The 60 meter band or 5 MHz band is a relatively new amateur radio allocation (not strictly a band), first introduced in 2002, that was originally only available in a few countries, such as the United States, United Kingdom, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Irelandand Iceland. Over a number of years however, an increasing proportion of countries’ telecommunications administrations—together with their government and military users—have permitted Amateur Radio operation in the 5 MHz area on a short or longer term basis from discrete channels to a frequency band allocation.
On November 18, 2015, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) approved a worldwide frequency allocation of 5351.5–5366.5 kHz to Amateur Service on a secondary basis. The ITU’s allocation limits amateur stations to 15 Watts effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP); however, some locations will be permitted up to 25 W EIRP.The allocation will not come into effect until January 1, 2017. Amateur stations will not be able to use this allocation until their national administration implements it. Prior toWorld Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15), all allocations made by individual administrations were in accordance with Article 4.4 of the ITU Radio Regulations, which requires non-interference with other radio services.
Where two-way amateur radio communication is authorized on 60 m, it has generally been within the frequency range 5250–5450 kHz, but the whole of this range is not necessarily available and allocations vary significantly from country-to-country.
In a number of countries the allocation is channelized at present, whereas others have block or band allocations. Voice operation is generally in upper sideband (USB) mode to facilitate inter-communication by non-amateur service users if necessary. In theUnited States and its Dependencies it is mandatory. Where channelization is used, the USB voice ‘dial’ frequency is normally 1.5 kHz below the quoted channel frequency (e.g. 5403.5 kHz is the USB voice ‘dial’ frequency for the channel 5405 kHz).
Amateur equipment made in Japan and surrounding countries often did not support this allocation, since it is not currently available in those countries. However it is usually possible to modify equipment to work correctly on these frequencies within the terms of the individual’s licensing conditions. More recently, commercial amateur radio equipment manufactured in Asia destined for the North American market has begun to include provision for US 60m/5 MHz operation.
Lying approximately halfway between 80m (3.5 MHz) and 40m (7 MHz), the 60 meter (5 MHz) band forms a communication bridge when propagation effects make use of 80 or 40m impossible for local-to-medium distance communications – often needed in emergency communication scenarios where there is no existing normal communications infrastructure or it is devastated. Less affected by D-Layerabsorption than 80m, the 60 meter (5 MHz) band is an ideal candidate for Near Vertical Incidence Skywave (NVIS), the most commonly used technique capable of providing seamless local-to-medium distance HF communications. Information about the Ionosphere‘s Critical Frequency (foF2) at any one time is highly important for setting up and maintaining reliable NVIS radio links. This information can be found online from Ionograms produced by local ionosondes at this site
The 60 meter band first became available to General, Advanced or Amateur Extra class US radio amateurs in 2003. The five ‘channels’ currently used for 60m in the USA (ITU Region 2) are:
|Center||‘Dial’ Frequency (USB)||‘Unofficial’ Channel Designation|
|5332.0 kHz||5330.5 kHz||Channel 1|
|5348.0 kHz||5346.5 kHz||Channel 2|
|5358.5 kHz||5357.0 kHz||Channel 3|
|5373.0 kHz||5371.5 kHz||Channel 4|
|5405.0 kHz||5403.5 kHz||Channel 5|
|60 m||5330 – 5406|
|General, Advanced, Extra|
|Note: US licensees operating on 60m with emissions of upper sideband voice, suppressed carrier, 2.8 kHz bandwidth (2K80J3E), should use the dial frequencies indicated on this chart|
|60m Amateur Radio Bands|
|BAND LIMITS kHz||USB VFO DIAL LIMITS||LOCATIONS||OPERATING
|5351.5 ~ 5366.5||5351.5 ~ 5363.5||Worldwide
(after 1 January 2017)
ITU Region 1 =15 Watts EIRP
ITU Region 3 =15 Watts EIRP
ITU Region 2 = TBD (Mexico = 20WattsEIRP. Central America, South America, Caribbean = 25WattsEIRP)
|5060.0 ~ 5450.0||5060.0 ~ 5446.5||Somalia|
|5250.0 ~ 5310.0||5250.0
|5250.0 ~ 5450.0||5250.0
|Denmark, Grenada,Trinidad & Tobago,Greenland, Samoa
||An International 60m Amateur Radio Band with Secondary status has been proposed within this spectrum segment (after WRC15 in 2015).|
|5250.0 ~ 5400.0
|5260.0 ~ 5410.0||5260.0
|Norway, Iceland,Slovakia, Croatia
|5275.0 ~ 5450.0||5275.0
||3kHz bandwidth USB or CW.
Temporary permission until WRC-15.
|5350.0 ~ 5450.0||5350.0
|Hungary||Requires individual request.|
|5418.0 ~ 5430.0||5418.0
||Cuba allows only communications between stations within its borders; no contact is allowed with other countries. SSB, CW, and PSK31 and PSK63. 50W.
|60m Amateur Radio Band Segments|
|5258.5 ~ 5264.0
5276.0 ~ 5284.0
5288.5 ~ 5292.0
5298.0 ~ 5307.0
5313.0 ~ 5323.0
5333.0 ~ 5338.0
5354.0 ~ 5358.0
5362.0 ~ 5382.0
5395.0 ~ 5401.5
5403.5 ~ 5406.5
|UK||UK has multiple splintered band segments.|
This information was compiled from official and unofficial sources worldwide. Telecommunications authorities in various countries have also allowed specific operators or stations to use 5MHz as a part of their individually licensed frequency assignments
5MHz Yahoo Group
For those who are interested in staying more informed or participating in further discussions about changes in 5MHz internationally, please join the international 5MHz group on Yahoogroups.
60m/5 MHz Activity Spotting Sites:
- DXSummit 5 MHz page
- DXWatch: 60m page
- Hamspots 60m page: http://hamspots.net/60/ ( particularly inclined towards digimodes )
- Reverse Beacon Network : 60m page ( CW Skimmer system )
- 60 Meter DX Logger: http://dxworld.com/60mlog.html
EH antenna calculator
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