Re: Band Plan
I think this weekend was an excellent demonstration that the IARU Regions need to do better coordination on band plans for digital operation in the HF bands.
I was very frustrated in trying to maintain a QSO with WB2MLY on 7.072 MHz, because we were getting QRM from voice stations in Europe working the CW SSB contest. Out of curiosity, I looked up the IARU Region 1 band plan for 40 meters (see https://www.iaru-r1.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/hf_r1_bandplan.pdf) . It reads:
7.040 - 7.047 Preferred mode: Narrow band modes , Usage: Digimodes
7.047 - 7.050 Preferred mode: Narrow band modes, Usage: Digimodes, automatically controlled data stations (unattended)
7.060 - 7.100 Preferred mode: All modes, Usage : SSB contest preferred (7.070 "Digital voice Centre of Activity")
7.130 - 7.175 Preferred mode: All modes, Usage: SSB contest preferred (7.165 "Image Centre of Activity")
7.175 - 7.200 Preferred mode: All modes, Usage: SSB contest preferred, Priority for intercontinental activity.
So while those of us in IARU Region 2 observe 7.000 to 7.125 as an RTTY/data band, and 7.072 as a PSK-31 domain, that is not the case for our European/African neighbors. Fortunately, I haven't experienced a lot of SSB QRM on 7.072 except on international contest weekends, but it's a discrepancy I was not aware of until tonight. I mention it because others may be as unaware as I was.