40m bandplan confusion

Peter, G4NKX, uncovered a can of worms the other day after encountering some unpleasantness by CW users in what has traditionally been the PSK segment of 40m starting at 7.035MHz. It appears that the 40m band plan in IARU Region 1 (Europe) has been changed, but nobody has been told, including the IARU.org website which still has copies of the old band plan coming up top in Google searches for “IARU Region 1 Bandplan“.

Under the current European band plan for 40m, CW now has free reign up to 7.040MHz, with narrow band digimodes from 7.040 to 7.050. So the start of PSK31 operation is now presumably 7.040MHz. However the bright sparks who sit in their ivory towers and decide this sort of thing clearly forgot about the real world in which people don’t find out about something unless it is shoved under their noses. People will operate where they hear other people operating, which creates a very powerful inertia against any form of change. These band plan changes came into effect on 29th March 2009, yet people are still in ignorance of them 18 months later. Where was the letter from the national society to each licensed amateur, informing them of the changes?

But more to the point, why change? It’s just a recipe for chaos and an opportunity for the band police to cause unpleasantness, just for the sake of an extra 5KHz for CW operators. It also now means that digital mode users in Europe must use a different part of the spectrum to those in the USA, making transatlantic digital DX impossible without incurring the wrath of the policemen. Frankly, I don’t blame PSK31 users for staying where they were and refusing to be shunted around by bandplan changes that don’t give them any benefits.

I’m somewhat confused about what the 40m USA bandplan is. The document on the IARU website for Region 2 shows narrow band digital modes starting at 7.035MHz. But I thought people in the USA operated PSK31 starting at 7.070MHz and other narrow band modes like JT65A at 7.075MHz? No wonder I have never heard any Stateside DX on digital.

Radio waves don’t stop at IARU regional boundaries so what is the point in having bandplans that put digital modes in different parts of the band in different regions? It just goes to prove that the powers that be who make these decisions think the only modes that matter are SSB and CW.

Julian Moss, G4ILO, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cumbria, England. Contact him at [email protected].

16 Responses to “40m bandplan confusion”

  • Brian GM4XQJ:

    I cannot understand why someone should say that they were not aware of the bandplan changes. It was well covered in RadCom and other magazines. The bandplan was changed at the request of EU data operators, so why will they now not move.
    As radio amateurs it is our duty to be up to speed with bandplans and licence condition changes, it is no excuse to say ‘we did not know’ as the information is available for anyone to who requires it.

    Brian GM4XQJ.

  • Jim, GM3FDS:

    What utter rot GM4XJQ is talking, he constantly moans about operating standards while hypocritically forgetting to give his own callsign….get a life and stop bothering others….

  • Rufus, G1MPY:

    GM4XQJ is talking nonsense again. And not the first time!



  • Ken, GMOAXY:

    GM4XQJ doesn’t know what he is talking about, as usual he is causing trouble, trying to be a band policeman and sticking his nose into matters that should not concern him. I suspect the fumes from the petrochemical works adjacent to his house have clouded his judgment.

  • Peter Kirby, SK 1M:

    This idiot was always pestering me, his list of complaints was longer than my credit card bill!

  • rICHARD brown:

    I have operated on 5298.5 SSB and CW this clown .starts to send VVV ON top of a SSB QSO i often have,not only that he insults me tells everybody my address and threatens to pay me a visit,,,he cant do CW and hates anyBODY who canmmmmsending vvv while I am on CW and calling me a Lid….
    I now know I am not the only one who suffers from this moron,reading your previous messages

  • rICHARD brown:

    My reply above is for G4XQJ and I hope this Falkirk lawyer understands how much we know about him,and how many enemies he has got,

  • Dave GM3HOQ:

    Here in the spiritworld this thread is the number one google search result for GM4XQJ – so all hams both living and silent key can read what an prat the Falkirk band policeman is!

  • Wayne M5WJF:

    Brian has since extended his remit to include upsetting everyone on 5MHz/60m, including the people who were most active in getting the band allocation. Since August 2002 the RAYNET HF Team have operated on 5MHz using NoV’s with 5278.5 kHz USB being a centre of activity for experimentation for 13 years.

    Yet after 7th April 2015, GM4XQJ has, as RAOTA Net Coordinator, has established operated an Informal RAOTA Net on 5279.0 kHz USB, now this in itself is ridiculous as 5278.5 kHz USB is listed by the RSGB as a centre of activity for emergency communications. However, nobody took any notice as RAOTA Nets would not normally interfere with RAYNET HF Team Nets.

    However, as people have long been aware on 40m, Brian has since decided he has to keep control of all frequencies between 5276.0 kHz and 5282.0 kHz USB, whether a RAOTA Net is operating or not, creating deliberate QRM to RAYNET. He is being recorded using SDR Technology, and his activities on all modes around the 60m Band are being transcribed and logged, and have been logged for some time.

    This QRM is a particularly silly thing to do as all Radio Amateurs are Secondary Users of 60m/5MHz in the UK, and it is the Ministry of Defence, as Primary User, who will rigorously Police the band.

    So much for RAOTA ‘Maintaining the Traditions and Spirit of Amateur Radio’, by ‘Honouring the Past’, ‘Enjoying the Present’, and ‘Ensuring the Future’.

    GM4XQJ would appear to be the least likely person to adhere to any of that on behalf of RAOTA, and yet he’s on their Committee as Net Coordinator…

  • John G3LYW:

    Make sure you report him to Ofcom once you have gathered enough evidence, it is about time his licence was revoked for his continued alleged illegal operating. The behaviour described above if true would point to the man being a disgrace to amateur radio.

  • Lenny DL1TGF:

    Here in the land of the wurst and the schnitzel, we have ways of dealing with people like GM4XQJ………………..

  • Partario Lorimer F5SUK:

    I hear the signals of brin widdle interupting the long established L’Escargot net on 40m. Does this inbred “rosboeuff” not understand since brexit he is powerless against his superior Europeen cousins?

  • Leo Kerr W3JHB:

    I was very interested to see that GM4XQJ is no longer listed as the net coordinator for RAOTA, nor is on the committee anymore either. Does anyone happen to know if he left of his own accord or whether he was removed due to his alleged jamming activities on 60m? A local ham recently moved here from Scotland told us some stories of his (unsuccessful) one-man crusade against AM operators over there, that culminated in him jamming the ISS with a pirated callsign in an attempt to pretend the AM users were the source of jamming. The poor guy seems ignorant to the concept of DFing!

  • Repeater GB3CS:

    What a sad pathetic little man he is. Sitting in his crappy bungalow in the arse end of nowhere (outskirts of the shitehole aka Falkirk). His typical day must consist of sending emails of complaint about ham radio operators to the RSGB and ARRL, and then after lunch a session of band policing, where he basically illegally jams other radio amateurs. Then late afternoon he will pop up on 145.525 to announce his latest crusade to supposed friends long past caring about his silly fights.

    The poor little chap must have had such a dull meaningless life that this is what he is reduced to in his retirement. But for the sake of all the entertainment you give us Brian, don’t stop doing what you do best!

  • Panetone Tony:

    The was an old man called Waddel
    Who spoke a load of old twaddle
    His signal was weak
    His voice was meak
    And his lardy arse did wobble

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