60m freqs for SOTA

Actually 5354-5355, however if the Inter-UK digital section were to be moved up, 5362-5363 KHz would be a second option - and as Footnote 4 says that UK digital mode allocation shouldn’t be where it is (and there’s space to move it), that would be a good change (which I have already suggested to the RSGB HF manager responsible, however having just issued the document, I can understand Ian not being eager to change it straight away).


The way actual usage in the UK goes at present, the USB signal needs to fit between 5354 and 5357, so 5354 is the only option. Any higher, and you start messing up the small JT* section which starts at 5357 and uses the top 1 kHz of that bandlet.

Hi Rick, if you look back a couple of posts in this thread I think the JT65 usage in the UK is what started the latest conversation.

Overall it’s still a mess, that will only be fixed once

A. the RSGB update the Band plan for the UK only digital traffic section, moving it up to the 2nd half of the bandlet where it is
B. Ofcom issue the IARU international WRC15 frequencies to amateurs in the UK (in addition to the current bandlets) - and the IARU band plan is implemented in the UK (may also require some moves of current frequency usages).

Until this happens, I will continue to hear UK SOTA activators on 60m who I cannot call as they are (for me) out-of-band.

Agreed overall the “safest” common frequency for SSB (or CW) at the moment, is 5354 KHz. But when that frequency is in use… Problems.


Yep, that JT* section is the result of some pre-WRC15 usage across several countries with early 5 MHz allocations. It doesn’t fit all that well with the UK bandlets, as only that 1 kHz part starting at 5357 is in one. JT* also seems to be one of the commoner modes (if the number of times cautions have been publised via the RSGB is any guide, anyway) on which out-of-band operation from the UK happens.

So yeah, it is a bit of a mess that will probably not be fixed even if the UK allocation is changed and the RSGB updates their bandplan. It’s inevitable, given the present many and various allocations (even just around Europe), that there will be occasions when we can hear activations we can’t work, or run activations where our chasers will be limited.

“5354 KHz” is NOT a suitable CW QRG for UK use. Remember that 5354 would be the CW carrier frequency with energy going out of band. 5,354.5 kHz is the lowest carrier frequency that could be used for CW on this bandlet in the UK.
The whole thing looks like a committee decision.

PS we are not allowed to talk about band plans, that is all hush hush.

Well this is SOTA, not the RSGB, and we will talk about what we d**n well like (subject to my control, of course!:wink:) and it is up to us to come up with the best solution for SOTA that we can in the present circumstances. Perhaps I should eventually send a copy of this thread to the relevant people at the RSGB so that they will know what we users have decided, since they cannot be bothered!




Not over here in Germany it’s not. The licensing links directly to IARU band plan, so not following those bandplans is an offense. In the UK and elsewhere band plans are optional, guides at best, in Germany and I’m sure some other countries, they are law.

Given that our conclusion at the moment suggests just one frequency could be used between the many European countries who are adopting the WRC15 agreed allocation and the UK, where Ofcom are apparently dragging their feet, perhaps we do need to find a way of operating cross-band between the IARU-WRC band and the UK bandlets as Andy suggests.

Is anyone already doing this?

How are the contacts arranged - are these sked only type contacts?

Can we set some “frequency pairs” for SOTA usage that are standard, so that if an IARU band plan station transmits on lets say 5360 SSB he (or she) always listens on 5360 plus 5300 (sorry if this is a bad choice for some reason - it’s just an example). Is there a “common” frequency used in the UK for SOTA - that could perhaps be “paired-up” with a frequency within the WRC15 band, so that the UK SOTA activator would listen on his own transmitted frequency plus a chosen frequency in the WRC15 band.

Does any of this make any sense?

I started my AR hobby in 1974 so I’m used to working split (crystal controlled AM on 2m!), or cross band 2m/70cm.


P.S. Brian, in response to your suggestion to send something to the RSGB, I am already in contact with the RSGB HF Manager, but more importantly if we can agree an internediate solution here for SOTA, I can certainly get it publicised through the AR Podcasts.

Bzzzt. Wrong! The people who are “dragging their feet” are not Ofcom but the people with a PRIMARY ALLOCATION. These people may be happy to move but unhappy with the cost of moving and so stay where they are or will move when the cost is not an issue. Such as buying new equipment etc.

I’m a big boy now an can publicise that I am working split by simply doing what has been done for years announcing I am working split and my RX frequency. Yes, I know to check the RX frequency is clear before dumping my “pile-up” onto some existing QSO.

You are trying to herd cats. You will not really have much success. Ensuring that less experienced amateurs know how to call and work split would be much more productive IMHO. Maybe one day there will be a harmonised band. Pointing out non-sequiturs in the bandplans is worthy but changes will take some considerable time to work through the systems. Educating people on split-ops gets an almost instant return whilst everything else moves forward at possibly glacial speed.

Split has been mentioned several times above, and it seems the most viable option. Now I will put my hand up and admit that at this moment I have not got the foggiest idea how to set up an FT8*7 for split, but it is all in the handbook and it may take as much as ten minutes for me to suss this all out!

Deciding the UK frequency for USB operation is much more difficult for the simple reason that UK activity can be very high. The older operators tend to stick to the old original “Fox” channels since they are already in the memory, and FE (5.3985) is a favourite, closely followed by FM (5.4035), so these “might” be bad choices, they are likely to be busy and can even carry net traffic. A good idea (I think) would be for stations outside the UK to program their memories with the thirteen USB channels listed in post 19 above so that they can search for UK activators by switching through all the likely UK channels on their “B” VFO. In return the UK operators should program in the WRC15 in their memories in 1 kHz steps so that they can switch through the likely channels that WRC15 ops will be calling on. This just leaves the knotty problem of countries that do not have the WRC15 band or the UK frequencies…

For convenience, these are the likely UK USB frequencies:


+ = popular old channel.

