Welcome to Tropical band

To most people the phrase "tropical bands" bring a pretty clear picture to mind - a bunch of shirtless guys playing calypso music. But to experienced shortwave DXers those two little words express the most challenging and enjoyable part of the radio hobby. The phrase kindles memories of a DXer's best catches and favorite QSLs, of exotic stations, music and of early morning listening sessions. (Don Moore)
I like the "Tropical band" name for new 60m allocation. (OK1RP)

Effective from 1st Jan 2017 please paper QSL via OM-bureau only.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

VP2M - Monserrat on 60m ?

The"Buddies in the Caribbean" mini-DXpedition group is off to VP2M (Montserrat) April 8-16th, 2012 with a new group of operators who have never experienced the "other side of a pileup"! We will have two of the new Elecraft KX3's (Ser#23 and #24) with us! We believe this will be the first DXpedition using the new KX3 radio!
Because of severe baggage limits on the Antigua to Monserrat flight (one bag under 50 lbs!), we will be limited to 100 watt or less low power radios and the Buddipole portable antenna systems. Yet our goal is to demonstrate "ultralite" dxpeditioning into magnificent "vista" locations, operating a field portable, battery-only KX3 radio with backpackable, lightweight antennas and most of all "having fun" on the "volcano isle".

The eight operators are: Budd/VP2MFF (W3FF), Guy/VP2MUN (N7UN), Paul/VP2MVO (KB9AVO), Larry/VP2MLR (W7DGP), Russ/VP2MQR (N7QR), Tom/VP2MTM (K2GSJ), and Chris/VP2MYZ (N2YYZ). There will be several Gingerbread Villa stations in operation on 160-10m using CW, SSB, and RTTY or PSK. At the same time, several teams will be battery-only, field portable either from Montserrat beaches or scenic mountain tops with the KX3 and signing callsign/p.

QSL via LoTW, eQSL,or mail to the operator’s home callsign (SASE required).

Posted by Guy, N7UN

There is nothing promised about the 60m band but we should check the band for their operation... All depends to the local conditions and mountains scenario.

73 - Petr, OK1RP

Canada on 5MHz - by Paul, G4MWO

Hi Petr and Joe,

Canadian amateurs were allowed at the beginning of April 2012 by their regulator, Industry Canada, to apply for special interim 5 MHz/60m. development licences under the VX9 callsign series. This provides for the same facilities accorded to US licensees. Following discussions with the Canadian national amateur radio society, RAC - Radio Amateurs of Canada and the implementation of the US FCC new 60m rules in March 2012, Industry Canada is to issue a consultation notice for Canadian radio amateurs in the government Canada Gazette. At the conclusion of this process Industry Canada intends to make general availability of 5 MHz/60m frequencies to all Canadian amateurs. In the meantime they invite amateurs to apply for a special interim 5 MHz/60m developmental licence in order to have the opportunity of gaining early access to these frequencies. ( Source:- RAC Bulletin 2012-021E - Update on 60 Metres )

An amateur holding the Basic + (with Honours) or the Advanced Certificate will be eligible for licensing on these frequencies.

First to be licensed was Russ Hemphill, VE3FI with the special callsign VX9GHD. Russ commented in QRZ.com "This band is badly needed for Emergency Communications, when conditions on 40 and 80 are not suitable for transmitting or receiving traffic."
Look for Russ and other new Canadian 60m Developmental licensees on the usual spotter sites and/or the 60m page of the Reverse Beacon Network http://www.reversebeacon.net/dxsd1.php?f=163

Stephen Arkell, VE3SHA, wrote to his local Industry Canada field office and got an official reply as to what the status is and current Canadian amateur 60m/5 MHz regulations are. He kindly re-posted that in QRZ.com, so I've copied it and attached it as a Word doc as it's rather long. The main thing is, though, that it basically follows the US criteria.


