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ARRL Requests Feedback for 60-Meter Band Plan:

from The ARRL Letter on January 12, 2012
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ARRL Requests Feedback for 60-Meter Band Plan:

In November 2011, the FCC released a Report and Order detailing new rules for the 5 MHz (60 meters) Amateur Radio band As of January 12, these rules have not yet been published in the Federal Register. In order to be official, the rules must be published in the Federal Register and will take effect 30 days after the publication date. The R&O brings with it a number of changes for 60 meter operators. Considering the expected increase in 60 meter activity when the R&O finally takes effect, the ARRL is asking for feedback to assist in crafting a proposed band plan. Read more here


The ARRL Letter

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ARRL Requests Feedback for 60-Meter Band Plan:  
by KQ6XA on January 13, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
USA: 5MHz for EMCOMM, not Ragchew, not Contest/DX

The 60 meter ham band has quite different operating privileges in various countries of the world. The frequencies, rules, purpose, regulations, operating procedures, and levels of priority are all different in each country.

In USA, the 5MHz channels for ham radio were specifically requested, justified, and approved primarily for Emergency and Disaster Communications. The stated justification is the need for NVIS and regional disaster response communications to fill in the propagation gap between 40 meters and 80 meters. The process of the Amateur Radio Service gaining access to these 5MHz frequencies was long and exacting.

Recently, due to another multi-year process of proposal and rulemaking, FCC increased the privileges slightly for hams on 5MHz. However, the FCC put even tighter technical restrictions on 5MHz operation than on any other ham bands. 60 meters is not a normal ham band.

In this new ruling, FCC re-affirmed and clearly spelled out major restrictions for hams on 5MHz. Hams are secondary users (or less) and the Primary users of the 5MHz channels must not be interfered with in any way.

Non-interference with a Primary user isn't just a matter of stopping transmitting if you are asked to. It can also mean refraining from transmitting, if there is any chance that you might be preventing a Primary user from utilizing or starting communications on the channel, even if you are not asked specifically. The only way we can hope to fulfill our requirement for non-interference, is to use very short transmissions and listen/watch carefully between transmissions.

What are some common amateur radio operating practices that may not be suitable for 5MHz 60 meter band operation in USA?

1. Calling CQ DX.
2. Long CQs.
3. Longwinded ragchews.
4. Calling in pile-ups.
5. High power transmissions.
6. Contesting.
7. Sending a long brag file on PSK31.

In order to be ready for Emergency/Disaster Communications, hams need to have good familiarity with the band and have equipment capable of operating 5MHz. Hams can only do this by participating in active operating on the 5MHz band. Somehow, we need to achieve a balance between a good level of activity and the requirement for non-interference. Finding this balance may be difficult, but for the most part, hams are quite adept at good operating habits.

Every ham operator transmitting on 5MHz must pay special attention to the different operating methods and procedures that this unique authorization requires.

There are proposals in the works to create an international ITU allocation of a 60 meter Amateur Radio Service band with Secondary status.

If hams in USA are found to be operating in ways that disregard the spirit of the requested, justified, and approved reasons for which we obtained 5MHz privileges, then it may be extremely difficult to ever get FCC support for increased spectrum.

Bonnie Crystal KQ6XA

2012 HFLINK. All Rights Reserved.
RE: ARRL Requests Feedback for 60-Meter Band Plan:  
by AE6RO on January 14, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
Well I converted a Heathkit to go on 60 meters but the Draconian requirements gave me pause.

As far as I know from the NTIA who actually has jurisdiction here, hams can only use Upper Sideband (USB). The stated reason being that if an Emergency happened, the Feds could quickly clear the frequency. This would not be so easy if the channel had PSK-31 or CW.

Too bad because it is in an interesting part of the spectrum. John
ARRL Requests Feedback for 60-Meter Band Plan:  
by N4QA on January 14, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
Regarding new FCC rules for the US 60m amateur band:

The following URL:

redirects to a search of *all* US Gov't publications for FCC-11-171.
The first hit there was for the document sent from FCC to the Pres. of the Senate, which was then sent to committee. Apparently, the new rules are being held up by the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation !

To search only the Federal Register for same, I created the following Tinyurl :

Use either of the above URLs for up-to-the-minute notice notification of the publishing of the new 60m rules in the Federal Register, straight from the horse's mouth !

Bill, N4QA
RE: ARRL Requests Feedback for 60-Meter Band Plan:  
by WA2NTK on January 15, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
The 60M band as originally set up was just fine. Great local qso's with no qrm, single mode use with no band plan for anyone to ignore and yes some DX. Simple antennas and low power being the rule. Now once again as it had done so many times the ARRL is at the forefront of screwing all of this up. Want higher power levels, digital modes and CW? Try one of the other 10 HF bands.If you allow or support these proposed changes then in no time 60M will loose its uniquness and be just like all of the other HF bands. You just can't please everyone. Please someone in their right minds tell me what's wrong with the band the way it is? Seems that in this ever increasing instant self gratification soceity we live in everyone wants everything right now. Just leave the band the way it is. Ralph WA2NTK
RE: ARRL Requests Feedback for 60-Meter Band Plan:  
by AE6RO on January 15, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
I don't think there is that much to worry about. The National Telecommunications and Information Agency is part of the Commerce department. So that Senate commitee probably never will pass the revised rules.\
Think national debt. John
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