12 Meters WARC Bands Etc.

Bill Garwood

My memory of the “new” WARC bands.  It took years from the initial discussion until the bands were finally authorized for Amateur use.  We waited a long time.  Copied from Wikipedia:

“The WARC bands are three portions of the shortwave radio spectrum used by licensed and/or certified amateur radio operators. They consist of 30 meters (10.100–10.150 MHz), 17 meters (18.068–18.168 MHz) and 12 meters (24.890–24.990 MHz). They were named after the World Administrative Radio Conference, which in 1979 created a worldwide allocation of these bands for amateur use. The bands were opened for use in the early 1980s. Due to their relatively small bandwidth of 100 kHz or less, there is a sort of gentlemen's agreement that the WARC bands may not be used for general contesting. This agreement has been codified in official recommendations, such as the IARU Region 1 HF Manager's Handbook, which states:

Contest activity shall not take place on the 10, 18 and 24 MHz bands.

Non-contesting radio amateurs are recommended to use the contest-free HF bands (30, 17 and 12m) during the largest international contests.”

Hams were frustrated with the clutter on the bands on contest weekends and were pushing for the WARC bands to be contest free.  Today, the gentleperson’s agreement is still in effect.

Overnight, the old legacy transceivers and equipment were now out of date.  How to modify your gear for the WARC bands was popular and all sorts of new transceivers and antennas were being sold.

Changing subjects a bit.  Club members were discussing use of different bands for PSK31 operation on this reflector a year ago or more.  It seemed we could not come up with a consensus as to how to make it happen.  Such as everyone try 80 meters on Mondays, 40 meters on Tuesday etc. or maybe use 12 meters on the 12th day of each month.  Someone in the club probably would need to become the leader of this project for it to move forward.

12 meter propagation is not very good right now due to the solar conditions.  The Maximum Usable Frequency (MUF) needs to be close to 24 MHz or higher for 12 meters to come alive.  Keep an eye on the propagation charts and other data.  There will be some brief openings on 12 meters.  Spend some time studying the information available.  Right now is a good time to maximize the bands below 20 meters.  40 meters can bring some surprises around sunrise and sunset.

Happy Radio!

Bill N4GBK FM16 NC

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