630 Meters Becoming a Mainstream Amateur Band, Experiment Coordinator Says:
The ARRL Letter
January 5, 2017
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630 Meters Becoming a 'Mainstream' Amateur Band, Experiment Coordinator Says:
The coordinator of ARRL's WD2XSH 600-Meter Experimental Group
http://500kc.com/ -- Fritz Raab, W1FR -- said in his latest quarterly
report that 630 meters is becoming quite active, with both Amateur
Radio and Part 5 Experimental stations taking advantage of the band,
which is still not available in the US.
"Band activity has been very high, and there are often more WSPR
https://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/wspr.html stations -- more
than 110 stations -- on 472 kHz than on 80 or 160 meters!" Raab said.
WSPR, which stands for "Weak Signal Propagation Reporter," is software
designed for transmitting and receiving low-power transmissions to test
propagation paths on MF and HF.
"In a sense, 630 meters has become a mainstream ham band, in spite of
not being authorized in the US," Raab said. To boost activity, a second
annual Midwinter 630-Meter Operating Activity Night will take place on
February 4-5. Details will be announced.
Raab also said in his report that MF propagation appears to be
improving as the solar cycle declines. "The paths to VK and JA have
remained good," Raab said. "This was not the case last year, so perhaps
it is an effect of the coming solar minimum. Many reports have been
received for WSPR transmissions with relatively moderate power. There
have been a number of polar and high-latitude openings to LA2XPA from
North America. Many long-time operators say that they have never seen
anything like that. There have also been a number of openings from the
US west coast deep into Europe."
Countries now permitting Amateur Radio access to the 630-meter band
include Germany, Greece, Malta, Monaco, Norway, Philippines, Czech
Republic, Ireland, Switzerland, New Zealand, Finland, Spain, France,
Poland, Bulgaria, Canada, Vietnam, Japan, Cayman Islands, Reunion
Island, and Hungary. "It appears that more than 100 DXCC entities have
permission to operate on 630 meters," Raab said in his report.
In April 2015, the FCC proposed a new secondary 630-meter allocation at
472 to 479 kHz to Amateur Radio, implementing decisions made at World
Radiocommunication Conference 2012 (WRC-12). At the same time, the FCC
allocated a new LF band, 135.7 to 137.8 kHz (2,200 meters), to the
Amateur Service on a secondary basis, in accordance with the Final Acts
No US Amateur Radio operation will be permitted in either band until
the FCC determines the specific Part 97 rules it must frame to permit
operation in the new bands. That process is ongoing at the FCC, but the
change in administration and the consequent resignation of the current
FCC chairman has put FCC action on any proceeding on hold, at least
until a new chairman is in place.
The ARRL Letter
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