A plea to 60m CW activators (plus comments on 60m in general WRC <> UK comms)

Prior to the WRC15 allocations I used to activate 60m using 5.260MHz but that necessitated fitting 10" tails to the dipole that was resonant on 5.395 for SSB to bring it to resonance. 12 Months ago, to save time and the need to fit tails I started to operate CW on 5.378.5MHz but I did attract a few calls from European stations who had only the WRC15 allocations.

To avoid this malpractice I changed to using 5.3545 MHz for CW. Only once have I experienced as SSB conflict and never a CW QSO in progress. I hold 5.3625 in another memory as CW backup.


Hi Walt, from a purely technical point of view of the available frequencies - there are only 2 overlap SSB options (hence only 2 stations can operate on SSB between the UK and the continent at one time) - while these options are in the all-mode section of both the UK and WRC15 bandplans, of course you can try digital or CW there as well however it would be more “friendly” to use the 5366 - 5366.5 segment for weak signal narrow digital modes. We are talking specifically about SOTA contacts here and I’m sure if someone is running FT8 or JT9 from a summit (which will be uncommon), they can move to a part of the band that should be clear of SSB, if they want to make contacts from the UK to the continent and further afield, whether or not it is the normal place to use in the UK.

It’s a real shame that when the latest RSGB bandplan was produced, it didn’t pay more attention to the overlaps with the WRC15 bandplan (which was already implemented). I have talked with the person who wrote the latest bandplan and he was given certain restrictions in that his task was to document what was in place in the UK, rather than propose changes.

Roll on WRC15 implementation in the UK! I wonder who will get it first the UK or Australia (both face the same problem of existing users owning the frequencies).

73 Ed.

There’s acres of space for SSB contacts between WRC-15 allocations and UK allocations and no need for any of this cat herding.

Press the damn SPLIT button.


Correct - that could happen Brian, also within countries that have the WRC15 band. That’s why I believe everywhere in the world, where the WRC15 band is allocated it has the Amateur community as secondary users, meaning should a primary user appear on a frequency within the band the amateur has to QSY or go QRT. Now the question about a primary users in one country not being a primary user in another country is an interesting one. Would a UK MoD station on 60m be considered a pirate in Holland for example? I think the ruling would be any primary user - hence even those abroad, take precidence at least as regards Amateurs moving off frequency. Lets face it with 15w EiRP from the continent, the MoD station is not going to hear most of us.

To use SPLIT the frequencies need to be pre-agreed.

Is there any standard split pairs being used at the moment - should these be adopted as first options on an activation?

So a WRC15 station calls and works on his / her frequency other WRC15 stations and then says - OK, now listening for UK stations on XXXXkHz ? Effectively a “calling frequency” for UK stations to call WRC15 stations on 60m ??

Have you ever heard people calling split in say the big contests when US stations are TXing above 7.2MHz ?

Have you ever worked split Ed?

Yes I have worked split - for example while running a pile-up on a DXPedition (as one of the crew at the DX station)!

A suggested “calling” frequency to use in the non-WRC15 60m UK only Bandlets would be useful - when a Continental activator is working split - this would save the activator having to tune all the little UK bandlets to decide on a frequency to listen on, only to find it’s not allowed in the UK for some reason.

There appears to be a lot of angst around 60 metre operation when trying for intercommunication between the WRC15 and other allocations. I’m not sure why that is.


Because you are trying to influence and change how I use MY extensive UK allocations to meet YOUR limited WRC-15 allocation. It has to be the other way around if you don’t want to meet pushback from people in the UK or anywhere else that has large and less limited allocations.

If I want to work WRC-15 stations I can happily sit on one of the many UK frequencies and call “CQ SOTA listening 5.3xxx”. If WRC-15 stations want to work UK chasers they can call “CQ SOTA listening 5.3895” or “CQ SOTA listening 5.4035” or whatever. No need for pre-arranged frequencies. And as soon as you do nominate a “inter-allocation” calling frequency and someone uses it for their own purposes you will get self-appointed bandpolicemen telling people it’s a “SOTA frequency pse QSY”, and that is the last thing anybody wants.

1 Like

I don’t think I am Andy. All UK ops are free to transmit wherever they like in the UK 60m Bandlets. I have responded to a question regarding where the overlap frequencies are and have propsed what I believe to be correct information (and no one has said it isn’t correct).

YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY CORRECT to propose split operation as another option. My last question was to ask what frequency would be comfortable for the UK stations to use (presuming it is free at the time). In that way I believe split operation would be simplified, rather than the continental activator picking a frequency on the day, which could be wrong in the RSGB bandplan.

My aim is to make communication from the earlier - larger - higher powered UK allocation to the apparently more and more common, limited bandwidth, lower powered WRC15 band, simpler.

I guess this will always remain a problem, while we have two standards. (lets hope for a larger band with more power to all the WRC15 using countries - but I suspect that is unlikely).

I take your point about NOT labelling the two inter-operation bands “SOTA only” - that would NOT go down well…

73 Ed.


according to the picture, 5354 and 5363 seem the perfect frequencies for WRC-15 <> UK traffic. The continent as well as the UK recommend theses frequencies for SSB. CW is permitted anyway. So why re-invent the wheel?


