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60 meters

More 5MHz Information:


G4MWO Worldwide Amateur 5MHz Allocations Chart
International 5MHz Ham Radio 60 meters Band Information
60 metres, also known as "The Rock Band"
This is the first 5MHz international amateur radio website, established in 2002.
The new Worldwide 60 meter band 5351.5 kHz to 5366.5 kHz, went into effect in 2017. (but not for USA)
NOTICE: This website is not updated regularly. It provides mainly historical information.

Please See the Wikipedia 60 meter Band Page
for recent updates

As of mid 2019, amateurs in most countries are using the worldwide International 60 metre band.
Worldwide 5 MHz Channel List (Historical Reference)


Center of Channel


5102.0 5103.5
Australia Only WICEN. AXF404.
VK6 VK5 VK7 VK8 (VK3 daytime).

5167.5 5168.9
Alaska ALASKA Emergency Channel (EMCOMM and Emergency Exercise, Calling and testing, only within Alaska and its coastal waters USA)

5248.5 5250.0
South Africa
Propagation testing

5258.5 5260.0
South Africa, Dominican Republic

5278.5 5280.0
FinlandIreland, Dominican Republic

5288.5 5290.0
Finland, Portugal, Dominican Republic, Czech
UK Beacons

5289.5 5291.0
Switzerland Propagation testing

5298.5 5300.0
Finland, Ireland

5320.0 5321.4
New Zealand

5327.5 5329.0
Canada Canada Proposed

USA, Canada, Finland, St_Lucia, Caymans, Ireland, Czech, Israel EMCOMM NETS

USA, Canada, FinlandSt_Lucia, Caymans, Ireland

5356.5 Australia WICEN only. AXF405
VK8 VK4 VK2 VK1 VK3 VK7.

 5351.5 kHz Worldwide ITU Band - Limit

Worldwide Band
Standard Channel
5351.6 - 5354.1 CW.
5351.6 - 5354.1 Digital, DATA.
New Zealand (5353.0 USB).
** NO USA **


Worldwide Band
Standard Channel.

USB Voice. All Modes.
ALE (5354.5 USB).
Selcall (5355.0 USB).

Dominica (5355.5 USB 2012 NTRC S.R.O. 39)
** NO USA **

Worldwide Band
Standard Channel
This is the only worldwide channel.
USB Voice. All Modes.
USA (5357.0 USB)
DATA, Digital.
ALE (5357.0).

Worldwide Band
Standard Channel.
Emergency Centre of Activity for all ITU Regions (ECOA)
USB Voice. All Modes.
Proposed ECOA for all ITU Band Regions.
** NO USA **
New Zealand (5362.0 USB).

Worldwide Band
Standard Channel.

USB Voice. All Modes.
Selcall (5363.0 USB).

** NO USA **

Worldwide Band
Standard Channel.
CW (5366.0 - 5366.4 carrier).
Digital (5366.0 - 5366.4 signal).

** NO USA **

 5366.5 kHz Worldwide ITU Band - Limit

5366.5 5368.0
Finland,Caymans, Dominican Republic,
Czech, Israel
** NO USA **

5371.5 5373.0
USA, Canada, Finland, Greenland, UK, St_Lucia, Bahrain, Portugal, Dominican Republic,
Czech, Israel
USB Voice.
All Modes.
ALE (5371.5).

5380.5 5382.0

New Zealand

5398.5 5400.0
Finland, Ireland, Greece, Dominican Republic,
Czech, Israel
Greece:Special License.

5403.5 5405.0
USA, Canada, St.Lucia, Bahrain, Portugal, Ireland, Caymans, Niue, Dominican Republic,
Czech, Israel
USB Voice.
Emergency Center of Activity (ECOA) where this channel is allocated.
Selcall (5403.5 USB).


Australia WICEN Only. VXE580.
VKE580 Amateur Radio News Broadcasts.