Paul Gaskell, G4MWO

Editor, The 5 MHz Newsletter
(current edition)
G4MWO's Worldwide 5 MHz Amateur Allocations Chart
UK GB2RS RSGB News Service 5 MHz Newsreader
Member of Original RSGB 5 MHz Team (2002)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Spring Edition of The 5 MHz Newsletter by Paul, G4MWO available

Hi All,
The Spring Edition of The 5 MHz Newsletter has now been published and features information on the recent WRC-12 conference.
A subscription is not needed and the Newsletter can be freely read or downloaded from Google documents at
A paper copy can be obtained by sending an SASE large enough to take folded A4 to the Editor, G4MWO, who is QTHR and on QRZ.com.
A chart is also maintained of current Worldwide 5 MHz Amateur Allocations. This can be found at
Paul Gaskell, G4MWO
Editor, The 5 MHz Newsletter

Big thanks to Paul for great job !

73 - Petr, OK1RP

NTIA Clarifies Position on 60 Meter Digital Privileges

NTIA Clarifies Position on 60 Meter Digital Privileges

In response to requests for clarification from the ARRL, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has confirmed that it has no objection to the use of a broader range of data emissions by amateurs on the five 5 MHz frequencies on 60 meters. ARRL’s original understanding was that the NTIA preferred that the use of 2K80J2D emission be limited to Pactor III. The NTIA now says that that is not the case.

In an e-mail response to ARRL Cheif Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, Karl Nebbia, Associate Administrator of the NTIA Office of Spectrum Management, stated, “NTIA has no interest in limiting the types of emission used by the amateurs as long as the data emission does not exceed the 2.8 kHz bandwidth generated by the upper sideband transmitter.” Nebbia referred all further inquiries to the FCC, which “…sets the conditions for use of the five 5 MHz frequencies by the amateurs.”

The requirement of only one signal per channel remains, as well as the prohibition against automatic operation. 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.

Channel USB Suppressed Carrier (kHz) Center (kHz)

1 5330.5 5332.0

2 5346.5 5348.0

3 5357.0 5358.5

4 5371.5 5373.0

5 5403.5 5405.0

The ARRL advises amateurs to operate with care when using digital modes in consideration of the fact that hams are secondary users on these frequencies. See the revised 60-Meter FAQ page on the ARRL Web, as well as the revised ARRL 60-Meter Recommended Practices document.

Thanks to W8GEX for sharing these information thru email.

73 - Petr, OK1RP

Friday, March 2, 2012

CW on the 60m band coming for US hams on 5th March 2012

Beginning on 5 March U.S. hams holding General class or higher licenses, may begin to use C.W. on the 60 meter band. Here is some guidance from the American Radio Relay League that specifically relates to C.W. operation:

CW operation must take place at the center of your chosen channel. This means that your transmitting frequency must be 1.5 kHz above the suppressed carrier frequency as specified in the FCC's Report and Order. Operating at strict channel-center frequencies may come as a disappointment to many, but cooperating with the NTIA is key to expanded privileges in the future.

The channel center frequencies are …

Channel 1: 5332.0 kHz
Channel 2: 5348.0 kHz
Channel 3: 5358.5 kHz
Channel 4: 5373.0 kHz
Channel 5: 5405.0 kHz

Consult your transceiver manual. Some transceivers transmit CW at the exact frequencies shown on their displays, but others offset the actual transmission frequency by a certain amount (for example, 600 Hz). If your manual is not clear on this point, contact the manufacturer. If youhave access to a frequency counter, this is an excellent tool for ensuring that your CW signal is on the channel center frequency.

Posted on FOC mailing list. More details about the new 60m regulations can be found on the ARRL's web site.

73 - Petr, OK1RP

Monday, February 27, 2012

New 5MHz NoV proposals Litmus Test (UK hams only)

New 5MHz NoV proposals Litmus Test

The problem that we would like to address is “how do we respond to the offer that has been made by the MoD”? This topic is open to all UK radio amateurs.

To answer this question there are two source documents to consider.

Response from MoD, Feb 2012 (1-page/79KB PDF)

Draft reply from RSGB (1-page/121KB PDF)

The latter document is the starting point for the “Litmus Test” discussion.

