THE AMATEUR BANDS

Is it just me, or have the bands changed during the last two decades? Like childhood memories of long hot summers and snowy winters, am I looking back through beer-tinted glasses? I recall spending Sundays on 80 metres and working stations all over the UK. But now, you can forget 80 metres during the day.

Sometimes, half of 80 metres is completely wiped out by some sort of peculiar interference. Gurgling-type noises, strange wideband square-wave stuff... Until recently, I thought that I was suffering local interference. Fortunately, I’ve heard several stations talking about the interference so I know that it’s not at my end.

Top band used to be great at night. I was a member of the G-QRP Club and worked stations all over the UK and even down into Spain on a meagre five watts. This is still possible, but not with the regularity and consistency of two decades ago. Is it just me, or have the bands changed?

160 metres - TOP BAND

This is a great band. Every Sunday morning, at 0930 UTC, we have a pretty good local net on 1980kHz AM. Yes, AM. Well, someone's got to keep this good old mode going. Up to ten of us get on the air and discuss anything and everything from growing runner beans to 19 sets. Take a listen and, if you wish, join us.

If you're into PSK31, listen around 1840kHz. I haven't heard any SSTV on top band. Perhaps there's none there? If there is, then let me know.

80 metres

There's plenty of PSK31 and RTTY around 3580kHz. If you're into SSTV, then listen around 3733kHz. There are several strong sigs here from a group of British amateurs as well as a French group. Some of the pics are... Er... Quite interesting!

10 metres

Even with the sunspot cycle nearing its minimum, the US repeaters are usually workable during the afternoons here in the UK. Eventually, I'll be listing all the repeater frequencies here but, in the meantime, listen on 29620kHz for the Boston repeater. The repeater input is 29520kHz. There's plenty of PSK31 around 28120kHz.

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