Re: Band Plan

Stephen Melachrinos

I was rushing to get this written this morning before work and I need to update and correct a few things that I wrote in haste.

Changes are in bold.


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Melachrinos <melachri@...>
To: 070Club <>
Sent: Wed, May 9, 2018 6:30 am
Subject: Re: [070Club] Band Plan

Steve -

Any agreement has to start with someone making a suggestion, and others "agreeing" with it. As more pile on, the agreement becomes more prevalent. And eventually (hopefully) it becomes pervasive.

(Note: a "gentleman's agreement" simply means there's no legal imperative, only that well-behaved gentlemen agree to follow it. "Legal imperative" includes both rules/laws and formal contracts, but a gentleman's agreement is typically never written down by the parties involved. The Wikipedia page on "Gentlemen's Agreement" states that one "...relies upon the honor of the parties for its fulfillment, rather than being in any way enforceable.")

PSK31 was developed by Peter Martinez; Peter released it to the amateur community in December 1998.The earliest published reference to operating frequencies I can find is a May 1999 article in QST by Steve Ford (p41) that states that most of the PSK activity on 20m was between 14068 and 14080. One year later, Steve Ford published a second article (QST May 2000, p42) that says that 14070 was the "hot hangout." Of course, the 070 club was founded in mid-2000 and took its name from the frequency in use, so the common practice observed by the 070 club founders was consistent with the publications of that time. (I picked up on the mode from that year 2000 article and a successor article the next month on Small Wonder Labs' PSK20, and got on the air in November 2000 with a PSK20.)

(What's interesting about the Small Wonder Labs series of transceivers is that they were rock-bound--they were crystal-controlled, with no tuning and no easy way to change crystals. That means that by the time they came out, PSK31 operations were "locked in" to certain frequencies. SWL had models for 10m, 20m, 30m, and 40m, and there was a derivative design for 80m sold by the NJQRP club. That further documents the operating frequencies in use, at least for those bands.)

I think the basic premise was that the various frequencies were within the generally-accepted digital band plans and weren't considered over-subscribed with other modes. In other words, 14070 (and 21070 and 18100 etc) were not already identified in other gentleman's agreements as being in use for other modes. Someone (could have been Peter Martinez, or Skip Teller, or Nick Fedoseev, or any of the other folks who were pioneering the mode or early software) had to suggest where on the dial to operate so the other few operators could find them. And that spread and became pervasive for over 15 years. Even the 070 club's archives document that, as we have had an "operating frequencies" page since about 2006 or so.

But I don't know if we'll ever be able to find out who was the first to suggest it or who the first "gentlemen" were. 



Join to automatically receive all group messages.