The Litmus Test will use a web discussion forum to seek views and thus develop this draft reply. Two people will chair/moderate the discussion in order to keep the threads on-topic and to maintain the list etiquette. People who start to discuss an off-topic issue will be asked to move it to elsewhere, and/or raise the issue with the RSGB through the Have your Say facility. The list discussion will go live on Thursday 1 March, and will run for a few weeks to see if a consensus can be reached.

5 MHz NoV proposals Litmus Test (Link to Forum to go live 29 February)

Orig. posted here:

73 - Petr, OK1RP

Friday, February 24, 2012

The 60m band plan update

ARRL's webpage has a news item linking to our 60 M Recommended
Practices document. The article's URL is


We'd be glad if you publicize this and post a link to it. Due to work
and vacation schedules this didn't get publicized quite as soon as
we'd hoped but it's still more than a week in advance of the new
privileges. The folks that are itching to get on probably already
have a handle on the technical issues, for the most part.

Approval of the document came just in time for a two-page article in
April QST. The article has a "friendlier" style that the raw document,
and should be arriving in mailboxes not long after the implementation
date for the R&O.

MANY THANKS for your suggestions, and your interest in 60 Meters.

73 Bruce K0BJ

Thanks to Joe, W8GEX for forwarding an email from Bruce, K0BJ.

73 - Petr, OK1RP

Thursday, February 16, 2012

WRC-12 Day 24, 15 February 2012 – New Agenda Item

RSGB site 5MHz band WRC news:

To be correct, early morning on the 16th… the final reading of Resolution COM6/12 was approved at 03.20 this morning, 04.20 Geneva time. Nine hours after the evening session of Plenary started, the final addition of one preposition finalised the wording of the 5MHz future agenda item. The Resolution is reproduced here in full.

Resolution COM6/12 (WRC‑12)

Possible allocation to the amateur service on a secondary basis at around 5300kHz

The World Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 2012),


a) that amateur stations are regularly used for emergency radiocommunications in the event of hurricanes, typhoons, floods, fires, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and other disaster situations;

b) that Recommendation ITU‑R M.1042‑3, on disaster communications in the amateur and amateur-satellite services, encourages the development of such services capable of providing radiocommunications in the event of natural disasters, and recommends that their networks be robust, flexible and independent of other telecommunication services and capable of operating from emergency power;

c) that communications in the HF bands allocated to the amateur service play a major role in work to mitigate catastrophes and in the delivery of communications in support of relief operations in areas where the telecommunication infrastructure is weak or has collapsed;

d) that the various frequency bands allocated to the amateur service are contained in the Table of Frequency Allocations in Article 5 of the Radio Regulations,


a) that radiocommunication in the HF bands is dependent on propagation factors, with the result that frequencies in different bands have to be used to maintain stable communication for a relatively sustained period of time, with frequency changes in the case of communications with different correspondents located at very different distances;

b) that it is essential that, in all cases, the maximum usable frequency (MUF) should not be excessively far from the next band allocated to the amateur service, so as to permit the setting up of communications in this band using typical amateur service antennas and power levels;

c) that, in the current allocations to the amateur service in the HF bands, there is a significant jump, which causes many problems in terms of communication when the MUF falls below 7MHz and the lowest usable frequency (LUF) is above 4MHz, with the result that amateur stations would need to be able to access spectrum at around 5MHz in order to fulfil their communication functions, particularly when they are engaged in providing emergency communications in response to disaster situations,


a) that the band 5250-5450kHz is allocated to the fixed and mobile services, except aeronautical mobile, on a primary basis;

b) that an allocation of an appropriate amount of spectrum, not necessarily contiguous, to the amateur service at around 5300kHz would be adequate to better satisfy its needs associated with use for providing communications in disaster situations and during relief operations;

c) that the band 10100-10150kHz is already allocated to the fixed service on a primary basis and to the amateur service on a secondary basis, and that effective use of both services has been possible,

resolves to invite WRC‑15

to consider, based on the results of the ITU‑R studies referred to in invites ITU‑R below, the possibility of making an allocation of an appropriate amount of spectrum, not necessarily contiguous, to the amateur service on a secondary basis within the band 5250-5450kHz,

invites ITU‑R

1. to study spectrum requirements for a secondary allocation to the amateur service within the band 5250-5450kHz;

2. to carry out sharing studies on the impact to other services currently allocated in the band referred to in invites ITU‑R 1 and in the adjacent bands;

3. to complete studies in time for WRC‑15.

