency, so you lost it, buddy.


Thanks Don,

Case in point: I am SWLing you on 3880 now at 0520Z, and there is an SSB QSO at 3881 complaining about your operation.

(actual quote) SSBer: "Damn he set right down on top of us"

Another SSB group at 3878.5 is also clucking about you.
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N0WVA
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2005, 01:24:51 AM »

What kills me.These same jerks-they are usually on every night talking about nothing. What a waste of spectrum.

Nobody ever says anything intelligent, just talk about what kind of amplifyer Bobby Ray has hooked up to his backyard dipole.

75 ssb reminds me of a "good ole boys club" where everyone sits around and kisses each others asses all night.
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wavebourn
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2005, 05:05:09 AM »

By the way, I once switched on a BFO and caught up conversation about QRZ forum, bands, ARRL, FCC, etc... They spoke about too wide spector occupied by AM, and joked that "AM guys are old, they can't grow up so grow down"... And so on... Probably they have no good antennas, or receivers are weak, because I hear ofteh they just speak on top of AM conversations. It reminds me Internet, when people had to compile, install, tune software, there were very convenient e-mail transport and well organized Usenet newsgroups, but when Microsoft gave up at last own weird inventions and adopted TCP/IP Internet become a mess...
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WA4DDH
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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2005, 08:59:52 AM »

Well...there is my 2 cents worth on the subject. I think AM'ers should just 'talk' wherever a clear spot is on the Band and not worry about the SSB'ers. They go when and where they want anytime, so why not AM? AM'er seem to be more polite, and go where a Gentlemens agreement is and to stay on the AM window, but when the SSB community does not respect that, then it is 'open' season to go where we want, as we have just as much 'right' to do so.

Maybe tonight I'll go over to 3910 and call CQ AM on my drifty ARC5. 73's Bill
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w3jn
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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2005, 10:32:21 AM »

ABsolutely, Bill.  Why restrict ourselves to a "window", especially when that so'called "window" isn't respected by any SSBers.   There's a fair amount of operation here on the east coast on 3825, and on any sunday afternoon you can find 5 or 6 AM QSOs starting at 3825 and going on up the band.

Joe, we've all heard similar SSB QSOs.  I especially like the sports fans' SSB nets, where a group of good ol boys are watching some sports event and every minute or so you'll hear "wow, did you see that" or "HE SCORED" or something similarly inane.

Then thre are the plain rude a-hole SSBers.  W4VAN fires up EVERY morning on 3888 SSB and absolutely CLOBBERS the AM "window" with his droning old buzzard cornpone monotone voice.  Then there's the Wally and Richard brain surgery discussion net on 3878 ("Welp, Farhball, how's that new amp?"  "Fahn thar, Sonny."  repeat ad nauseaum).  And there is a group that "owns" 3825 that starts jamming any AM QSO at about 6 PM local time.  I'm in the process of gathering calls and tapes on this one.

73 John
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W2INR
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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2005, 10:41:26 AM »

May I suggest the reverse mode switcherooo??

We have found that SSB stations won't interfere as much with another SSB station.

Get a few to fire up on SSB (establishing the freq) and have a few AM checkin's with the SSB group. Keep the ssb going a while and when the area has been clear for an amount of time all switch over to Am.

Most SSB stations don't expect the AMer to come back on SSB. If a station fires up on your frequency or close by switch over to ssb and continue. Eventually the groups will realize that the QSO is going to continue whether it be on AM or SSB they will fall to the wayside.

Another trick is the "Exit stage right" maneuver. All AM station are off freq  50-100 cycles of each other up and down from center frequency. It makes it hards to zero beat and becomes a pain to the interfering parties.

It isn't always easy but it is sad that we have to fight for our right to some spectrum.


Good Luck
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2005, 11:06:01 AM »

Quote from: W2INR
May I suggest the reverse mode switcherooo??
We have found that SSB stations won't interfere as much with another SSB station.



So true, G.

I believe that most ssb groups on 75M label AMers as users of inferior technology that cannot hold a candle to their own capabilities. Amers become second class citizens that "don't know any better". This makes it easy to ignore and discount what an AMer says.

But the ssb boys are usually stunned when you suddenly appear on frequency with a clean sounding ssb signal that is pinning their S meter!  Now the conversation starts.  Many times in the past a few of us have done this after being abused on AM. The talk can sometimes get ugly, but it clears the air and they realize that we are on the AM  mode BY CHOICE!.... not cuz we are retards...  :lol:

Try it a few times and you will see a difference in attitude in due time.  Some will even come over to your camp after talking one on one for the first time.   It's much like confronting the bully in the playground after he assumes you will never have the BA's to do so.

I've heard you, G, Chuck, myself and a coupla others do this and it works. The key is to have a good quality ssb signal, be exactly on freq and have a BIG signal that even takes out their buddies....

