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Operating on 60 meters

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by WY4K, Mar 15, 2019.

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  1. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Obviously, 60m in the US is not ideal being channelized and is not for everyone - pretty clear it's not for you :)

    But tons of folks enjoy what we have - including myself. I've had a lot of fun with the band over the years. No, it's not a workhorse band for me like for some but the propagation characteristics are really different and there's someone on just about any time of day or night.

    FT8 really eliminates the bottleneck problems posed by SSB Voice and to a lesser extent, CW. I've only ever run CW but plan to start using FT8 just since it turns a single channel into many operating frequencies.

    KP4SX likes this.
  2. AA5CT

    AA5CT Ham Member QRZ Page

    re: "but with only 5 "channels" "

    That's all that the NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration) in coordination with the FCC would shake loose with.

    NTIA "Redbook" (Policy and procedure for federal agency use of spectrum)

    Spectrum usage/service, Pg 4-11 is the 5 MHz area:
  3. N2SUB

    N2SUB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    As a DX'er, you have to understand that there are people using the HF bands that are NOT DXers (that's right, I said it!). 60m is pretty much perfect for communications between here and Florida where my Dad is. We can talk anytime between 8am and 11pm this time of year with 100 watts and a wire. So, I guess I'm one of "those people". Just because it's not usable for DXing doesn't make it any less valuable, does it?
    K5ABB, KY8D, W1TRY and 4 others like this.
  4. W8IXI

    W8IXI Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Try listening to the middle channel on 60M any night. In a band that is limited to one signal centered one frequency at a time, you will likely find six to eight FT8 signals spread across, and sometimes outside of the 2.8 khz allocation. And without the pause in transmission required by regulations to enable a priority signal to go through.

    Am I missing something? Or are we not in a "use it or lose it" situation on the band but on an "abuse it and lose it" program?
    KY8D likes this.
  5. K5ABB

    K5ABB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thank you... Got it
    AB2RA likes this.
  6. G8ADD

    G8ADD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Actually you are completely wrong. Our 60m allocation is a hodge-podge of bandlets seperated by gaps which are reserved military frequencies, and we have those bandlets on a secondary basis so if a military user shows up (and they do) we have to QSY. One of those reserved military frequencies is right in the middle of the 15 kHz wide international allocation, making it difficult to talk with continental stations on phone, hopefully this will eventually get sorted out! A unique feature of the band is that we are permitted to contact military cadet stations, giving them communication practice and us exposure to military procedures.

    A good reason to use the band is that it is often open for NVIS in summer when 80m is dead and 40m has "gone long".
  7. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I totally agree. It's a one-off experiment that has never reached completion, even after a decade+ of time. Then again, government-based users tend to never give up allocations, because they're afraid they'll never get them back. Kind of how they do with budgets... :eek:

    Also keep in mind that 60m is rather severely misused in the US. US rules still require emissions to be centered within each channel(*), when using digital modes, CW, etc., but most people don't bother. Tune to 5357 USB sometime and you'll see that most users are all over the place on that channel. So while FCC hasn't seen fit to enforce the centering rule, that's hardly the kind of behavior that is going to encourage them to spend time finding us more 60m space. :(

    (*) See 47 CFR 97.303(h).
  8. WX7P

    WX7P Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good Grief!

    I wouldn't want to be caught giving DX stations a "bad massage".
  9. ND6M

    ND6M Ham Member QRZ Page

    Actually, 97.303(h) states "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.

    You can hear signals that are "all over the place" even tho they comply with the carrier being "centered" on the center frequency.

    For FT 8, what you are hearing is not the center frequency (suppressed) carrier, you are hearing the audio frequency offset above that setpoint.

    97.303 doesn't address any audio tones above/below the center freq except to say that signals "can not occupy more than 2.8 kHz centered on each of these (suppressed carrier) center frequencies."
    W7UUU likes this.
  10. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, no, that's not what is being said there:

    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.


    You are, of course, welcome to think about the frequency centering requirement in terms of either suppressed carrier, or center-of-actual-emission. Both FCC and ARRL have discussed the 60m rule in both terms.

    But either way, both are fixed values. There is no "all over the place" allowed on 60m. There are five discrete center frequencies that can be used, not five mini-bands of 60m space.
    W9RAC and W8IXI like this.

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