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Giving an extended try to 60 m tomorrow on HB/BL-013

5398.5 kHz is a sort of talk frequency.
Call on 5403.5 kHz if the other one is too crowded.
We worked on 18 MHz last year- so hopefully we have another QSO tomorrow.I will listen as of 0900UTC on both frequencies- if I am up early enough.

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Quick bursts of operation on illegal frequencies are the way forward for some folks. Or a short sudden increase in power.
The card which will be issued for a “new one” just says “5 MHz”…

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Brian, you have been dismissive of split operation on 3 or 4 occasions when it’s been suggested. As long as you keep talking it down, European activators constrained by the small WRC-15 allocation will be unlikely to try it. I find the negativity really strange as you would be a direct beneficiary of encouraging WRC-15 activators to work split and listen on one of the bandlets you can transmit in enabling you to chase them. Given the chaser always has the weaker hand in the game of SOTA (chasers have to QSO with activators whereas activators can QSO with anyone) anything to enable more chaser QSOs must be a good thing for chasers. Even if it needs the activator to be more accommodating in their operating.

Encouraging split enables more 5MHz operation without recourse to “accidentally” working out of band.

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I’m not against split, I just recognise that if the activator is not aware of the need to use split then split won’t happen. Today I could have set up split and called on 5.362 but the probability is that I would have just sounded like adjacent channel QRM to Marcus. As a matter of interest, Andy, you usually activate on one of the old “Fox” channels, do you ever listen for split callers on the WRC-15 band?

Oh no! It’s groundhog day.

As Andy, 8CPZ says this has been discussed several times - hopefully at some point the UK will get the WRC15 allocation (and keep the existing “bandlet” allocations as well). Until then, I have this label on my rig:

60m overlap WRC-UK - SOTA - suggestions
CW 5354.5 or 5362.5 KHz
DIG 5366-5366.5 KHz
SSB 5355 or 5363 KHz.

OR … Split.

73 Ed.

P.S. for US <-> WRC15 - I “think” Channel 3 is the only US 60m channel in the WRC15 60m band frequency range.

I wouldn’t hold your breathe on that one, Ed.

I suspect the UK MoD thinks it’s already given UK amateurs a generous allocation (which is much larger than the WRC-15 one). From the STANAG signals you can hear between our sub-bands I suspect the MoD has good reasons not to release more 5MHz frequencies any time soon.

I find it embarrassing when UK hams complain, with 20-20 hindsight, about non alignment with WRC-15 (when there are common frequencies), or that it’s not enough (when the current allocation is highly unused), or that we don’t have one continuous band.

We supposed to be qualified radio amateurs used to experimentation. Personally, 60m is one of my favourite bands and hope more folk are attracted to it.

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Same here, I love the band. I’ve been on it since 2005, my first 5 MHz SOTA chase was in January of that year, I took part in the experimental nets to establish coverage and sunset drop-out of NVIS and even managed a transatlantic contact with 5 watts! To my mind 5 MHz is as close as possible to being the perfect SOTA band, working on NVIS in mid summer when 80 goes quiet and when 40 goes long. We need more UK activations on the band to keep people monitoring!

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Thanks :slight_smile:

I’m not sure how firmly UK operators still stick to the old “UK 60m Band Utilisation Chart” that used to pop up on the 5MHz Yahoo group from time to time. The latest version I have (from April 2016) notes the extent of the WRC-15 band but makes no concessions to the IARU band plan for that. (It places an SSB channel at 5354.0 kHz USB, JT modes between 5357.0 and 5358.0 kHz, and other digital modes from 5362.0 up past the end of WRC-15 at 5366.5 kHz.) If there is a later version then I’d hope it would resolve that better, but maybe it’s now simply obsolete.

The 2019 RSGB band plan is far less detailed, being mode-agnostic in all the WRC-15 overlap, and notes “Contacts within the UK should avoid the WRC-15 band (5351.5 - 5366.5 kHz) if possible”. The IARU band plan notes “Local nets and long rag chew QSOs should not use the WRC-15 allocation at 5 MHz”.

I think it’s mode-agnostic for a good reason. 5MHz is not like a traditional ham band with CW at one end, SSB at the other, and never the twain shall meet. With limited overlap between WRC-15 and UK frequencies we all need to be flexible on having different modes on shared frequencies.

So far, I think it’s working well. We just need to encourage more people to use the band.

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Yes understood - Australia has similar problems with incumbent users however I hear rumours that something could be happening in the U.S. to give them the WRC15 60m band (but only at 15w EIRP / 9.1W ERP).

Time will tell - at least there is “some” overlap between the UK “bandlets” and the WRC15 band - agree about the “revised” band plan that came out after WRC15 started to get implemented across several EU countries - the only addition it seemed to me was a “please avoid if possible” comment that was added, rather than trying to actually align the modes on the frequencies available. That’s something that the RSGB could do through its (albeit voluntary) band plan without OFCOM having to do anything.

73 Ed.

A release of the WARC-15 band in the UK at currently proposed power limits of 15 watts EIRP (or ERP like in EI) will only lead to more confusion.
There will be parts of high power bandlets within that section. Will they be dropped- or will they stay?
Some people will do what they always do- do as they like!

