Very many thanks to Mike for his report of the LF Forum
A few personal comments follow.
Several suggestions were made as to how to encourage newcomers onto
136kHz. It was felt that once active, stations were reasonably well
looked after by other band users.
The problem was identified as many people trying to listen on the band
with poor receive systems, then hearing nothing and giving up.
As a point of interest, I regularly work stations on 136 kHz who
have no CW filter at all! A few are using homemade filters, and
others are using WW2 receivers with very poor IF filtering.
These ops may not cover 135.7 - 137.8 kHz with 9 feet of
bandspread, or have 50 Hz filters - but they are some of the
keenest users of the band!
But it is true that we should do more to ensure that newcomers
are aware of the need to resonate their receive antenna!
Some way was needed to ensure that casual listeners would have a fair
chance of hearing one of the stronger stations. Suggestions were:
. . . . . . Informal CW beacons, perhaps using the transatlantic slot
below 136kHz, during daylight.
If we are considering "people trying to listen on the band with
poor receive systems", the in-band QRM from the QRSS beacons
running from 8:00pm to 8:00am last winter probably had a bigger
adverse affect upon attracting newcomers in the southern part of
the UK than any other single issue.
Beaconing might have been useful in the early days, but it was,
and remains, a potential source of QRM for many experimenters.
Beaconing is an inappropriate use of our tiny 136 allocation.
Besides, we don't need dull radio beacons - we need bright,
effective communicators . . . to encourage more communicators.
Regards to all,