60 Meter FCC NPRM — HamRadioNow

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by K4AAQ, Oct 9, 2023.

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  1. K4AAQ

    K4AAQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yo... 60... You're Up — HamRadioNow

    Last spring, the FCC issued an ORDER and NPRM covering a lot of stuff that originated with the 2015 World Radio Conference (WRC 2015). Um… checking our calendar, we see that it’s 2023 and ¾. But who’s counting?

    For hams, we care mostly about the part concerning 60 meters. And apparently not all that many of us care about that, but we’re pressing on anyway.

    Back at the WRC, they officially approved a band plan for worldwide secondary status for ham radio on a 15 kHz wide band between 5351.5 – 5366.5 MHz. With an effective power level of 9 Watts. Ugh.

    In this NPRM, the FCC is asking if that’s what they should do. Or if they should thumb their nose at the world (as many other countries have done… especially Canada) and keep the existing 5 ‘channels’ and 100 Watt (EIRP) power level. Or some combination of the above.

    That NPRM was issued last April. We’ve been waiting for ‘publication in the Federal Register’ to make it official, and begin the 60-day comment period. And waiting. And waiting. That shoe finally dropped on September 30. But even though the NPRM promised 60 days, the FCC says you have until October 30 to file comments. We did the math. That’s 30 days. We can handle that, but it is curious.

    Meanwhile, it’s our chance to review East Coast Host Gary K4AAQ’s Genius Plan for 60 Meters once again (because we’ ve done like two shows about that just this year). And this is the first time West Coast Host David W0DHG gets to weigh in. David thinks it’s too complicated. You decide… and file your comments by October 30.


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    W4ORI and W9EBE like this.
  2. KD2GIY

    KD2GIY Ham Member QRZ Page

    60 is a good band
    K9SS, K9EZ and K4XJ like this.
  3. N0ZGO

    N0ZGO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I routinely operate with 20W and also 5W when I'm in a park with my ATS-3A rig. If we're limited to 9W, it wouldn't be the end of the world. QRP is great fun!
  4. VE7NGK

    VE7NGK Ham Member QRZ Page

    The 'Genius plan' sure loves narrow modes, what a waste of the new band. How about this, we keep the narrow modes on one of the fixed channels, and let the world enjoy the new 15khz band...
    KF7PCL and K4AAQ like this.
  5. M6ENP

    M6ENP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    for us UK Full license operators 60m is a very good DX band ,of course when the conditions are right, the possibilities are endless, as i found out one morning, when i happened to turn my radio on for the days ft8 working and there was
    a single solitary ZL station calling CQ, so quick as a flash i utilised my license priviliges of 100w on 60m, and hey presto ZL2CC in the log on 60m, end result Ocenia on 60m giving me 9 bands on all 6 georgraphic zones, imho 100w is the right max power for 60m :)
    NM9X likes this.
  6. WY7BG

    WY7BG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    KR3DX and K4AAQ like this.
  7. K4AAQ

    K4AAQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for at least acknowledging the 'Genius Plan'.

    So, you propose the narrow modes have a whole 2.8 kHz to roam about it (assuming NTIA can be pursuaded to allow more than one signal per channel)? They're gonna love that. Meanwhile, SSB ops squeeze maybe 6 'channels' into 15 kHz, plus the three other legacy channels. Well, that'd work for me, as I don't use much cw/psk/ft. But you haven't convinced me to put that in my comments to the FCC.
    KF7PCL, K0UO and N0EE like this.
  8. KA2TMU

    KA2TMU Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thank you for posting the link to comments.
  9. K9ZU

    K9ZU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Your genius plan makes no mention of the CW slots on the channels... The original digital method!!
    W0DN, KF7PCL, VE7NGK and 1 other person like this.
  10. KQ1V

    KQ1V Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I never tried 60 m... spun the dial a few times to listen in on the Moose and Squirrel Net. Isn't one channel supposed to be dedicated for FT-8/FT-4 under the Gentleman's Agreement? As I look at the US Amateur Radio Bands (ARRL rev. 9/22/2017) shows all five channels can use: USB phone, CW, RTTY, and Data.

    I think I'll tune up on CW there this morning.
  11. KR3DX

    KR3DX Ham Member QRZ Page

    The fact that only one narrow band signal (CW, digital, etc.) is allowed per current channel is ridiculous. This is a waste of almost 3kHz per channel (a potential 15kHz total) of VERY limited spectrum in a portion of the HF bands that has unique propagation characteristics. The proposed 15kHz contiguous allocation should allow all modes with a 9W power limit, and the current 3kHz channels should be retained for SSB voice ONLY, with the current 100W ERP limit. This would provide the maximum efficient usage of the 60M allocation, and it would be the best possible resource for emergency communications.
    KB7TMV, AD4ZU, KF7PCL and 3 others like this.
  12. VE7NGK

    VE7NGK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, here's a more direct way of looking at it. The 60 meter band is used by government and emergency services - as primary users, and as such we are secondary users of that band. Thus, it should only be populated by modes that are listened to by human ears - not computers. This approach to the FCC just might improve the chances of getting not only the 15khz segment, but also keeping the other channels. As far as narrow modes? Don't they have their own dedicated band, something to do with 30 meters... ?
    AD4ZU and N3AZB like this.
  13. K4AAQ

    K4AAQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I didn't specify what the little green lines for 'narrow' modes would be, but CW is one of them.
  14. K4AAQ

    K4AAQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    If there is a 'gentleman's agreement' it never reached me. Still, one FT signal tying up 2.8 kHz? Makes no sense (CW either)
    K4XJ and N5PNZ like this.
  15. K4AAQ

    K4AAQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here in the states, the NTIA went along with digital modes on the current channels, but limited it to 'one signal per channel'. If they're worried about knowing who's transmitting, they must have the freely available software to decode that signal (there's no requirment to ID using either voice or cw). If they have that software, they can decode 10 signals as easily as one signal.

    Anyway, my 'genius plan' does recommend limiting the 4 outside-the-'band' channels to USB voice, as 'the band' can then accommodate many narrow mode signals. It's not for easier identification, just separation of not-very-compatible modes.

    As for 30 meters - that is a really good band for propagation almost everywhere, day and night. But what missing is the close-in NVIS territory between 'next door' and about 400 miles (daytime). That's what 60 meters does that no other band can. Even 30 meters.
    KE4DIS, KB1FUA, N3AZB and 2 others like this.

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