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View Full Version : DX and "freeband" - then and now



N8YX
12-12-2010, 02:16 PM
There's a decent 26-29 MHz band opening going on at the moment, and as I was cruising around with the '940 looking for interesting stuff to listen to, something struck me as a little odd:

Why have the freebanders deserted their old haunts and modes?

27.405-28.xx5 used to be the primary domain of the scofflaw DXer, and they could almost always be found on LSB. The so-called 'triple nickel' (27.555) is (or was, a point to which I'm getting) predominately USB...this by user agreement, if what I've heard and read is accurate.

Years ago, one could find all manner of activity taking place in that 600KHz slice of spectrum between the CB Class D allocation and the lower end of 10M. In addition to SSB voice, I've at times happened across packet, RTTY, CW and even SSTV communications. The 'nickel was often busy 24 hours a day - it was the frequency on which to DX. Ergo, a lot of entertainment could be had if one parked a receiver there...

Fast-forward to today. Big band opening; let's go find something to monitor. With the rig tuned to around 27.600, the SM-220 I have hooked to the '940 shows...zip, zero, nada in the way of activity. A quick scan of the range verifies this - nothing going on. Period.

Put the rig at 27.000 and start tuning downwards...it's an entirely different story. 26.000-27.000 is alive with a variety of conversations and round tables...truckers, south-of-the-border hobbyists...almost without exception using AM. There were a couple of SSB QSOs taking place but the AM crowd outnumbered them at least 50:1.

So when did the memo go out that anything above 27.4 is off limits? If I was contemplating out-of-band ops, downwards is the last direction I would consider - this given the number of military and CAP allocations in the range. Likewise, I wouldn't be playing around with high-power AM.

What gives?

KG4CGC
12-12-2010, 02:39 PM
The word was that hams were getting their snickers all melty and that was followed by exaggerations of claims that hams were going to nail anyone above 27.405. Collectively and one by one, they migrated to the other switch position on their radios.
Half truths and outright lies contributed to this movement not to mention tears shed on many ham radio web pages as well as sworn battles.
Generally speaking, most of these users don't know what is what on the usage charts and if it sounds silent then it must be free space. Their thoughts, not mine. Now should they start to show up on de feral gubmint's radar ... Oh! Those will be dings that simply won't buff out.

KJ3N
12-12-2010, 03:19 PM
Why have the freebanders deserted their old haunts and modes?

Because now they have tickets and can be found on 10m and 75m with their bad habits and roger-beeps. :roll:

W2NAP
12-12-2010, 04:06 PM
Because now they have tickets and can be found on 10m and 75m with their bad habits and roger-beeps. :roll:

10 10 10 4 4 4 good good good buddy buddy buddy! beep bop beep beep

KJ3N
12-12-2010, 04:09 PM
10 10 10 4 4 4 good good good buddy buddy buddy! beep bop beep beep

Yeah, I forgot about the echo chamber BS, too. :roll:

suddenseer
12-12-2010, 08:35 PM
Because now they have tickets and can be found on 10m and 75m with their bad habits and roger-beeps. :roll:You stole my thunder damn ya. Not a bad thing. If they now have a license, many will transform into good hams. I know many good people who came from that service who are now what I would call good operators. I have only heard a roger beep on 10 meters. I hate to admit it, I did not know what it was. I thought it was well placed heterodyne. Reminds me of the old Browning Eagle. I have mentioned before on another thread, i don't get out much.

kb2vxa
12-12-2010, 08:36 PM
Like...who cares where they go as long as they stay out of our hair?

N2NH
12-13-2010, 01:38 AM
Like...who cares where they go as long as they stay out of our hair?

My sentiments exactly Warren.

W3WN
12-13-2010, 09:34 AM
Like...who cares where they go as long as they stay out of our hair?

+1

As long as they stay out of our bands, they are not our problem.

KJ3N
12-13-2010, 10:01 AM
Like...who cares where they go as long as they stay out of our hair?
+1

As long as they stay out of our bands, they are not our problem.

