Yes, the “Gentlemen’s Agreements” were set up by the ARRL back when it saw Amateur Radio in a different light.
These agreements were a way for Amateurs to live in relative harmony on the bands and it worked well until the present when ARRL jumped on the FT8 bandwagon and started promoting FT modes as a means to work DX, grids, etc.
This has caused a blatant disregard for other modes and has created a “CB mentality” that FT mode operators can operate anywhere they please. This was another ARRL created disaster in the vein of “incentive licensing”.
Today, ARRL is trying to do “damage control” because they are losing members at a faster pace than expected. Of the 620,000 U.S. hams only about 152,000 are ARRL members. Some life members are even regretting the choice and have admitted it publicly. Since I dropped ARRL membership about 2 years ago , I am bombarded monthly with “special offers” on membership like join today and received this ARRL book free or 3 months free membership ! These arrive 2-3 times a month in my email or vi snail mail. My guess is that ARRL is in trouble. Add to this that many new hams don’t feel the need to join ARRL and it translates to declining membership.
Back to the present discussion … There are several cases of violations of FCC Part 97 (available on line) which are violations, depending on interpretation. One of the frequent ones I see regularly is the failure to ID when signing out of a QSO. This also applies to PSK31. Quite often I will be copying the mail and see a station simply end with “73” and no call sign – a violation. The rule is at beginning and end of transmission plus every 10 minutes in between. No excuse, just sloppy, ignorant operators. Perhaps this will change with new FCC connected program, but seems doubtful.
So, not much can be done with the FT modes “violators” except try to fill our portion of bands with activity and hope it chases many away from these “incursions”. Setting up beacons might be a possible solution, BUT that would be just plain old illegal since automatic control of beacons below 10 meters is NOT allowed. (Just in case anyone had that thought.)
So, the only alternative left is to live with the FT modes until some legislation comes down from FCC… that will probably be never.
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These gentlemen’s agreements were setup and promoted by the ARRL. Right? It seems to that’s the way it is. I have a chart from the ARRL where the different modes are acceptable in the different portions of the band.
Question is: How many ppl are members of the ARRL? Are they losing memberships? Maybe that is why there is so much disinterest in the gentlemen’s agreements for the different modes.
Not sure I’m right on this, someone can fact check me.