HamRadioNow: 60 Meters… Let’s Go Dutch

I’ll coin a phrase for a program like this: Wonkie-Talkie.

The WRC (World Radio Conference) last November ended up with a worldwide Amateur Radio 60 Meter allocation of 15 kHz. You’ll be forgiven if you thought there already was a 60 meter allocation, as many countries have authorized 60 Meter Amateur operation. But it’s never been a formal ITU deal.

But 15 kHz, with a power restriction of about 10 watts into a dipole? (Or 15 watts EIRP – an ‘isotropic radiator’ – a dipole has 2 dB gain over an isotropic radiator?) Compared to the 5 discrete SSB/CW/digital channels we have now with a 100 watt/dipole power limit…. is that a win, lose or draw?

In this Episode of HamRadioNow, ARRL Chief Technology Officer Brennan Price N4QX explains how the WRC ended up with this meager offering, and how hams in the US and other countries with maybe more spectrum and certainly more power may continue to enjoy those privileges. Or not… At the very least, the FCC won’t act on the WRC changes for some time… maybe years.

Well, it’s years if we’re gaining something, like the 137 kHz spectrum that was authorized in WRC 07, that we’re just getting rules opening it up to US hams now. But if we’re losing something?

Brennan is happier to talk about some of the defensive successes at WRC 15. If half the battle is gaining spectrum, the other half is avoiding losing it. And there were many eyes on some of our microwave allocations, but the attacks were fended off.

So, Wonkie-Talkie? You’ll also be forgiven if you drift off to work some DX on 20…. while we still have 20….

Oh, and ‘Let’s Go Dutch’? The contingent from the Netherlands strongly supported a wider allocation and 100 watt limit. They compromised down to 100 kHz, but were out-shouted (apparently there is no voting) by the “almost nothing” faction. So their government immediately authorized Dutch hams that 100 kHz/100 watts anyway.

Brennan says it’s not going to happen here in the US.

73, Gary KN4AQ

And if you don’t have time to watch, maybe you have time to listen while you commute or work out (work out? Hams? Who am I kidding?). Paste this into your podcast app: http://HamRadioNow.tv/hrn/hrnrss.xml. You’ll be subscribed to our audio download.

Gary Pearce, KN4AQ, is the host of HamRadioNow.tv. If you enjoy this and other HamRadioNow programs, help keep them 'on the air' with a contribution. Contact him at [email protected].

One Response to “HamRadioNow: 60 Meters… Let’s Go Dutch”

  • Boots VK3DZ:

    A free-space dipole will have ~2 dB “gain” over isotropic.

    For a real dipole over real dirt the “gain” over isotropic is around 8 dB. Or a miserly 2.5 W of tx o/p for 15W eirp.

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