You guys don't get it. They ARE on our bands. Since shortly after 02/2007. They're called the latest crop of Generals. You can listen to quite a few of them (and their old habits) on 75m any night.

WV6Z
12-13-2010, 11:20 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eyFiClAzq8

kb2crk
12-13-2010, 03:00 PM
You guys don't get it. They ARE on our bands. Since shortly after 02/2007. They're called the latest crop of Generals. You can listen to quite a few of them (and their old habits) on 75m any night.

most of the ones on 75m with the bad habits were there back in 87 when i got my ticket.

W2NAP
12-13-2010, 04:14 PM
most of the ones on 75m with the bad habits were there back in 87 when i got my ticket.

I listened to HF way before i got my ticket back in 2000. the upper end of 75 was nuts back then it hasnt changed much from back then to now.

W3WN
12-14-2010, 12:39 AM
You guys don't get it. They ARE on our bands. Since shortly after 02/2007. They're called the latest crop of Generals. You can listen to quite a few of them (and their old habits) on 75m any night.
I hate to break it to you, but the nonsense on 75 and 20 meters predates 2007 by a long, long time.

I was hearing that sort of nonsense on 75 back when I worked at Westech, and that was in 1982-83-84. And it was nothing new then, either.

Rather than blame newcomers, or people who came over from other radio services, with a blanket condemnation & dismissal, we should all be working together to clean up the bad actors regardless of who they are, where they are, when they were first licensed, who licensed them, what license class(s) they hold (since they're all pretty classless anyway), and any other convenient excuses.

These characters continue to get away with flaunting the rules & regs, and rubbing it in our faces to boot, because for too long we have turned the other cheek. Well, until we start complaining, and en masse, to our licensing authorities (be they the FCC, Industry Canada, or Joe the Licensing Guy down at the Government Office) to put a stop to this, they won't.

Screw the silent majority. It's time to be vocal.

N8YX
12-14-2010, 07:36 AM
I hate to break it to you, but the nonsense on 75 and 20 meters predates 2007 by a long, long time.

I was hearing that sort of nonsense on 75 back when I worked at Westech, and that was in 1982-83-84. And it was nothing new then, either.
"Horse racing", "Moon Pie" and his cast of friends...along with a number of other interesting 75M and 20M phenomena predate even THAT.

One can point several fingers.

Mine are aimed squarely at the FCC.

There are a couple so-called "service nets" whose members and NCS have been involved in some rather questionable practices over the years...and Gettysburg continually grants them a free pass.

They lowered the boom on Vic Misek and the Liberty Net for their one night a week 'claim to ownership' of a frequency. Why do not they do same for the several nets which repeatedly declare 14.300 to be an "ongoing emergency frequency" when in fact no such emergency exists?

While myself and like-minded people choose to use the 'Net (and e-mail) to solicit change and fix the problems, persons with less self-restraint and/or higher levels of frustration tend to take to the airwaves to do same. The fact that a concerted effort to disrupt those nets exists amongst the miscreant faction of the hobby is in and of itself an indicator that there are a larger set of issues at work. Issues which no organization apart from the FCC can effectively address due to partiality concerns...

KC2UGV
12-14-2010, 07:37 AM
I hate to break it to you, but the nonsense on 75 and 20 meters predates 2007 by a long, long time.

I was hearing that sort of nonsense on 75 back when I worked at Westech, and that was in 1982-83-84. And it was nothing new then, either.

Rather than blame newcomers, or people who came over from other radio services, with a blanket condemnation & dismissal, we should all be working together to clean up the bad actors regardless of who they are, where they are, when they were first licensed, who licensed them, what license class(s) they hold (since they're all pretty classless anyway), and any other convenient excuses.

These characters continue to get away with flaunting the rules & regs, and rubbing it in our faces to boot, because for too long we have turned the other cheek. Well, until we start complaining, and en masse, to our licensing authorities (be they the FCC, Industry Canada, or Joe the Licensing Guy down at the Government Office) to put a stop to this, they won't.

