NEWSFLASH! 60m band 15 KHz allocation likely in 2017

Allocation at 60 Meters Approved at WRC15

1 Like

Hi Jonathon,

Very good news.

Only a year ago I was told by “a person in the know” that 60 m was at best a very long way off for VK. This might ultimately be right. It’s not quite a done deal yet with one more level of approval to go and then action by the local spectrum agencies.

As the VK ACMA is in the middle of a complete rehash of all licencing I would expect a wait of 12 months plus here. With the limits on the band limits and erp I expect CW and digital modes will dominate.

What has been the experience with 5 MHz vs 7 MHz over there?

In particular can it fill in the NVI holes we see increasingly on 40 m now?

Those of us who have tried 80 m have found it affected by absorption and signals usually too low when you need the band to be open.

I have one rig that will be band ready if I add a LP filter but I need to check how to put the FT817 on the band.


Hi Phil,
It states in the Canadian report " It is worth reflecting that with both the U.S. and Russia committed to “no change” along with a couple of dozen more countries the outcome defied the odds. "

This I would suggest that 2017 would be the date for the countries who approved (and possibly already have a channelised 60m), where others will drag their internal feet as long as they can.

15KHz and 15W EIRP is going to make this a narrow mode QRP band, which in itself is probably not a bad thing. Who decides which modes are allowed? With only 15KHz I suspect some national soceities may push to exclude AM and SSB ?


Hopefully the powers to be in VK will give approval which will be of great benefit as 40M often gives poor local coverage due to the sunspot cycle.

With such a narrow bandwidth only narrow band modes such as CW should be permitted.

Good to hear something is moving on this.

Regards, Nick

I’d like to see FreeDV allowed as well - at half the bandwidth of normal SSB it’s less of a bandwidth hog and it is advancing technology that one day may replace SSB as the more effective HF voice mode.

I’m sure others will disagree but that’s my wish for the band.
You only need one European country to allow AM and SSB and the band is full when half a dozen stations are on.

Ed, Following your reasoning it takes only two European countries allowing FreeDV to fill the band. I think that in this 15 kHz chunk amateurs should be limited to narrow band modes of <250 or 500 Hz only and I hope for an IARU resolution on this.
I support experiments for more frequency efficient modes, but think that these experiments should take place in bands where more spectrum is available.

73, Hans PB2T@4U1WRC

Any mode should be allowed as long as the user can explain the maths behind how the modulation and signal processing works. :smile:

So far this year I have had 92 successful chases on 5 MHz, using an FT-817 as my main rig cannot be modded for 5 MHz… It tends to open for NVIS a little after sunrise and closes near sunset, and in mid summer it can close around mid day for a few hours. I would say that it is reliable, QRP to QRP, to a distance of four or five hundred miles. I have heard European stations calling into activations at more than double this distance, but bear in mind that my local noise level is S8! Of course, this overview may not apply to VK as you guys are nearer the equator and will get more solar absorption.

On some summits it might be difficult to accommodate a dipole, but a shorter doublet or loading coils might help.

About three hours after midnight the band opens to the Americas here, it seems to work very well for night time DX, but that won’t have much relevance to SOTA as not too many of us are up for overnight activations!


At latitudes like 56N, 5MHz is a great QRP band with a few provisos. When I used it as my main SOTA band the UK licence conditions effectively made it a band for experiments not everyday nets, rag chewing, i.e. not a replace for a lot of what happens on 80m/40m. This meant is was easy to find a free channel (of the 5 or so we had). The licence has changed and there are some people sat onthe same frequency hour after hour now. Secondly mid-day solar absorption in the summer is a killer for QRP. In the UK, mid-October to early-April the band is good for QRP SSB SOTA all day, just starting to go to longer skip about 30mins before sunset. During the summer it can be decidely dogdy, sometimes taking an hour to get 4 contacts. Something you could do in minutes in the Winter. It was the dodgyness that made me learn CW as 40m SSB can be so hard to find and hold a frequency when QRP SSB but 40m QRP CW is easy once you expend the effort to learn some CW.

QPSK has its its own problems. Contending with a Bit Error Rate BER would be more difficult on the ears then conventional SSB I would imagine. Its all about SNR.

AM is a wonderful mode !

That would be interesting with today’s population. It really amuses me how excited some people are getting over the new ICOM radio with direct sampling…nothing new.


Thanks Phil.

Ron - see my email ref broad banding the FT817ND.

73, John G4YSS

It is interesting to see how the narrow-band advocates are making comments about grabbing the new band - they already own 30 metres and are hungry for more! To counter this dog-in-the-manger attitude I would say that there is room for five SSB channels and the narrow band modes could use the carrier frequencies! If that feels uncomfortable to the narrow band advocates then they should have some inkling of how their ideas feel to the SSB enthusiasts! Instead of reaching out to grab territory we should be looking at ways to share bandwidth. Fair is fair!

Note that at present we in the UK have 5.354 - 5.358 as all modes and 5.362 - 5.3745 as digital, these will impinge on the new band and no doubt we will have to realign our usages to whatever the new bandplan might be.


Hi Hans, FreeDV is 1.5KHz wide so better than the 2.5-3KHz of SSB - There was some development on an even narrower version, however speech quality suffers a lot when you go under 1.5KHz at the moment. I don’t see how it’s my reasoning that says two countries allowing access will fill the band - where did that come from?

Andy the CODEC-2 used is fully documented and open source. For me it’s very technical but at least it IS available for those who wish to investigate or even improve it. I guess with your ruling I shouldn’t be allowed to run FreeDV then. I did actually update the latest user manual with the original author and run the fortnightly FreeDV net (which is why I realise how great a band 5MHz would be for inter-Europe FreeDV contacts at the present time).

As I said, this is MY wish and I know others will not be of the same opnion. I respect their opinions but at the end of the day, this could all be irrelevant if the local authorities don’t allow it (or delay it’s implementation).


To get the benefit of the narrower bandwidth we would need to invest in narrower filters, I don’t know if 1.5 KHz filters are easily available but they won’t be cheap.


The whole point is that if approved by all this will be additional to what we in the UK have at present. If it remains the only allocation some countries have we shall have to be careful and considerate as to how we use it. A likely problem will be the arrival of the big DX’ers
John G8XTJ

[quote=“G8XTJ, post:15, topic:11998”]A likely problem will be the arrival of the big DX’ers[/quote]…with their (cough) 15 watts eirp…


That depends on whether the power limit will be universal.

But that is no reason to say that hams elsewhere with just the 15 KHz cannot use SSB - after all, we have had a lot of experience with using a limited number of spot frequencies.


That was my thought, too, maybe it is finally time for digital voice.

It isn’t exactly new technology, the Space Shuttle was using it in 1981.


To an extent the bandwidth question is taken care of in the software. i.e. use a normal SSB transciever with either a PC and the free software or an SM1000 speaker mic.

Anyway, this is getting off - topic.