I have observed that:
1) there are many operators within the LF community who are
sufficiently self-motivated to put out CQ calls on 136 kHz
without having to make a contest out of it; and,
2) the Emails in support of contests on 136 kHz have, in the
main, been sent by those who are never heard on the band.
I suppose the real test is this: Would a contest on 136 kHz get
those in favour of LF contests (but who never/rarely venture on
the band), to plug in the key and help provide some signals for
In my view, the alternative suggestion by Peter G3LDO of an
activity event along the lines of the Worthing Radio Club (and,
perhaps, the G-QRP Club Winter Sports) events is a good one.
[The G-QRP Club event is a very casual affair. There are no
points; no multipliers. Instead, the G4DQP Trophy is awarded to
the 'best log' as judged by Peter Barville G3XJS, the G-QRP Club
Contests Manager. The judging is just as casual - often based on
qualitative factors such as:
- equipment (is it homebrew/unusual etc.);
- antennas (indoor [!]/limited space);
- power used and results achieved (it doesn't have to be DX);
- whether the operator has promoted activity by his/her
Contests and activity events apart, more still needs to be done
to increase the chances of hearing other stations on a day-to-day
Rich OM2TW has already reported his own efforts to increase the
awareness of LF through magazine articles, and setting up
demonstration stations. I know that Dick PA0SE has done many
presentations about LF to groups of radio amateurs.
Indeed, largely through the initiative of PA0SE, the '136
Activity Periods' on Saturday and Sunday mornings have become
quite well-known. But those looking for QSOs during the week
still find it hard to make QSOs.
The problem would seem to be this: Even those at home all day
can't spend all their time calling CQ or spinning the dial
listening for other stations! Arising out of discussions with
Dave G3YMC and Bob G8RW, we would propose the adoption of '136
Activity Times': pre-defined times during the day there is a good
chance of hearing other stations. We have discussed the possible
establishment of 136 Activity Times at even hours UTC through the
day (say, 06:00; 08:00; 10:00 . . . .). Weekends included. What
do others feel about this idea?
Perhaps the establishment of activity times, and Peter's activity
events (in addition to the existing activity periods) would
obviate the need for contests, and those wasteful beacons? All
supported by publicity, of course.
Regards to all,