73 - Petr, OK1RP

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

WRC-12 Day 22, 13th February 2012 – 4th and final week

The actual news about our 5MHz band allocation from WRC-12 see below:

During the afternoon session of COM 6 the draft agenda for WRC-15 and the preliminary draft agenda for WRC-18 was approved and sent to the Plenary session. With the exception of the UAE, who reserved their position, there were no objections to the amateur service proposal for a 5MHz allocation. The evening session dealt with the approval of the Resolutions associated with each agenda item.

73 - Petr, OK1RP

Friday, February 3, 2012

UNITED KINGDOM 6 Feb 2012 Elizabeth II marks 60 years as Britain's queen

Hi all,

although it is not dedicated to ham radio or 60m band directly...

I would like to quickly
commemorate Her Highness Queen Elizabeth II who ascended (back then as Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth of York) the throne of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland between 00:00-07:00Z on 6.Feb 1952, following the death of her father, King George VI.

I would like to ask our UK members if there will be some special event station
active on the bands please?

More over here: http://www.mandysroyalty.org/Queen.html

Thank You,
73 - Petr, OK1RP

FCC 60m Band Change Rules Published In Federal Register On 03 February 2012


I am posting the announcement from MRCG by Mike, KK5F as follows:

The new FCC 60 meter band rules that were announced on 18 November 2012

have finally been published in the Federal Register today, 03 February 2012

That means they become effective 30 days from today, on 05 March 2012.

(1) Use of the existing 5366.5 kHz (carrier) is removed, replaced by 5357.0 kHz (carrier, for all modes except CW).
(2) Maximum ERP raised from 50 to 100 watts PEP.
(3) Three emission modes (CW, RTTY, Data) are authorized in addition to the existing USB mode. NOTE: CW mode carrier must be on the assigned frequency, of the authorized channel, not 1.5 kHz below the assigned frequency as it is for other authorized modes. That makes a significant difference when switching between CW and any other mode!

Mike / KK5F

Monday, January 9, 2012

W2PM Mini Diamond RX loop by OK1RP - part I.


as I am still looking for the receiving antenna which will allow me to improve the receiving performance on my pocket size QTH (250msq) I was very happy to get construction details and description of receiving loop with name Mini Diamond from Pete, W2PM. I have to say that Pete is real gentleman and he provided a lot of effort to help me with RX antennas. Pete helped me to understand how to build the very small loops effectively for 160m-60m band.

So after some time I decided to start with building the Mini Diamond loop and as Pete said I am making it as large as possible. All will be posted here step by step according to the progress of building. You will see used hardware, construction, mounting process, measurement and testing of the final product as same as the on-air results. If the antenna will not work then You will be able to check where I made the fault and learn from it to avoid Your own issues.

Today I will show You few pictures from building the main cross support.

bamboo tickness

I decided to use bamboo as the main cross support because all the other materials seemed to me worse. Fiber glass poles are too brittle, plastic poles used quite often as potatoes support on the garden are too heavy and short as same as wooden poles. On the picture You can see the used ticknes. The only problem was in the local store with finding few bamboo poles enough straight, hi.

Cross mounting support

As the mounting support I used universal plate from the local store. You can see a lot of holes in the plate...great as I did not need to make any hole just decide for right one with the screws.

loop cross

The cross support is already done waiting for mounting the last wooden part which will be screwed on the rotor unit. I hope that it will fit to the old rotor used for light UHF antennas...

transformed for loop 1

Finally You can see the box arrived by snail mail with non-inductive resistor and 900/50ohms transformer units all in nice water resistant plastic houses.

transformed for loop 2

If You are interesting in this RX Loop kit then be noted that they are available for loops, Beverages and also Ewe antennas in different versions like BNC, F connectors etc.

