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A new (legal) 60m wspr frequency is active

Discussion in 'General Announcements' started by VE7BPB, May 17, 2017.

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  1. VE7BPB

    VE7BPB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello friends,

    I have been looking at the lack of 60m wspr activity in N. America and finally came up with a plan to remedy that problem. In retrospect it should have been obvious long ago.

    Firstly, the common worldwide wspr frequencies are 5.288700 and 5.366200. Unfortunately, neither frequency fits into the NA ( US and Canada) legal bandplan. So, there has been no (legal) N. American wspr operation.

    For those who don't know, wspr transmissions are conducted only on USB and are basically a 1500 hz tone that varies by a very small amount. So they are very narrow bandwidth.

    There is a channel on 60m (operations on 60m are channelized), 5357.0, that is currently used in many parts of the world for JT-65 operation, which is a cousin to wspr.

    Jt-65 is similar to wspr in that it also uses a 1500 tone as nominal center frequency, but it also allows the user to change that transmit anywhere within the USB bandwidth, defined as 2.8 Khz. However, most JT-65 users never go below 300 hz for transmit.

    So, here we have 300 hz, from 5357.0 to 5357.3 that is never used, but is a legal frequency for N. American users.

    What to do?

    Very simple.

    If you tune your wspr transmitter to 5355.7 USB, you will generate a 1500 hz tone at 5357.2, which is within the legal 60m NA channel. And because the wspr receiver bandwidth is 200hz wide, that means that being centered on 5357.2 means that you will have a buffer of 100 hz at the bottom of the channel to catch those poor unfortunates that sometimes go astray.

    This goes back to what I said at the beginning. It is a solution so obvious that I'm surprised that no one has thought of it before.

    To sum up:

    Additional use of a legal frequency that is already in use by digital users.

    No interference to the existing users.

    And finally, no need to negotiate new allotments from any organizations.

    What's not to like?

    That's my proposal.

    And for those interested, I am currently operating during appropriate hours on 5355.7 USB wspr.

    Legally.
     
    W4RAV, AL4Y and KB4QAA like this.
  2. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    When I went reading for WSPR, I found this: http://www.g4ilo.com/wspr.html ...which says this:

    WSPR is a piece of software that enables you to participate in a world-wide network of low power propagation beacons.

    Since beacons can only be run automatically on 10m and shorter wavelengths, and since the 60m sharing requirements with NTIA require hams to listen before transmission to avoid QRM to primary users on 60m, do you really plan to sit and monitor your 60m WSPR station while on 5357kHz?

    Running beacons on 60m in the US just doesn't seem like a great idea given our current regulatory limitations.

    Further...
    This is actually in clear violation of current 60m requirements for digimodes according to Part 97. See 97.303(h). JT-65 on 60m in the US has to be centered in one of the five channels. Filling a whole 2.8kHz channel with JT-65 (as is done on other bands) isn't an option for regulatory compliant operation on 60m.
     
    W9AT likes this.
  3. VE7BPB

    VE7BPB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Some good questions, that have all been addressed multiple times in the past by others.

    And, the many N.American Jt-65 users might have some input into this matter, hi.
     
  4. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm sure they will. If they are emitting JT-65 on 60m anywhere but in the center of one of the US channels, it isn't compliant with US regulations. Canada may be different, I don't know. US 60m regs are ridiculously restrictive. :oops:
     
    W9AT likes this.
  5. AL4Y

    AL4Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    97.303(h) says "Amateur operators shall ensure that their emissions do not occupy more than 2.8 kHz centered on each of these center frequencies." I don't read that as permitting only center of channel transmissions. Am I missing something?
     
  6. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, the ARRL has commented on this for a very long time now. Digital mode operations have to be centered in the channel. Your quote even uses that word.

    One example:


    On 60 meters hams are restricted to only one signal per channel and automatic operation is not permitted. In addition, the FCC continues to require that all digital transmissions be centered on the channel-center frequencies, which the Report and Order defines as being 1.5 kHz above the suppressed carrier frequency of a transceiver operated in the Upper Sideband (USB) mode. This is typically the frequency shown on the frequency display.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  7. VE7BPB

    VE7BPB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I took a closer look at both the US and Canuckian regs.

    First your quote:

    "This is actually in clear violation of current 60m requirements for digimodes according to Part 97. See 97.303(h). JT-65 on 60m in the US has to be centered in one of the five channels. Filling a whole 2.8kHz channel with JT-65 (as is done on other bands) isn't an option for regulatory compliant operation on 60m."

    You are clearly wrong here.

    US reg says:

    "(h) 60 m band: (1) In the 5330.5-5406.4 kHz band (60 m band), amateur stations may transmit only on the five center frequencies specified in the table below. In order to meet this requirement, control operators of stations transmitting phone, data, and RTTY emissions (emission designators 2K80J3E, 2K80J2D, and 60H0J2B, respectively) may set the carrier frequency 1.5 kHz below the center frequency as specified in the table below. For CW emissions (emission designator 150HA1A), the carrier frequency is set to the center frequency. Amateur operators shall ensure that their emissions do not occupy more than 2.8 kHz centered on each of these center frequencies."

    The Canadian reg is almost the same, just slightly less restrictive.

    What does it mean?