Screw the silent majority. It's time to be vocal.

The problems on 75 and 20 started when I got into ham radio. I am the cause for all evils on the bands. Even contesting, that's my fault :snicker:

W3WN
12-14-2010, 08:49 AM
You're not that good a martyr Corey. Nice try though.

KC2UGV
12-14-2010, 10:33 AM
You're not that good a martyr Corey. Nice try though.

Hey, I try :)

KJ3N
12-14-2010, 11:39 AM
You're not that good a martyr Corey. Nice try though.

Yeah, not even close.

As to some of the other comments:

I never said 75m was a shit hole only after 2007. It's been that way for 50 years. Fred asked where the free-banders went. They went to 10m at first, then went to 75m after 2007. A number of them also found a home (75m) where their antics are acceptable.

W3WN
12-14-2010, 01:14 PM
< snip >I never said 75m was a shit hole only after 2007. It's been that way for 50 years. Fred asked where the free-banders went. They went to 10m at first, then went to 75m after 2007. A number of them also found a home (75m) where their antics are acceptable.
Fair enough. Thanks for the clarification.

My main point remains that we -- the Amateur Radio community as a whole -- should not find their antics acceptable anywhere on-air.

W2NAP
12-14-2010, 01:26 PM
until the FCC grows some balls, and goes after the idiots on ham and cb, these problems will exist.

KC2UGV
12-14-2010, 02:06 PM
Yeah, not even close.

As to some of the other comments:

I never said 75m was a shit hole only after 2007. It's been that way for 50 years. Fred asked where the free-banders went. They went to 10m at first, then went to 75m after 2007. A number of them also found a home (75m) where their antics are acceptable.


Come on, everyone knows AR went to hell in a handbasket in January 2008n :)

K6BSO
12-14-2010, 02:09 PM
Come on, everyone knows AR went to hell in a handbasket in January 2008n :)

Nah--it went to hell in August 2009, when I got my ticket.

KJ3N
12-14-2010, 02:51 PM
Come on, everyone knows AR went to hell in a handbasket in January 2008n :)
Nah--it went to hell in August 2009, when I got my ticket.

Well, if you 2 are going that route, then HR went to hell back in 1991. ;)

kb2vxa
12-14-2010, 03:03 PM
I thought this thread was about CB? If you want to talk about when things went to hell, I started hacking up channel 11 in June 1965.

n3aiu
12-16-2010, 03:58 PM
most of the ones on 75m with the bad habits were there back in 87 when i got my ticket.

Most were there in '74 when I got my ticket. Anyone care to take it back further?

W3WN
12-16-2010, 04:39 PM
W2OY(SK) goes back to the 1940's, or so I am told. He may have been the most well known, but he certainly wasn't the only one.

"CQ CQ CQ. No kids, no lids, no school bus riders or space cadets. No kings, no queens, no jacks. This is the NO PHONETICS station, W2OY."

W2NAP
12-16-2010, 06:28 PM
11 meters should be given back to ham radio kicking all the cb'ers to the curb

kb2vxa
12-16-2010, 07:08 PM
Oh yeah sure, start a rehab center in a crack house and if it works, then we can talk about kicking CBers off 11M.

VE7DCW
12-16-2010, 07:18 PM
I hate to break it to you, but the nonsense on 75 and 20 meters predates 2007 by a long, long time.

I was hearing that sort of nonsense on 75 back when I worked at Westech, and that was in 1982-83-84. And it was nothing new then, either.

Rather than blame newcomers, or people who came over from other radio services, with a blanket condemnation & dismissal, we should all be working together to clean up the bad actors regardless of who they are, where they are, when they were first licensed, who licensed them, what license class(s) they hold (since they're all pretty classless anyway), and any other convenient excuses.

These characters continue to get away with flaunting the rules & regs, and rubbing it in our faces to boot, because for too long we have turned the other cheek. Well, until we start complaining, and en masse, to our licensing authorities (be they the FCC, Industry Canada, or Joe the Licensing Guy down at the Government Office) to put a stop to this, they won't.