That is all for now and see You soon with some progress with building the loop.

73 - Petr, OK1RP

Sunday, January 8, 2012

60m band in CT - all licenses renewed for 6 months!

Hi all,

great news for all of us arrived from Jose, CT1EEB:

Good morning,
Just to let you know that Anacom is renewing all 60 meter band licenses for 6 months.
I have actually asked a one year renewal but the license is good until th3 30th of June 2012.
Same conditions as before:

5288,5 kHz
5371,5 kHz
5403,5 kHz

Modes: A1A and J3E

No power limit so we assume its the power authorized in our regular Ham licenses, for me is 1500 Watt, but really I never go over 100 Watt in 5 MHz.

A report as to be submitted to Anacom and the Army in the end of each period.
About activity, I'm not sure how many States I have for WAS but surely not all of them, I still find it difficult to work the 6 and 7 call area States. I give a try with Hawaii but no luck and never was able to contact that KL7 station that has been active.
For DXCC I have 46 DXCC entities at the moment, almost reaching the magic number of 50 and become one of the 50 plus club member, Hi!
73 Jose CT1EEB
The first station ever licensed for 60m in Portugal.

I am sending big congrats for all our friends in Portugal and also for great results on 60m band to Jose, CT1EEB!

Enjoy the 60m...

73 - Petr, OK1RP

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sunset-watchers on 5MHz - II. by Peter, G3PLX

Hi all,

there I am posting another interesting comment from Peter, G3PLX about the GL phenomenon. The original article I posted already here on the blog:



I have not done any study of greyline propagation so I cannot say much about it, but I am sure that there is nothing 'magic' about the exact local sunset time, since the path is not at ground-level but high in the sky. In the case of long distance paths, there will be a big effect of the D-layer absorption, and the D-layer is much lower than the F-layer so the D-layer sunset will be only about half an hour later than at the ground and not an hour or more as it is at the F-layer height.

But, as I said in my posting, that's not the whole story and there is no sudden 'best time' at sunset, even at D-layer sunset. The D-layer absorption is getting lower and lower, starting well before the sun sets and it doesn't reach the minimum absorption until some time after sunset, so it's not clear how the 'best greyline time' will relate to the exact sunset time. If your experience is that there is a peak in the signals, then that must mean that there is another effect which is making the signals weaker AFTER darkness comes, and the peak that you experience is the overlap between (or the gap between..) the two effects. For the higher bands it may be that this second effect is the F-layer MUF dropping through the band, but I don't think this
can be true for 160m dx, so I cannot guess the answer.

But for sure there is no good reason to set your clock too accurately!
Start listening well before sunset and keep listening until much later!

Peter, G3PLX

It will be very helpful to get some comments from another DXers regarding the SS/SR effect on the propagation specially on the LF and mainly over here on 60m band.
Do not hesitate to pot Your comment below or let me know by email I can post it on the blog to share with all of us.

73 - Petr, OK1RP

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Winter edition of THE 5 MHz NEWSLETTER by Paul, G4MWO now on-line


The 2nd - Winter - Edition of The 5 MHz Newsletter has just been published and includes news and features about 5 MHz, including a chart of the current 5 MHz allocations worldwide.

You can freely access this latest edition of the 5 MHz Newsletter from Google Documents at

Although originating in the UK, the 5 MHz Newsletter invites world-wide interest, both in readers and contributors. Understandably all that we ask is when contributing items of news concerning new 5 MHz permissions or allocations, that the contributor can provide a means of official verification of such. Its size of course is dependent on news and other relevant contributions from 5 MHz operators and listeners around the world.