So, how does this look? I’ll leave CW operators to make their own suggestions.


PS Discourse insists on replacing + with a bullet in the key and I can’t make it see sense!

(comment from the meta-Moderator)
Just escape the plus with a \ character before the + as per standard escaping conventions.

Well other countries are managing it, however it is interesting that in Australia, this appears to be the same excuse/reason that is being given. Primary users can always use the frequencies where we are secondary users - it’s not convenient to either party but that’s the point of AR being the secondary user on this band, we have to avoid frequencies that are in use.

So the activator announces where he is listening - but what if the UK activator doesn’r realise he is reaching a summit in “tim-buc-too” where there is an activator or chaser who would really like a contact. We are not “supposed to” use the spotting system to pass messages (although I have seen it done from time to time) - if there were standard “pairs” this communication need could be avoided (as long as the activator knew to check the “paired” frequency).
I do take your point that the frequency required could be in use - this is always the problem with working split - you are using two frequencies in what is a small band (even smaller for WRC15 countries).

Agreed and that’s why I (in response to your comment) I wanted to raise the point about HOW we might use split frequency in a simpler, standardised way. My idea being the “paired frequencies”. Perhaps someone has an alternative idea? It would be great if the WRC15 station could operate in the all-mode section of the IARU 60m band plan band and simply say “listening down 41KHz” and the UK station in the 5313-5323 band could say listening up 41KHz, but it doesn’t “quite” fit!! (at the upper extent of the WRC band (5363) this would have the UK station splattering out of that bandlet:

GRRR! No easy solution !!

As you say Andy - hearding cats!

73 Ed.

ONLY, as long as these can be programmed as “receive Only” channels - which in most rigs isn’t the case. Those that are newly produced with the 60m band, might be able to restrict transmissions out of band but “wide-banded” rigs would allow transmit as well as receive on the UK channels - which could become a problem. I know it’s the responsibility of the operator… But I would prefer a solution without using channelised frequencies in any case as sometimes people are a little off frequency.


Certainly possible, but probably takes a bit of pre-organising. Split on CW with WRC15 countries would be relatively easy (WRC15 TX somewhere within 5315.5-5354, UK TX within 5258.5-5264), but the way the band gets busy at weekends, it can be complicated enough finding and holding an SSB frequency if you’re simplex, so split on SSB would probably not be quite so easy…

Worth a try sometime, with a bit of pre-planning.

As you say, the whole thing is a mess. In the Republic of Ireland, they have indeed allocated the WRC-15 band in addition to the existing bandlets. It would be nice if the UK could do the same, but there is a fear that some jobsworth might withdraw all the existing bandlets and just give us the 15 watt WRC-15 band! That is exactly what has happened in Spain.
It’s a bit pointless having an intra-UK digital modes section in the bandplan, because the amount of inter-G digital traffic on 60m is negligible. 95% of my JT65 contacts on 60m have been with stations outside the UK.

As I write this, I am listening to a strong German QSO on 5354.0 USB, with several CW stations in DL and S5 deliberately QRM-ing them.

Walt (G3NYY)

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I think you are too worried about this, Ed. Most if not all of you on 60m are operating with an opened up rig, if you can be trusted to operate legally with an opened up rig then surely you can trust yourself with the “B” channel out of your band.

Nah. I pick a UK frequency call CQ SOTA, get spotted and work the UK chasers. When I run out of chasers who can use my frequency I hit the A=B button then the A/B button and tune about the WRC allocation and find somewhere reasonably clear from my end on the B VFO. Then I hit the A/B button and the SPL button and call CQ SOTA listening x.xxxx . I’d put money on the fact WRC only chasers will have tuned to my QRG for a listen to see if they can hear me and now they get to call me on a QRG they can use.

It really is not hard.

No, it’s not hard. But it would be very easy to make a mistake. Operating conditions on a summit are not always ideal; the cold and wet can addle the brain in strange ways, the display isn’t always easy to see etc etc.

For example in the scenario you describe, when operating split it’s a good idea to have an occasional listen on the tx frequency. Easy - just hit A/B to listen, and A/B again to go back. But suppose you hear somebody calling, or somebody asking if the frequency is in use. It would be ever so easy to hit the PTT on autopilot and reply - and bang, you’ve just transmitted out of band.

Better would be to turn split off before flipping, but that’s twice as many keypresses. And if you forget to turn split back on, again you risk accidentally transmitting out of band.

If I were designing a radio, I think I would make the split button change the receive frequency but leave the transmit frequency unchanged. Anybody into FT-817 firmware hacking?

On my last expedition I did try on a couple of occasions QSYing to a WRC-15 frequency after I’d cleared the main pile-up on one of “our” channels. 5.354 and 5.363 seemed like good choices (I certainly heard activity from Germany on the latter). However in the end I only worked some G latecomers, so it wasn’t very encouraging.

Maybe I’ll try the split technique if conditions are good enough that I don’t think I’m likely to get it wrong,


Working split is easy. Why do you make it sound dfifficult?

The ease of working split is proportional to the number of times that you do it! If you chase DX a lot you will be accustomed to it, but it is not commonplace in SOTA so those of us that are unaccustomed to it need to be cautious during the learning curve.

Start by walking down the street. When you can do that without tripping over etc., try adding in chewing gum whilst walking. Once you have mastered walking and chewing at the same time then working split will be simple in comparison. :grin: