Operating on 5Mhz

Hello guys, I have recently passed my advanced licence and are looking to start activating on 5Mhz. After reading the RSGB guidelines I’m looking for some more information on general sota frequencies and popularity. My ft817 will need modifying so is there sufficient activity to justify it?
Thanks, Matt M0IAW

The database says the following about bands and number of logged QSOs.

     7MHZ :    1401718
     14MHz :    719521
     144MHZ :    715269
     10MHZ :    309097
     5MHZ :    69061 <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
     24MHZ :    63741
     433MHZ :    52239
     18MHZ :    50767
     21MHZ :    41527
     28MHZ :    39109
     3.5MHZ :    38313
     50MHZ :    18829
     70MHZ :    8043
     1240MHZ :    2424
     1.8MHZ :    2398
     10GHZ :    347
     Microwave :    160

Modifying the 817 is a 30min job.

Congratulations !

Well done. For an SSB\CW op you will find 5 MHz to be invaluable. especially now when propagation on the higher bands is “patchy”


Congrats, Matt, for the advanced.
I’ve never activated SOTA on 60m yet, but I have worked just a few standard QSOs and I would love to be chasing SOTA on that band.
However, it seems a bit difficult to match authorised frequencies in different countries.
In Spain we are allowed to use the 60m band within the frequencies window recommended by the ITU (5351.5 to 5366.5). 15 watts of max. radiated power and 3 KHz max band width.
These frequencies are pretty similar to those authorised in the Netherlands (PA) and recently posted by Hans PA3FYG, although not exactly the same.
And different to the channels authorised for the CT (4 ch: 5288.5, 5371.5 5380.5 and 5403.5 KHz, A1A and J3E) and the UK (5288.5, 5371.5 and 5403.5 kHz plus other frequencies up to 11 channels, according to what Walt G3NYY posted recently). No idea about other countries authorisations.
I have seen several spots on SOTAWATCH about activations taking place on frequencies higher than the window recommended by the ITU (5351.5 to 5366.5), so unreachable for me… :frowning:
It would be highly welcome if SOTA activators use any of their particular licenced frequencies which are located within the mentionned ITU recommended window.
Best 73 from Guru

Congratulations on you pass!

I presume that you mean SOTA activity, so I went back through my log and found that in the last twelve months I had 123 successful chases using my FT817 and a 102-foot doublet at 25 feet high. Of these 79 were on 5.3985, 20 on 5.4035 and 5 each on 5.3715 and 5.335. Only six were on frequencies within the ITU window - our relevent available segments are 5.354 - 5.358 and 5.362 -5.3665 (our segment continues to 5.3745.) Sixty seems to give inter-UK contacts when 80 is dead and 40 very long, it is IMHO ideal for SOTA! There is a lot of non-SOTA activity and it is easy to work the nearer continental stations during daylight but the USA doesn’t usually start to be audible until after 0200 UTC.

As Andy says, the mod can be done in half an hour from unloosening the first screw to tightening the last one. I had no trouble doing it and neither my eye is as keen or my hand as steady as it used to be, so give it a go!


Excellent replies, reading up on 5Mhz there doesn’t seen to be much information on propagation, I do like to activate summits early on in the day on 40 meters for inter g contacts. Looks like the de soldering braid will on the go later. Will also make my 40 meter dipole linked. Matt M0IAW

This year so far (5.5 months)

1844 activator QSOs logged on 5MHz by activators with G* or M* callsigns.
1158 chaser QSOs on 5MHz have been logged by chasers with G* or M* callsigns.

All of 2015

2979 activator QSOs logged on 5MHz by activators with G* or M* callsigns.
1869 chaser QSOs on 5MHz have been logged by chasers with G* or M* callsigns.

All of 2008

7312 activator QSOs logged on 5MHz by activators with G* or M* callsigns.
5606 chaser QSOs on 5MHz have been logged by chasers with G* or M* callsigns.

All of 2007

14883 activator QSOs logged on 5MHz by activators with G* or M* callsigns.
11701 chaser QSOs on 5MHz have been logged by chasers with G* or M* callsigns.

This suggests that 5MHz is regaining in popularity compared with recent years and this is hardly surprising considering how poor HF propagation has been this year. You can also see that when we last in the depths of the solar cycle (2007) 5MHz was very popular in a SOTA world that only included a few Eu countries, most of which did not have access to the band, that is why I have only considered UK calls.

I’m not sure what you are looking for and at what depth but Google tells me it has 1.2million results for the search “5 mhz propagation”. Is there anything in particular you are looking for or just general stuff?

I use WSPR data to evaluate recent past propagation. Running a beacon the band last month gave some interesting results into North America at night on 60m.

The problem now is the allocations don’t align across the globe, as Guru has mentioned. What would be a potentially great DX band is limited by this factor currently.

We seemingly think propagation has got worse, what is more accurate is the timing of openings has spread in distribution. For example 15m is still open to the NA, but rather then it being near 1600 UTC as it was in the winter, it is now closer to 1900 UTC. This makes it more difficult when you still need to get down from the mountain, travel back e/t/c

I think many G activators, specifically SSB do not use the higher bands. Definitely missing out by not doing so, I had some great fun up there this winter. Running 140W does help though !


This is a factor but it should not cause us too much trouble. When I got my license in 1964 the VHF/UHF bands used the “geographical band plan” in which different parts of the country used different parts of the band. You called CQ and tuned 144-146 or 432 to 434 MHz looking for replies. This worked well then, and it should work equally well on a much smaller 5 MHz band. I suggest that people call CQ and instead of listening on their own frequency, announce which part of the band that they are going to tune. For instance I might call CQ on the old “FE”, 5.3985, on SSB and say that I am tuning 5.351 to 5.364 (the ITU band) listening for a reply, long calls please. It worked 50 years ago, it would work now, it just needs people to get used to pressing the A/B button, call on A, tune on B. I’m game to try this if our friends in other countries want to try it!


SPL is the button you want.

1 Like

SPL is great if both frequencies are known, A/B works equally well for a search.



Mod done with a very steady hand, now for the dipole. I may even get to call cq tonight… Matt

I’ll monitor 5.3985 until its time to go and watch Gardener’s World at 8.30 (GST), even if there is no NVIS I am only the other side of Brum to you so ground wave might be on!


50MHz Es Brian according to my propagation widget

It’ll help if there is any: the UKSMG map shows that a minor EU opening has finished but there is some prop in the USA.

Almost done Brian.


Listening to ragchews on FE and FM at present, try a call on 5.395 and I’ll monitor with the 817.

Thanks for the contact Brian, you were just above the s8 noise level but it was a good contact none the less. I guess the one week old 817 has a void warranty! Matt