The MT would like to remind UK chasers and activators to ensure they do not operate out of band when using 60m. This is a matter of some concern since not only is this breaking the terms of the UK licence but is also breaking several SOTA rules.
The gaps between the UK segments are frequencies that Ofcom withheld from us because they are assigned to other users. Incursions onto those frequencies could lead to repercussions, even the possiblity of losing our access to the band. We only got an allocation in this prized part of the spectrum in the first place because it was expected that we would operate in a responsible manner. We must live up to that expectation.
Any activation that is out of band will be removed from the database, and that applies to the chasers as well as the activators. Repeat out of band operation by UK stations will lead to sanctions limiting the stations’ participation in the SOTA program. This is to preserve the reputation of SOTA and ham radio by showing that out of band operation will not be tolerated by the community.
The MT would like all activators and chasers in the UK who have logged QSOs on 60m since the start of 2017 to consider whether they may have logged any out of band QSOs by mistake and if so, to delete them from the database. The DB only logs the QSO as 5MHz and not the frequency so consult your own logs. We would suggest you adopt the following maxim: if in doubt, cut it out.
Footnote: There are plenty of memories available in rigs like the FT-817. To guard against errors, in my rigs I have programmed into the memory all the valid UK 60 metre frequencies at 1 kHz intervals plus the original spot frequencies finishing with 0.5 kHz - FE, FM etc for the old hands on the band. As long as you tune the band with the memory select knob and remember with SSB to stay clear of the HF end of the segments you cannot operate out of band by accident.