I am not sure why you are advocating this Andy when frequencies are available for single frequency working between the UK and countries with the WRC-15 allocation. Surely the KISS principle rules when operating from summits… well it does for me when it is blowing a hoolie and I am trying to keep snow from getting into the kit. Operating split is the last thing I want to be bothered with, even with memories in the rig!


This is arguably the case for CW contacts.

However, as has been pointed out above, there are only two frequencies available for single frequency SSB working between the UK and WRC-15 countries, and one of these is liable to cause severe QRM to digital and CW traffic.

When Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands had their own allocated frequencies prior to the introduction of WRC-15, split frequency working was the norm and it was highly effective when used properly. The Spanish operators in particular were notable exponents in the art!

Walt (G3NYY)

Hi Pom,

This thread was started for CW contacts - the problem with 5354 for CW is that as CW sits exactly on the frequency, it’s lower side band would fall out side of the UK bandlet. Hence Andy (G8CPZ) suggested that CW ops should be 500Hz up from their bandlet edge i.e. 5354.5. While there is enough in the overlap segment to allow (USB) SSB to operate on 5355, I made the suggestion of 5354.5 for CW and 5355 for SSB (in a similar reasoning 5362.5 for CW and 5363 for SSB).

All of this means of course that there are only TWO common frequencies for SSB between the UK and WRC15 band allocations.

Andy MM0FMF came in with the suggestion of working Split (or cross band if you prefer) this has the advantage that the WRC15 station can operate anywhere in the WRC Band that is allowed for the mode and the UK station can operate on any free frequency within the UK 60m bandlets plan, where the mode is allowed. Hence there can be many more QSOs at the same time between the UK and WRC15 countries if SPLIT is used rather than trying to get into one of the two available common frequencies.
The down side of Split is that the activator will have the extra work to find and specify the frequency he will be listening on in the other band. This would be informed via of a message to the SotaWatch website (i.e. a self spot), but there’s still the extra work of finding a free frequency in the chasers valid 60m bandplan (and knowing that bandplan).

It all depends upon propagation and activity as to which option will need to be used. At a weekend, I suspect SPLIT might be the only way to go as the two common frequencies are probably in use.

73 Ed.

This really, really “Hot off the GB2RS press” (I publish the GB2RS podcast).

The 2018 RSGB Band Plans can be found in the forthcoming February edition of RadCom, due to arrive with Members this week, and online. These incorporate changes from the 2017 IARU Region 1 Conference, along with UK usage changes. The main changes are in the 5MHz HF band, and the 50, 144 and 430MHz VHF/UHF bands. At 5MHz, the changes align with the flexible UK Usage plan and the lack of full access to the WRC-15 band.

73 Ed.

To save digging through the RSGB’s website, what changes have they made Ed?

Still looking at it - at the moment, I can’t see any. Unfortunately they’ve overwritten the old document with the new one at the same location in the website. All changes are supposed to be explained in the February Radcom, which, being abroad, I will not get for a while.

What I’d like to see is the move up in frequency of the UK only (that’s what it used to say) digital communications section - which was overlapping with the WRC15 band. No problem with digital modes, but allocating a specific section for UK traffic in the section that overlaps with other countries allocations seemed wrong. Of course this was most likely set prior to WRC15, but there was room in the “bandlet” to move it up clear of the overlap, I hope that’s now been done. Either that or remove the “UK Only” name.

73 Ed.


Only changes I have found:

WSPR has been moved from the 5288.5-5292.0 to the 5362.0-5374.5 bandlet presumably to avoid beacon frequencies and to allow WSPR comms in the 5266 - 5266.5 WRC15 defined weak signal mode band section of the WRC band.

And the text “5,362-5,370 kHz - Digital mode activity in the UK” HAS been removed from the bandplan for 60m - GREAT! (I had suggested it be changed to “5,366-5,374.5 kHz - Digital mode activity in the UK”). But at least it’s been removed.

It was probably easier to look at the change notes than to go through it - these say:

15-Dec-17 60M: Note-4 has WRC-15 Frequencies added and WRC notes added in Usage column
15-Dec-17 60M: WSPR removed from 5290 kHz
15-Dec-17 60M: 5362-5370 UK Data usage note removed to avoid WRC-15 overlap, WSPR added
15-Dec-17 60M: 5403 USB usage deleted
8-Jan-18 60M: Clarify it is UK Usage Plan only. Further info - 5MHz - Radio Society of Great Britain - Main Site : Radio Society of Great Britain – Main Site

1 Like

Excerpts from the PDF 'Band Plans & Information" …

HF: Changes are confined to 5MHz. Revisions and in some cases removals of UK-specific designations are intended to improve compatibility with the WRC-15 band at 5351.5-5366.5kHz.

This makes 60m effectively a dynamic usage plan, rather than a traditional fixed band plan.

I take that to mean UK ops can now use CW and SSB between in the overlap with WRC15 (5362 and 5366.5).

So the RSGB has been fiddling with the Band Plans yet again.

The RSGB 60m Band Plans have no legal standing. I shall continue to operate on the band in accordance with the terms and limitations of my Licence, as I have always done.

Walt (G3NYY)

1 Like

Good luck with that, its a major SOTA frequency!