T
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w3jn
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2005, 11:14:14 AM »

Quote
we are on the AM mode BY CHOICE!.... not cuz we are retards...


Speak for yourself, T! :badgrin:

73 JN
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Jack-KA3ZLR-
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« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2005, 11:49:18 AM »

Hi Guys,

 Everytime i listen down on the "Holy Land" Frequencies and i come up with a Handful of DEAD AIR, and LOTS of Space, it sure looks inticing to hit the switch and call CQ...

 Banish the Thought,  But, Being 99% Respectful and true to the Rules outshines the,, The more Amorise Attitudes i've come accross...[Pardon my spelling]...

 I don't know the recourse for freq squatters, it's all redundant to me, the safety that seems to be enjoyed by some of the g.o.b.n.'s is sadly a mistake, I'll never be part of... I Operate when and where i want, when I choose to...

 I don't see the local Rep for the league bending over for me or my friends so i don't bend over for him or her., and I don't kiss ass to get Favor either you guys know that... point being of the " Let your Rep Know your Feelings" Crap...we seen first hand where that went...

 So I'm with Don here, Maybe it's time..  Lord Knows we seen first Hand what Glenn gets away with...Huh...Amazing ... and we try to abide by the Rules...

 So I say STRAP...  if the Freq's Clear at the onset then nobody has the right to complain to Riley..and keep gud records and Tapes of the contacts...

 hat's my Two Cents worth..

de Jack KA3ZLR...
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W1IA
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« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2005, 12:41:01 PM »

Quote from: W1GFH

So here's my question. What do you guys in the Northeast do to get your slice of bandwidth? From what I recall (circa 1980's) AMers simply OWNED 3885 with constant QSO's from morning till the wee hours. SSB stations moved off, or got trampled.  Somehow, an equilibrium or an understanding was reached. Of course I know you guys have problems with K1MAN (thankfully we have none of that stuff out here), however, the fact that we are discouraged from operating AM during prime time hours gets me wondering if we're doing something wrong out here.


Part of the issue is that there are more AM'rs in the east coast and most qso's are established before the band lengthens out.

I guess the only way to deal with it is eek out a freq and fire up with as much fire to the wire as you can suck out of the panel :twisted:

Brent W1IA
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k4kyv
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Don
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« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2005, 01:37:47 PM »

I can't use the switcheroo technique because, by choice, I don't have SSB capability.  I find the most effective techinque is to listen carefully to determine that the frequency is not in use, and then transmit, ignoring any whiners who show up 20 minutes later to declare that they "have been using the frequency for the past 3 hours."  In order for this to work, NEVER acknowledge the existence of the QRM'ers and whiners.  The first time you leave even the slightest impression that they have caused you any annoyance at all, you have just made their day.

My 50-years-old receiver is equipped with a 5-position rotary antenna  switch at the input and I have the choice of numerous receiving antennas at my fingertips.  I also have several bandwidths of mechanical filter available, as well as a notch filter and passband tuning.  Rarely do bullies or deliberate QRM'ers render the station I am trying to receive so uncopyable that I don't get at least the essence of the other person's remarks, enough to maintain the thread of the conversation and return with relevant comments about what was just said.

Quote from: K1JJ
I believe that most ssb groups on 75M label AMers as users of inferior technology that cannot hold a candle to their own capabilities. Amers become second class citizens that "don't know any better". This makes it easy to ignore and discount what an AMer says....The talk can sometimes get ugly, but it clears the air and they realize that we are on the AM  mode BY CHOICE!.... not cuz we are retards...


It amuses me when I hear people take pride in their ignorance.  99% of the SSB'ers I hear are appliance operators who did nothing more than spend big bucks for a plastic radio and a "leanier".  More than just a few even purchase factory built dipoles for antennae.  On the air they piss 'n moan about inferior technology and AM'ers who "don't know any better."  I say that the vast majority of slopbucket operators cannot hold a candle to the capabilities of most AM'ers.

We are about the only remaining members of the amateur community who still homebrew our own rigs (everything from class-E to vintage heavy metal), and maintain our own stations, while those guys with the "superior" knowledge and technology end up (and sometimes even boast about) sending their plastic radios back to the factory for the most minor of repairs.

So, from the perspective of what ham radio is supposed to be all about, who are the retards?
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Don, K4KYV                                       AMI#5
Licensed since 1959 and not happy to be back on AM...    Never got off AM in the first place.

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W1GFH
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« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2005, 01:51:33 PM »

Quote
there are more AM'rs in the east coast and most qso's are established before the band lengthens out.


From what I see, I think you NE guys are better organized. Re: varying frequency, etc. a coupla years back we tried some of those tactics and formed The Burbank Wrecking Crew (3 local am'ers), but the SSBers were extremely clever and we ended up being nudged all over the dial. e.g.....

SSB'er (COMING UP ON AM): "Excuse me gentlemen, our Red Cross Charity Emergency Orphan Helping Hand Net begins in 2 minutes just 5 mhz away from you, and we'd appreciate it if you could QSY a bit"

TREV:  "WE were here FIRST, why should WE QSY?"

