Posts Tagged ‘60m’
The next world radio conference (WRC-2015) is drawing close to opening. Worldwide, radio amateurs are hoping for a contiguous 5MHz allocation, rather than the channelised allocations common in many countries. A 60m band would be really useful as the sunspot numbers decline and the higher HF bands become far less useful for DX. Whether this contiguous allocation will happen remains to be seen. Most of the lobbying has been done, so I guess we now have to wait and hope.
Around the world, several administrations allow some access to 5MHz for amateurs. Mostly, these are channelised allocations, which are far from ideal. What is needed is a continuous 60m band, say 200kHz wide. There was/is some hope of this being allocated to the amateur service at WRC2015 which is due to take place late this year.
I wonder what the chances of radio amateurs getting this band are? I have rather lost touch with the news on this. Certainly it was to be an agenda item. With decreasing solar activity, this would be ideal for the amateur community. I do hope it happens. Even if allocated at WRC2015, it could be a few years before administrations can make the necessary changes. If anyone has any further news I’d appreciate being updated.
I have not had a chance to wade through the report(s) from this ITU meeting in Korea ahead of WRC2015 to see if a contiguous 60m band amateur allocation is any more probable. The few bits I did read were talking about budgets! We certainly will need a contiguous 60m band in the quiet years ahead. A nice new worldwide amateur band there would be very welcome.
OFCOM is consulting on the agenda items for the World Radio Conference WRC2015 which takes place November 2015. See http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/wrc15/ .
The proposal is to support moves to allocate 5250-5450kHz to the Amateur Service on a secondary basis. This would replace the messy channels currently available. I recommend you write to OFCOM to support this move, which would give us a new ham band at 60m – ideal as the current sunspot cycle declines.
If allocated, it could be a few years before available.
I have been beaconing WSPR using 500mW all day today. The KAT3 didn’t want to repeat its trick of matching my multi-band dipole so the best SWR I could manage was about 1.8:1. I don’t know how much of the 500mW ended up warming up the ATU or the coaxial feeder.
This is a shot of the WSPR propagation map taken just before 1800z today. As you can see, the 500mW is getting out pretty well. I think I have been received by all the G stations that have been monitoring at some time during the day, and a few others. And it was nice to see fellow bloggers Paul PC4T and Bas PE4BAS monitoring even though they can’t transmit on 60m, and better still spotting me!
Just after I posted this, my 500mW was also spotted by LA3JJ!
On looking through the mail at lunch time I saw that I had received a letter from Ofcom. My NoV permitting me to operate on the 60m experimental band had arrived!
Until now I hadn’t been bothered about operating on 60m because I couldn’t see how I could possibly find room for an antenna for that band. However a couple of weeks ago I heard someone activating a SOTA summit in the Lake District on 60m and was frustrated that I could not reply to them. So I decided to put in an application for permission to operate and here I am.
I don’t have an antenna that is resonant on 60m so I tried tuning up my multiband dipole using the K3 auto ATU. After a lot of persuasion it managed to find an acceptable match on the higher frequency channels but it gave up on the lower ones. So I should be able to manage some activity on the new band.
Fortunately, the channel allocated for beacon and WSPR use is one of the ones I was able to match. And today just happened to be a 60m WSPR activity day. So I fired up the WSPR software and beaconed on 60m using 2 watts, increasing to 5 watts in the evening when propagation went long and most of the traces faded out. The 5 watts did me no good at at all, but my 2 watt signal was heard by 7 different G stations all around 400km distance from me plus F/G6AIG at 760km. I received 6 different G stations including G4ZFQ at 458km running 20mW, plus OZ1PIF (my best DX at 984km) and LA3JJ.
Tomorrow is QRP day on 60m when everyone is supposed to run 500mW or less. I have not decided yet how little power I will run but I will be WSPRing on 60m all day. Hopefully there will be a few more people who manage to spot me.