Screw the silent majority. It's time to be vocal.

I can probably relate with Industry Canada ..... They could care less about Amateur frequencies....hell,they were too busy authourising a a bicycle road racing outfit use of a 2 meter and various 440 mhz frequencies.....there goesthe neighbourhood! :irked:

N8YX
12-17-2010, 07:32 AM
11 meters should be given back to ham radio kicking all the cb'ers to the curb
Ham radio never "had" the band as a primary allocation. It was secondary; shared with ISM users.

Allowing license-free Class D CB operation along with its MURS, FRS and GMRS equivalents keeps the majority of scofflaws off the amateur bands.

w2amr
12-24-2010, 05:48 PM
I had a lot of fun freebanding back in the 70's. Worked lots of DX with an SBE sidebander II and an old Simpson signal generator plugged into one of the crystal sockets. I used to hang out above channel 23 , around 27.315. I was constantly chasing the drifty old Simpson.:mrgreen:

n2ize
12-25-2010, 09:12 AM
What gives?

I don't know. I think its in part that Cb is passe' and is dying a slow but sure death. If I tune around the 26-28 mc range I don;t hear a fraction of the stuff that used to be out there 10-20 years ago. Peoople are just not that interested in CB anymore. It's low-tech by todays standards.

n2ize
12-25-2010, 09:14 AM
Oh yeah sure, start a rehab center in a crack house and if it works, then we can talk about kicking CBers off 11M.

Actually you might have better luck with a rehab center in a crack house.

KC2UGV
12-26-2010, 11:24 AM
I don't know. I think its in part that Cb is passe' and is dying a slow but sure death. If I tune around the 26-28 mc range I don;t hear a fraction of the stuff that used to be out there 10-20 years ago. Peoople are just not that interested in CB anymore. It's low-tech by todays standards.

You know that there's this thing called sun spots, right?

KJ3N
12-26-2010, 12:07 PM
You know that there's this thing called sun spots, right?

There are? Based on the counts in the last couple of years, you'd be hard pressed to tell.

KC2UGV
12-26-2010, 12:22 PM
There are? Based on the counts in the last couple of years, you'd be hard pressed to tell.

Well, there used to be. 10-20 years ago lol

W2NAP
12-26-2010, 12:27 PM
I don't know. I think its in part that Cb is passe' and is dying a slow but sure death. If I tune around the 26-28 mc range I don;t hear a fraction of the stuff that used to be out there 10-20 years ago. Peoople are just not that interested in CB anymore. It's low-tech by todays standards.

cb has been going down in interest for quite awhile, here where im at it was very popular. this city supported 4 "local" channels. each one jammed packed with people. today they have 1 channel and the only ones left on it are the jackasses.

N8YX
12-26-2010, 12:37 PM
The original question was along the lines of "Where did all the activity above 27.405 go?", rather than "Where did all of the CB/freeband activity go?"

I still hear a ton of stuff throughout the Class D allocation and below channel 1 during every sporadic E opening, but very little (if anything) above channel 40. And most of the sub-26.965 stuff is AM mode, whereas operations above 27.405 were primarily SSB.

Someone in the thread remarked that the reason for the shift was dem eeebil hammies who were threatening the illegals with disclosure on various Internet message boards, yet if one pays attention to the assorted pirate radio websites, freeband DX clusters and so forth there are still a ton of spots being reported. Most of these revolve around 27.555 and adjacent frequencies. Since we have no F2-layer propagation at this time, however, most of the reported activity tends to be intra-European or European/Caribbean-South American sporadic E DX...very little North American activity.

kb2vxa
12-26-2010, 06:29 PM
Are the "low channels" still hablamos Espaņol? I'm not surprised they still cluster around "the triple nickel" it being the international DX calling channel.

"...very little North American activity."
That should make the US flamethrowers happy. (;->)

kc7jty
01-24-2011, 03:45 AM
Station on the side...

Chris
01-29-2011, 03:45 PM
bake bake bake!