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societies and ask them to submit a proposal along these
lines to the IARU HF committee in your Region.
The clear distinction existing between the CW band and
the Phone band is, in my view, not realistic during major
contest weekends (CQ 160 contests, CQ WW, ARRL 160,
etc). It does not make sense to have a rule that nobody follows.
Take for example Europe, where today still many countries
only have 1820 to 1850 kHz for both modes (CW and SSB).
And if they have an spectrum above 1850, then the power
there is (or should be) limited to 10 W (Remark S96 of the ITU
frequency-allocation table). The IARU Region 1 band plan
calls for no phone signals below 1840 kHz (thus, a carrier
frequency of higher than 1843 kHz). This means that all these
European stations have five “channels” to use for the entire
phone contest. This obviously does not make any sense.
It is my opinion that during the major contest weekends
the band plan should be set aside. Compare it to the following
situation: In Europe most major roads have bike tracks along­
side major highways. A few weekends every year though,
when major cycling events take place (Tour de France, for
example), bikers can use the entire width of the road. Let it be
like that during a few of the major contests. Why does the band
plan allow CW fanatics (and I am one of these) to transmit all
over the band, while the poor phone guys, who actually need
much more room, can only occupy a small portion (in Europe)?
Can’t CW fans relax during two or three contests every year
and let the phone guys enjoy their contest?
And can’t the Phone operators relax a few weekends
every year when the major CW contests are on? They could
take the XYL out for a weekend. Why do some operators have
to start QRMing QSOs under those circumstances? It saddens
me to see that many people cannot appreciate that other people
also want to enjoy the hobby. Here too, we Top Banders
should ask our IARU societies to come forward with more
realistic band plans.
Let’s use the entire width of the road when the Tour de
France is on! I love the way Mike, N2MG, put it on the Contest
Reflector: “A band plan, to me, is a lot like handicapped
parking. Nothing is more frustrating than driving around a
small parking lot over and over trying to find a place because
I don’t want to offend anyone by using one of several empty
handicap spaces... When the lot is fairly empty, the dedicated
spaces make sense—as do band plans. When at capacity, they
do not. Blindly following band plans during a contest is like
telling someone (those supposedly protected by the plan) that
their transmissions are more sacred than the contesters.”
It is amazing to see vastly different frequency allocations
in an area like Europe, with its many relatively small countries.
It looks like politicians and administrators love borders—But
they should realize that radio waves ignore borders! If there
is one area where legislation should be made at a European
level, it is in the area of frequency allocations and power. Let’s
all press our national radio societies to talk to the bodies
governing frequency allocations to better align the alloca­
tions and to talk to the politicians to apply European-level
rulemaking in this matter. Unless we push, little will happen.
Table 2-2 shows the Top-Band European frequency/
power allocations as of February, 2003. Note that a number of
countries have no allocation above 1850 KHz and that most of
the countries that do have such an allocation impose lower­
power limits there. This makes it hard to consider this band
section as a DX-hunting ground. Note that according to the

Table 2-2
European 160-Meter Allocations/Powers
Country
Belgium

> 1850 kHz

Allocation
1810 to1830
1830 to 1850
1810 to 1850
1850 to 1880
1810 to 1850
1800 to 2000
1810 to 1850
1850 to 2000
1810 to 1850
1850 to 1900
1930 to 2000
1810 to 1850
1850 to 1955
1810 to 1850
1850 to 1855
1861 to 1906
1911 to 2000
1810 to 1850
1810 to 1850
1850 to 1890
1890 to 1950

Power
1000 W
1000 W
Bulgaria
×
1500 W
1500 W
Croatia
600 W output
Cyprus
×
26 dBW
Czech Rep. ×
750 W
20 W
Denmark
×
800 W
10 W
10 W
Estonia
×
800 W
100 W
Finland
×
1000 W peak
60 W peak
60 W peak
60 W peak
France
500 W
Germany
×
75 W PEP
75 W PEP
10 W PEP
(On special
request)
Israel
×
1810 to 1850
1500 W
1850 to 2000
40 W
Italy
1830 to 1850
500 W
Expect 1820 to 2000 before year-end 2003
Lithuania
×
1810 to 2000
1000 W
Monaco
1820 to 1850
100 W input
Montenegro
1810 to 1850
300 W
Netherlands
1810 to 1880
400 W pep
Norway
1810 to 1850
1000 W
1850 to 2000
10 W (1 KW
during selected
contests)
Poland
1810 to 1850
500 W
1850 to 1980
10 W
1830 to 1850
1500 W
RSA
×
1810 to 1860
400 W PEP
Russia
×
1810 to 2000
10 W
San Marino ×
1810 to 1900
1000 W
Slovenia
×
1810 to 2000
300 W
Spain
1830 to 1850
200 W
Sweden
×
1810 to 1850
1000 W
1930 to 2000
10 W
UK
×
1810 to 1830
400 W erp
1830 to 1850
400 W erp
1850 to 2000
32 W erp

ITU rules (not merely recommendations) the power is sup­
posed to be limited to 10 W in those Region-1 countries that
make frequencies above 1850 kHz available (Remark S5.96
of Article S5 of the RRS5 by the ITU).
In Europe, most countries today do have a high-power
limit, at least at the bottom end of the band (1810 to 1850),
where previously many were accustomed to only 10 W! So
DX-Operating on the Low Bands

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