DAVE:  "Yeah! We're the WRECKING CREW! GRRR!"

ME:  "I know, but they are helping orphans or something, it won't hurt to move up 10, come on, guys, let's QSY"

TREV:  "(muttered curses)"
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wavebourn
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« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2005, 03:55:14 PM »

By the way, yesterday I listened to them, they said they were working through repeaters. It means they don't control frequencies, guys who controls repeaters control them?
So, why do they use SSB radio, if a cellphone network is better for such purposes? Just organize a "Phone talk network", so all of them may dial the same number and have a "round table"...
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KL7OF
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« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2005, 04:12:57 PM »

cellaphones ain't ham radio
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WA1GFZ
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« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2005, 04:24:47 PM »

A strapping signal is the most effective way of dealing with idiots.
Then just ignor them.
As soon as they know you have a problem they become ants at a picnic.
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K1MVP
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« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2005, 05:07:12 PM »

"Respect for the 75mtr AM window"?

  What about "respect" for the "small slice" of AM window on 40 meters?
  I happened to hear ol Bill, (W8VYZ) on 40 AM call CQ a couple of
  days ago(in mid morning) es went back to his CQ with my PW
  6L6 rig.

  After we had just "established" contact, some SSB`er comes
  on calling CQ.--Now this is right smack in the middle of the small
  am "slice" we have on 40(abt 7293).

  Now ya got to have a "brick" for a receiver to NOT hear ol Bill,
  from Ashtabula.
  He always comes "pounding" in here in this part of the country.

  Anyway, this guy(SSB`er) want`s to know if we "own" the frequency,
  Go figure,--this SSB`er has the whole 40 meter phone band to call
  CQ, but noo,-- he has to call in this small segment of the AM window.
 
  About this time, I was ready to go down on 40 CW, es just have an
  "old fashion" cw ragchew, es forget any AM QSO--beats sideband
  anyday.  
 
                                   73, Rene, K1MVP   :neutral:
 
  P.S., I guess  answer is to go the "big power" after all.
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Jack-KA3ZLR-
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« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2005, 06:44:57 PM »

Evening All,

I Like Bill He's a tough ole Bird, And Dave and the group on 40, gud bunch...

I remember on qso with the group and a fella came in from central PA and don't remember his Call and He was saying I was FMing and he was an Older gent , and Bill went back to him Look ya old Goat he's on a Viking II where's your reciever or somthing like that an I cracked up man...He's between me and you your not in his Path... AH Man Bill's a gud egg...

And Brother Bob gud Boys like em both...
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K1MVP
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« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2005, 07:20:57 PM »

Quote from: Jack-KA3ZLR-
Evening All,

I Like Bill He's a tough ole Bird, And Dave and the group on 40, gud bunch...

I remember on qso with the group and a fella came in from central PA and don't remember his Call and He was saying I was FMing and he was an Older gent , and Bill went back to him Look ya old Goat he's on a Viking II where's your reciever or somthing like that an I cracked up man...He's between me and you your not in his Path... AH Man Bill's a gud egg...

And Brother Bob gud Boys like em both...


Jack,
Ol Bill, is a "good guy"--He runs his homebrew rig and always puts out
a "strapping" signal on AM in this part of the country.
He don`t care if ur running a PW rig, --if ur on AM he will always talk
to you even if you are "PW".
He did mention one thing,-- when this SSB`er called CQ while I
was talking to him,--es that was "these ssb`ers  can get greedy"
es ya know,--I think he`s right.
 
                                     73, Rene, K1MVP
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Jack-KA3ZLR-
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« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2005, 07:45:54 PM »

Hi Rene Good Evening Sir,

 Ya know i used to get up at 5:00 am go down and tune up and Wait for him on many a weekend, I Looked forward to that CQ from Bill, that Vik II has gone onto it's own shelf and it's Stock in Beautiful shape, and i'm well onto other things here, but I Have noticed that there is more and more encroachment on the window up there, and little nets coming in and Bill just plants his sig out there and that's that, I admire him greatly, the things he has accomplished in his Life, They just don't cut fellas like that any more..

Hope all is well on yer end Rene, thanks for the reply...
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wavebourn
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« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2005, 08:11:09 PM »

Quote from: KL7OF
cellaphones ain't ham radio


neither working ssb through repeaters in the am window
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W1GFH
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« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2005, 08:28:39 PM »

Unless you're W8VYZ, I think the best solution is to move to 160 meters.

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K1MVP
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« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2005, 09:16:32 PM »

Quote from: W1GFH
Unless you're W8VYZ, I think the best solution is to move to 160 meters.



I like that "badge"--although I have heard VYZ on 160 not long ago,
and he puts a "strapping" signal out on that band too.

                                     73`s, K1MVP  :cool:
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