W8WZ Thoughts

January 2018

This QRM is very annoying for sure.  When it first started I assumed that it was a ham operating one of the new digital modes who did not realize we had a net on the frequency and because he did not know CW could not tell that we were there.
I am not a digital operator. I do not even have a computer in my shack so I cannot decode digital signals.
Therefore I asked a friend who is a big digital operator to monitor our net frequency and record the callsign of the ham in question so that I could send him a polite note asking him to avoid our frequency during net time.  Obviously we all know that legally frequency use is first come first served, but as gentlemen, we usually avoid interfering with nets.
My friend monitored the frequency with his digital station and told me that he heard MANY different stations on our frequency at net time and throughout the day.  Apparently this net frequency has been listed as some sort of preferred calling frequency for a new digital mode. We are not being intentionally QRMd by anyone, rather hundreds of operators are using 3573 as a calling frequency as they have been instructed to do by the organizers of this digital mode.
This of course, makes it harder to fix.  We do not have a single person to talk with and we do not have a jammer. We have other hams seeking to use the same frequency as us for perfectly legal amateur communications and if they are on the frequency before the net starts, it is their freq. We cannot contact them and ask them to QSY as we normally would if a station was using the net frequency because we don’t use their digital mode and they don’t copy our mode of CW.
Perhaps we need a digital op to be on the freq with us who can tell the other ops that there is a cw net there and ask them to QSy. Do any of us have digital capabilities to do this?
The ultimate solution is a better voluntary band plan where these digital folks are given frequencies that are different than ours since our modes are not interoperable.  I do not see that happening any time soon, so the best bet is likely to get on the frequency when it is clear before net time and use it so that we are clearly the users of the frequency at 7 PM.  Bigger signals will be heard better and be more likely to keep the frequency clear.
As you all know, my work schedule prevents me from checking into the net every night, and on nights when I do I am usually still on the SSB net on station one (with the amplifier) and checking into the CW net from station two (100 Watts). after CN is done, I turn off station two and go back to the SSB net on station one so I can’t really be of much help with keeping the frequency clear before 7 PM most nights, but if I am ever free, I can send BENS BEST BENT WIRE on 3573 with the amp on Full power. 73 W8WZ