I've noted with quite a bit of interest the recent surge of comments on QRP-L favoring a QRP exodus up from 7030/7040 kHz to [part of] the old Novice watering hole of 7100 to 7125 kHz. The esteemed Arnie Coro, CO2KK seems to have ignited the fire with this post to the reflector:
Dear amigos :
The 40 meters band changed last year ... when the worldwide assignment for ITU Regions I, II and III was finally made totally compatible for the first 200 kiloHertz. According to what we have learned here, this was a difficult to work out agreement, but at the end
thanks to the presence of radio amateurs sitting as members of many of
the nation's delegations attending the ITU WARC... it became a reality...
So, now we have the 7100 to 7200 segment for radio amateurs exclusive use. My understanding is that the US FCC decided to expand the 40 meter phone band down to 7125 kiloHertz...
That leaves the segment from 7100 to 7125 kiloHertz quite useable for CW...
My suggestion is to start using 7105 or 7110 kiloHertz as the QRP
meeting frequency, replacing 7030 and 7040 kiloHertz that are under so much QRM, especially from digital modes. I agree that many stations have already equipment with crystals for either 7030 or
7040 kHz... but for those of us with VFO capability, enjoying the much
more clear channels between 7105 and 7110 kHz opens up the possibility of many more QRM free QSO's...
My observations carried on during the past several days confirm that
that segment of 40 meters right next to 7100 is clear much of the time !
Let's give it a try !!!
73 and DX
The positive response to Arnie's call to action was immensely gratifying to me. In addition to all of the reflector replies, there have also been some ham bloggers taking up the topic. I've long been a fan of this little slice of bandwidth, but at times it has been hard to scare up contacts there. In the last couple of years, SKCC has probably been making the most extensive use of the sub-band, which has increased the traffic there a fair amount and has brought more attention to the frequencies as a place to have a nice, relaxed CW QSO.
Not to long ago, I dreamed about ways to help increase the use of these frequencies, and even started chatting with a few other hams about ways to spark some interest. However, like a whole lot of my ideas, they never get off the launchpad since I just don't have the time to invest in all of them. After having a few unpleasant encounters with RTTY contesters running me off 40 meter frequencies last weekend, I'm even more determined to help promote 7100-7125 as a QRP (and general CW) safe spot.
I've become inspired enough that I've decided to take a new design for a minimalistic superhet rig that I'm working on and adapt it to operate on these frequencies. If there's any interest in it, I might even take a crack at offering it as a kit for purchase. Long live 40 meter QRP!