POTA on 30M?

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SkipRD
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri May 27, 2022 12:58 pm

Re: POTA on 30M?

Post by SkipRD »

K1GC wrote: Mon Sep 12, 2022 3:23 pm I have an email to IARU asking if they have weighed in on this topic. I will be sure to share if I get a response.

One thing I noted in searching the IARU site, was how they define a contest:
Contesting consists of making the maximum number of contacts with other radio amateurs in a defined time.

That definition on its own would be support that POTA/SOTA are not contests, but I suspect the complete answer may be more nuanced.

I also had not found this until today, but POTA has this position in their activator guide (not sure how I missed it).

POTA is not a contest—you may wish to avoid major contests and utilize the WARC bands, other modes for HF, or use VHF/UHF, or satellites.
Nice find. Maybe "defined time" best captures the difference between a "contest" and a "special event station"?
73 Skip K4EAK
SkipRD
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri May 27, 2022 12:58 pm

Re: POTA on 30M?

Post by SkipRD »

N8TGQ wrote: Mon Sep 12, 2022 3:01 pm ...
Is there a notice from the FCC that they're exempt?
I thought avoiding contesting on the WARC bands was a convention ("gentlemen's agreement") and the practice among contest sponsors. Didn't realize it was an FCC requirement. Are you sure about that?

73 Skip K4EAK
K1GC
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2022 2:13 pm

Re: POTA on 30M?

Post by K1GC »

Update from IARU!

As I mentioned, I sent an email to IARU seeking clarification on this. I got a prompt and helpful response from Joel W5ZN, IARU Secretary. For complete transparency, I am going to post all messages in order below, but the short answer is: POTA/SOTA may be viewed as a parallel to either a Special Event station or DXpedition, which generally do not generate excessive CQ calls across the band like a contest. Such examples are not currently viewed as contests and reasonable use of 30 & 17M for these activities is not going against the intent of the resolution. (edited excerpt from email below)


Douglas McMullin <k1gcme@gmail.com>
Sep 12, 2022, 10:22 AM (21 hours ago)
to iaru

Hello,

I have been having and watching discussions about the use of 30M & 17M for programs like Parks On The Air and Summits On The Air (POTA & SOTA). There are differing opinions on this in the ham community. These programs are not traditional contests, but they share features of contests in terms of function and volume of traffic. I can see it from both perspectives and it seems to be an area that is in need of clarity.

Has the IARU weighed in on whether these and other similar programs are appropriate for use on bands that otherwise discourage use for contesting purposes?

Thanks for any insight you can provide one way or the other.

Douglas McMullin
Seal Cove, Maine USA
K1GC
IARU Region 2
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IARU <iaru@iaru.org>
7:13 AM (1 hour ago)
to me

Hi Douglas,

The IARU does have a policy regarding contests on 30 & 17 meters but deliberately does not address DXpeditions, special event stations, etc. While DXpeditions in particular can be very disruptive it is rare for more than one major DXpedition to be active at a time, whereas contests involve many stations calling CQ at the same time and would occupy the entire available spectrum.

The resolution outlining the policy, adopted at the September, 2017, meeting of the IARU Administrative Council is shown below.

73 Joel W5ZN
IARU Secretary

RESOLUTION 17-1 Concerning the use of secondary and narrow allocations below 25 MHz

The IARU Administrative Council, Landshut, 2017, recognizing that the amateur service allocations at 135.7-137.8 kHz, 472-479 kHz, 5,351.5- 5,366.5 kHz, and 10.1-10.15 MHz are on a secondary basis with other services having priority, and

further recognizing that the allocations at 18.068-18.168 MHz and 24.890-24.990 MHz are also relatively narrow, and

acknowledging that these bands therefore are unable to support competitive activities without excessive disruption to other legitimate pursuits,

expresses appreciation to the sponsors of contests who universally avoid utilizing these bands,

resolves that it is IARU policy that contests not be permitted in these bands, and

strongly encourages all radio amateurs to observe the respective regional band plans for these and all other amateur allocations.

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Douglas McMullin <k1gcme@gmail.com>
8:11 AM (9 minutes ago)
to iaru

Thank you Joel,

My interpretation of what you shared is that currently POTA/SOTA might be viewed as a parallel to either a Special Event station or DXpedition, which generally do not generate excessive CQ calls across the band like a contest. Such examples are not currently viewed as contests and reasonable use of 30 & 17M for these activities is not going against the intent of the resolution.

Please let me know if I am misinterpreting that, as I would like to share this with a small community of POTA/SOTA folks that have been discussing this.

Cheers and thanks again,

Douglas K1GC
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IARU <iaru@iaru.org>
8:17 AM (3 minutes ago)
to me

Thanks Douglas.

Yes, your interpretation is correct and in-line with the intent of the resolution.

73 Joel W5ZN
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