27 Mar 2009

VHF AM controversy

This Sunday's RSGB News contains a piece about AM operation on 145.8MHz in Scotland and alleges that some AM operators have been deliberately interfering with International Space Station communications on the same frequency. I do not know if this is true or not. If it is, then it should stop: there is no place for such behaviour in our fine hobby.

What I do know is that the RSGB has been EXTREMELY slow in publishing frequencies for VHF AM in the UK. Although people have been urging the RSGB to put an AM "centre of activity" or calling frequency in the band plans, this has still not happened, although a brief mention of 144.55MHz has been added in the footnotes a few months ago.

My recommendations are:

(1) All AM users in the UK migrate to 144.55MHz.
(2) AM operation on 145.8MHz should be phased out as soon as possible.
(3) Use of 145.8MHz for AM should be done with care to avoid any interference with ISS operations.
(4) The RSGB should publish 144.55MHz in the 2m bandplan as the agreed centre of activity for AM users.

AM is a great mode allowing simple homemade gear to make useful contacts. It would be a shame if AM users got a bad name as a result of this negative publicity.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree. The RSGB has erased AM off the amateur map! They also missed a chance to add something to the new 40m bandplan. It's sort of mentioned in a footnote. Almost reads as "well if you MUST use AM mix it up with all modes - oh and don't cause interference to other users!" They should listen to 3615khz to see how AM is ignored by sidebanders on that frequency.

73 Dave GW8JGO