For those without Internet access wishing to have a paper copy of the 5 MHz Newsletter, a Self-Addressed Envelope (SAE) of sufficient size to take folded A4 sheets, together with adequate postage (or IRCs in the case of outside of the UK) will bring a copy of the latest edition. Requests should be addressed to the Editor, G4MWO, who is QTHR in the UK Callbook and on QRZ.com

Many Thanks and take care,

Paul, G4MWO

Sunday, January 1, 2012

KH6 - DXCC #27 on 60m

Hi all,

yes it is not joke! I worked Merv, K9FD/KH6 from his famous QTH on Malokai, Hawaii Isl. on 60m band...

I do not know if it is some distance record or not but definitely I will never forgot the morning when I worked him on the Tropical band. Excellent xmas gift for me although it was on 28Dec morning.

When I heard Merv from Malokai on LF bands I did not believed that it will be possible to work him also on 60m. I know that my Inverted dipole works well with apex 10m but I used just 100W legal limit and most issue on my side was reception of course.

So I decided to prepare a bit for the trial. The rotary Mini Diamond receiving loop, Mini Whip stick, Inverted V dipole w/apex 10m and 60m long BOG has been prepared for reception on the antenna switch connected to 5MHz band pass filter and connected to W7IUV high IMD preamplifier. The reception chain was then connected into the KD9SV front-end saver then directly to external RX input of the K3/Elecraft tcvr.

When I checked the VOACAP the prediction was really not optimistic.

The time for the QSO seemed to be the best around 06:00Z when Merv heard some EU on 60m band already which corresponded to VOACAP prediction.

The Solar info indicated the numbers which from my experiences does not help to us on 60m band so much so I though it will be just trial and we will have to wait for better days... unfortunately my permission was valid for last 3 days!

After some discussion with friends operating also on 60m we agreed that the major issue will be the rece
ption on my side but also the TX side must be as best as possible so I decided to check antenna for TX properly. I verified if balun connection is ok, connectors are tightened and if antennas is properly tuned in the band. Unfortunately the nite before we had short windstorm in our area and pipes supporting my Inverted V antenna bowed a bit. I had no chance to repair it so I had to be confident that all will work well in the morning.

Last check of the propagation and Ionosphere without comment...

I turned ON the radio about 10mins before the sked and I realized the band is not as noisy as it sounded nite before. Well I started to call for Merv on the 5260kHz but after few mins I realized on this frequency some carrier. It can make the reception issue for Merv so I decided to tune up a bit and started again on 5260.5kHz. For the first few mins I did not heard any sigs on 5403.5 so I did not believed that we can make the QSO. I tried to call K9FD/KH6 again and tried to switch between all of my RX antennas arranged. The Mini Diamond rotary RX loop was the best at this moment. Interesting was that the best reception and signal arriving from 360/0 deg direction.

In the noise I catch my call... Is it really Merv on the frequency? Unfortunately I did not catch any report so I tried to give a call again. I send the report for Merv and asked for report for me. In the next few mins I was amazed... I copied the report but I was not sure with the numbers. Gosh, I had to ask Merv again to be sure. Again I tried to concentrate for reception. Yes, the report is 559 definitely...559 for me from Malokai, Hawaii Isl.

The amazing QSO has been finished. I classified the signal from Merv S3 only on 5403.5 in my QTH with QSB but heard him for sure including my signal report 559 for my signal on 5260.5 frequency.

Yes, yes, yes... it is done. The distance over 12.000km on 60m band crossed over using just 100W output on my side. Also Merv used just
the Zepp antenna with an open feed line and the tuner. The same polarization of the antennas maybe helped too although the signal reflection is changing the polarization for sure.

K3 setting: dSP t3-1 / IF NAR3 / NTCH 900Hz / AGC OFF / PRE ON / Ant beamed to 360/0 deg. / FL3 / 2.3kHz used.

Thank You Merv, K9FD/KH6 for amazing morning on 28Dec11 and for giving me the new one #27 from very hard Oceania direction. Great operator, nice guy and excellent friend is Merv.

73 - Petr, OK1RP