    It says that the center of the channel is the published frequency, in our case of interest, 5358.5 USB. It also says that you are allowed a total signal width of 2800 hz, centered either side of the published frequency.

    It does not have any restriction on what you do within that 2800 hz width aside from requiring it to be an SSB (USB) transmission.

    If you or I choose to transmit a single 1500 USB tone, that is just fine.

    If we decide to transmit a single 2500 hz tone, still fine.

    And again for a 100 hz tone.

    Same for any tone we choose between 1 and 2799 hz.

    And if we choose to change that tone a few hz as an encoding measure, still fine, as long as we stay on USB.

    Well, guess what? I just described the JT and wspr modes.

    The only possible snag I can see is in the US regs, but not in the Canadian regs.

    The US regs talk about setting the carrier frequency 1,5 khz below the channel center, which means the dial frequency would be 5357.0. Which is the nominal dial frequency that is used by JT mode operators in N. America. This is not mentioned in the Canadian regs.

    Here is the pertinent line in the reg:

    "In order to meet this requirement, control operators of stations transmitting phone, data, and RTTY emissions (emission designators 2K80J3E, 2K80J2D, and 60H0J2B, respectively) may set the carrier frequency 1.5 kHz below the center frequency as specified in the table below."

    Do you notice the weasel word in that line?

    That word is "may". It does not say "must" .

    The way JT mode operators change their transmit frequency within the 2800 hz passband is by literally changing the tone frequency, which is a capability built into the software.

    Wspr operators only have a limited capability to change the tone, from 1400 to 1600 hz. So the way to get to 5357.2 is to transmit a normal 1500 hz tone, but put your dial frequency at 5355.7.

    Which brings us back to the word"may".

    Tell me, can you or anybody else tell if I am transmitting a tone at 200 hz with a dial frequency of 5357.0 or if I am transmitting a 1500 hz tone at dial frequency 5355.7.

    Not unless my signal is so strong that you can hear my suppressed carrier. And good luck with that.

    So, it comes down to nit-picking and lawyering. But it's the gubmint, doesn't it always?

    Bottom line, unless someone feels the need to drag all this before authorities, I seriously doubt anybody will care.

    Regards,

    Roy
     
    AL4Y likes this.
  8. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes.
    No. See the link I posted earlier from ARRL. One signal per channel, and that signal must be centered in the channel. 1500Hz is centered. 2500Hz is not. Running three or five JT-65 signals side-by-side on a 60m channel violates the rule, since at least two of those would not be centered, and only one QSO per channel is allowed.
    Again, no, the regulation is about making sure that the emission is centered in a particular place, and ARRL's note makes that clear.
    Yes, and that's fine on basically any band but 60m. The JT-65 signal, regardless of its size, must be centered at 1500Hz above the suppressed carrier frequency. That allows only one transmission at a time on any channel. And ARRL's note says precisely that.
    And again, no, it is about complying with the regulations. At least it is in the US. I won't try to speak for Canadian regulations.
    It is entirely possible that nobody will care. A lot of stuff happens on the HF bands that is not compliant with regulations, and regulators don't seem to care. That said, even if nobody is cited for unlawful operation on 60m, it is still unlawful, and such operation dissuades NITA from cooperating with future amateur requests for more 60m bandwidth. ARRL's writings on 60m have said that since the beginning, and I agree.
     
    W9AT likes this.
  9. VE7BPB

    VE7BPB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't have time right now for further analysis, but I will leave a copy of the pertinent Canadian regs here.

    You may notice the lack of certain definitions/restrictions compared to the US regs, heh.

    "C21 (CAN-14) Amateur service operators may transmit on the following five centre frequencies: 5332 kHz, 5348 kHz, 5358.5 kHz, 5373 kHz, and 5405 kHz. Amateur stations are allowed to operate with a maximum effective radiated power of 100 W PEP and are restricted to the following emission modes and designators: telephony (2K80J3E), data (2K80J2D), RTTY (60H0J2B) and CW (150HA1A). Transmissions may not occupy more than 2.8 kHz centred on these five frequencies. Such use is not in accordance with international frequency allocations. Canadian amateur operations shall not cause interference to fixed and mobile operations in Canada or in other countries and, if such interference occurs, the amateur service may be required to cease operations. The amateur service in Canada may not claim protection from interference by the fixed and mobile operations of other countries."

    regards,

    Roy
     
  10. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    § 97.221 Automatically controlled dig-
    ital station.(IN PART SAYS)
    (b) A station may be automatically
    controlled while transmitting a RTTY
    or data emission on the 6 m or shorter
    wavelength bands, and on the 28.120–
    28.189 MHz, 24.925–24.930 MHz, 21.090–
    21.100 MHz, 18.105–18.110 MHz, 14.0950–
    14.0995 MHz, 14.1005–14.112 MHz, 10.140–
    10.150 MHz, 7.100–7.105 MHz, or 3.585–
    3.600 MHz segments.
    (c) A station may be automatically
    controlled while transmitting a RTTY
    or data emission on any other fre-
    quency authorized for such emission
    types provided that:

    (1) The station is responding to inter-
    rogation by a station under local or re-
    mote control; and
    (2) No transmission from the auto-
    matically controlled station occupies a
    bandwidth of more than 500 Hz.

    Not certain how 60 meters falls into all of this.
     

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