Referat fra det åbne nordiske VHF manager møde 2024

På mødet i Kalundborg blev der som vanligt afholdt det åbne møde mellem de nordiske managers og de aktive amatører. Referat fra mødet kan læses nedenfor. Bemærk, der er ændringer på vej i NAC-testerne, Så læs og kommenter, det er nu man skal give sin mening til kende. SM6EANs præsentation fraWRC-23 konferencen kan også ses nedenfor.


Minutes and notes from the Open Nordic VHF manager meeting Kalundborg May 25, 2024
The open VHF manager meeting was as always well attended. Approximately 65 amateurs from all Nordic countries were present including SM6EAN and OZ1FDH as VHF managers. Two issues were on the agenda; the outcome and follow-up of the World Radio Conference 2023 (WRC-23) and the status and development of the Nordic Activity Contests.

IARU WRC activities and 23 cm.
SM6EAN Mats presented an overview of the discussions and outcome of the WRC-23, presentation attached. As is already known we will still have access to 23 cm, but with restrictions. Details are still to be laid out by CEPT. Input from the meeting was to keep an eye on Finland. General access to 23 cm has been removed but can be granted upon a special application. It is hoped that following CEPT recommendations general access to 23 cm will be re-introduced in Finland. Coordination between the national radio amateur organizations and the NTOs of Nordic countries is important here. It is highly recommended that the national organizations follow the development at their NTOs and advocate for no less than the recommendations from the WRC conference.

The Nordic Activity Contests have existed for +50 years. They have been a central element in building and maintaining activity on the bands. NAC is based on a common set of basic rules across all bands and adaptation by all the Nordic countries. However, since the early days the number of bands has grown spanning from low VHF to +47 GHz. To cover this development the number of contests has grown. Another major development is the introduction of MGM modes. These were quickly adapted by the NAC putting them on equal footage with analog modes. In an IARU region 1 context it is now recommended not to mix MGM and analog modes in the same contests, just as there is a specific recommendation in the VHF Handbook to organize MGM contests on Wednesdays across Region 1. NAC is now the only VUSHF contest in Region 1 which includes both MGM and analog modes.

Two issues on NAC were discussed at the meeting.
-Low band VHF; problems with incompatibility between contest rules and general global operating practice.
-For the bands above 70 MHz; what is the status and outlook for mixed MGM and analog modes in the NAC?

Low band VHF:
50 MHz and 70 MHz are by their very nature different from the other bands. On a yearly basis they are charachterized by 9-10 contests with very low activity and 2-3 contests with extremely high activity and many DX QSOs. Both MGM and analog modes are used. For MGM on the low VHF bands in general only 4 character locators are exchanged. It is almost impossible to have full locators from stations outside of the Nordic countries and many QSOs are discarded. Thus, the rule on exchange of 6 character locators is a limit on the activity.

Is there a need for separate rules for the low VHF bands?
The discussion pointed to a general problem of using the full 6-character locator. It caused frustration that DX QSOs to Europe and the US were not valid. The subject was also raised at the 2023 Nordic meeting.

There was consensus on the creation of a low-VHF band class where only a 4-character locator is exchanged. For calculation of points each station should use their own full 6-character locator and the XXXXmm of the other station. The changes are suggested to take place as of January 1st 2025.

144 MHz and above:
General debate about the development in MGM modes and the current status of the contest.
For decades NAC was setting the direction for national contests in Europe. This has changed, there are now NAC-like contests in many countries. However, none of these include both MGM and analog modes, this is only in the Nordic countries.

It is not easy to have both analog and MGM modes in the same contest. Operators active on SSB and CW observed a significantly declining activity 2 hours into the contest. Operators mainly active on MGM do not see this as a problem, and many are happy for the extra miles and QSOs they can make using MGM. In general, the “big stations” (100W+ and an OK QTH)” prefer to have separate analog and MGM contests whereas smaller stations in noisy environments say that they can almost only work MGM.

The IARU protocol for MGM contest QSOs states that only a 4-character locator is exchanged. For analog contest QSOs a 6-character locator is specified. The NAC-rules specify that a 6-character locator is used for all modes.

Interestingly the MGM contests on Wednesdays show a higher number of active European stations compared to MGM in NAC. It is expected that the European MGM activity on Wednesdays will grow even more in the future.

The discussion did not show consensus on the issue of mixed MGM and analog modes in NAC. However, there was general agreement that with the current development in activity outside of the Nordic region and the recommendation on non-mixed contests from IARU, there is a need for a high-level decision looking 10+ years ahead for NAC contests above 70 MHz.

Option 1: Do we continue with the current set of rules keeping all modes in the same contest?
Option 2: Do we in accordance with the IARU recommendation separate MGM and analog modes, with analog modes on Tuesdays and MGM on Wednesdays?

It was suggested and agreed by the participants at the meeting that we raise the question in NRAU for a common decision across the Nordic countries.

VHF Managers meeting SM6EAN v0.1 (1)
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Referat fra det åbne nordiske VHF manager møde 2024 — 1 Comment

  1. I don’t run anything but NAC28 and NAC50 and almost only cw, sometimes a little ssb. The sad thing about NAC50 is precisely that you hardly find any stations that run cw anymore. It is therefore frustrating to search for 4 hours for any stations on cw. I, and others with me, want NAC50 to be split in the same way as NAC20, with 1 hour for each mode. It would at least benefit the cw part.

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