I think the 2019 RSGB bandplan has struck the right balance already. If one compares the UK bandplan with the 5 sections of WRC-15 allocation as shown at …
https://rsgb.org/main/operating/band-plans/hf/5mhz/

  1. We don’t overlap at all with the first 5351.5 to 5354.0 (CW only) section - pity for CW ops like me (just a frustrated SWL listening in hoping some would QSY up a bit)
  2. We have an overlap in the fifth 5366.0 to 5366.5 (weak signal) section for WSPR and other weak-signal modes
  3. a 4kHz fit with the second 5354.0 to 5358.0 section (any mode)
  4. no overlap with the third 5358.0 5362.0 section
  5. a 4kHz overlap with the fourth 5362.0 5366.0 section (any mode)
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Hi Andy,
It’s possible they’ve improved a little with the latest “bandlet-plans” their first attempt missed an opportunity or two as I made clear in my email to the Ham who was listed as responsible. The last time I looked at the RSGB bandplans was in 2018.
Importantly there are no “sections” in the WRC15 60m band apart from the CW at the bottom (5351.5 - 5354 KHz) and the weak signal digital modes at the top (5366-5366.5KHz). The bit in between these two sections is not segmented and in fact it is available for all modes to use so that CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8 can all use this part of the band. It’s not gentlemanly to run the modes who have their own sections, in the “common area” though. When working from the UK’s “Bandlet system” to the WRC15 band however it is unavoidable. Hence the reason I have the two possible CW overlap frequencies listed as in the “All-Mode” section of the band (which corresponds to CW channels in the UK bandlet plan).

If the middle part of the band had been defined as “SSB only”, a UK station calling CQ on CW in this part of the band should not get a reply from a German station as the band plan here (and in a few other countries) is mandatory and adherance to it is part of the licence conditions.

So I think for the time being the compromise we have, is the best we can hope for!

By the way, France is about to get the WRC15 60m band - so there should be some cross-channel SOTA contacts on 60m very soon!

73 Ed.

Hi Ed,

My use of the term section was wrt the RSGB diagram I previously mentioned where the author has divided the WRC-15 allocation into 2 red, 2 orange and 1 yellow ‘sections’ for easy comparison with the UK bandplan.

Yeah, the orange sections in the RSGB diagram - that’s exactly what I meant when I said ‘any mode’

I don’t have a strong opinion there as the band is currently under used except to agree with the bandplan that UKs having inter-G QSOs should not use the WRC-15 frequencies whatever their modes. But, if the WRC-15 guys want to QSO with the UK they can, should and are fully entitled to use the ‘any modes’ parts of the WRC-15 allocation.

That’s an “If”. Don’t think that’s stated anywhere in the WRC-15 definition. Given the narrow overlaps, we should avoid “my mode only” suggestions.

A snail could have moved faster than the French bureaucrats on this. It must be very frustrating for French amateurs and I look forward to the day we can QSO with them.


Hi Andy,
The point I was making is that it is GOOD that the middle section wasn’t defined as (e.g.) SSB only, as that would cause issues with stations from the UK working stations operating in their country under the WRC15 band plan, in countries where the band plan is mandatory.

My understanding as regards France is that the authorites HAVE now approved Amateur use of the WRC15 band, under the standard, secondary user - 15w EIRP restrictions and this will become law once the paperwork is completed - as you say this can take a little while …

73 Ed.

Okay, I got it this time. Yes, I agree.

Ha! If there was ever an understatement.

Thanks to the WIA (Australian national soceity) for the text below:

FRANCE - 60m band a step closer

French regulator ARCEP has issued a decision that will lead to radio amateurs getting secondary access to the 60m band 5351.50-5366.50 kHz as agreed at during WRC-15

This decision must now be sent to the minister for approval and publication in the Official Journal. It is only then that the band will be open to traffic, under the conditions provided by the text of the ARCEP.

Source REF in English at https://tinyurl.com/FranceREF

I think we should give Markus @HB9DIZ his thread back - how did your 60m tests go Markus??

73 / servus Ed.

Dear all

Thanks for your broad range of answers! I’ll have to lay all the essentials to a good and single picture. Let me see what frequency remains - if any, hi. I had started very simple, from activations of SOTA friends nearby on 60 m. I remember reports encouraging for SSB channels of 3 khz around my frequency of yesterday: 5357, 5360 and 5363. I started replying to nearby activators and saw this confirmed, especially 5360. So I was simply there, with open ears.

Speaking about my newly gained experience, Ed: it was a positive surprise for me, could even meet Mariusz SP9AMH/QRP or do a S2S with Paul DL6FBK/p. A smile was Reinhard, HB9DHA: we stated both that our antennas were not made for 60 m, but made a successful contact all the same. I am somewhat easy to be satisfied, so yes, and as an alternative: it did!

Will carefully read the full thread and consider any advice. Thanks again for contributing.

Vy 73 de Markus, HB9DIZ

(Edit: sri for frequency typo - 5360 vs. 3560, hi)

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