 2017-2000 HFLINK. All Rights Reserved. 
60m Amateur Radio Bands (Historical Reference Only)



5351.5 ~ 5366.5 5351.5 ~ 5363.5 Worldwide ITU Band
(after 1 January 2017)

Power limits:
ITU Region 1 = 15 Watts EIRP
ITU Region 3 = 15 Watts EIRP
ITU Region 2 = To Be Determined
Mexico = 20 Watts EIRP.
Central America, South America, Caribbean = 25 Watts EIRP.
USA = Not Authorized Yet

5351.5 ~ 5366.5
5351.5 ~ 5363.5
Power Limit 15 Watts

5060.0 ~ 5450.0
5060.0 ~ 5446.5

5250.0 ~ 5310.0


5250.0 ~ 5450.0

Denmark, Grenada, Trinidad & Tobago, Greenland, Samoa
An International 60m Amateur Radio Band with Secondary status was proposed within this spectrum segment (after WRC15 in 2015).

5250.0 ~ 5400.0

5260.0 ~ 5410.0

Norway, Iceland, Slovakia, Croatia

5275.0 ~ 5450.0 5275.0
3kHz bandwidth USB or CW.
Secondary status.

5350.0 ~ 5450.0 5350.0
Hungary, Netherlands

5418.0 ~ 5430.0

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 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.
2019~2002 HFLINK. All Rights Reserved.

5MHz Standard Dipole 60 meter Band
Effective Radiated Power Referenced to a Halfwave Dipole (ERPd)
The radio rules and regulations for other ham bands usually specify the allowed transmitter power. But, for the 60 meter band, the telecommunications authority in some countries (such as USA) are specifying maximum Effective Radiated Power referenced to a halfwave dipole (ERPd). In other words, if a standard dipole is used as the antenna, then the power level measured at the feedpoint of the dipole is exactly equal to the authorized reference power. This means zero decibels of loss (or gain) relative to a dipole, and it simplifies the power calculations for the real world antennas we use every day in ham radio. 

How Much Transmitter Power Can We Use?
To determine what our maximum possible transmitter power can be, for example, to achieve 100 Watts ERPd, we must know the gain or loss of our total antenna system. The antenna system includes the coaxial cable feedline loss, and the gain or loss of the actual antenna relative to a dipole.

For this purpose, our standard halfwave dipole has no gain and no loss. If we were to attach the transmitter directly to the feedpoint of the antenna, we could transmit 100 Watts transmitter output power. However, let's say we are using 100 feet of RG-58 coax between the transmitter and our dipole... this type of coax loses about -1dB in 100ft of cable at 5MHz.. The RF power is lost in heat due to the insulation and the resistance of the coaxial wire.
  • We can increase the transmitter power by exactly +1dB to compensate for the coax loss of -1dB.
  • 100 Watts ERPd power + 1dB coax loss compensation = 125.9 Watts Transmitter Power.
So, we can legally run 125 Watts of transmitter power when using this particular dipole antenna system with 100 feet of RG-58 coaxial feedline.
  • Total Antenna System Gain or Loss = Feedline Loss in dB + Antenna Gain in dB
If your antenna has positive gain at 5MHz, such as a long wire, full wave loop or beam antenna, then you will need to reduce your power to compensate for the antenna gain. Here is a handy graph you can use to determine how much transmitter power you can run after you know your total antenna system gain or loss.
Graph of Transmitter Power for 100W ERPd Compensating for Antenna System Gain or Los

Note: For the USA's FCC regulatory compliance purpose, hams don't need to use the theoretical term dBi (isotropic antenna) or the antenna height or the ground losses in these calculations. Whatever antenna you use, compute its gain or loss as if you put a standard dipole in place of it, at the same feedpoint height and orientation. Simple antennas such as inverted-V or 1/4 wave ground plane vertical antennas have approximately no gain or loss compared to a dipole, since they are essentially forms of a dipole.

About 60 meters... "The Rock Band"
5MHz has predictable propagation qualities that combine the best aspects of 40 meters and 80 meters. In areas of the world above 35 degrees of latitude, 60 meters is often the best (or only) NVIS band during daylight hours. In more equatorial latitudes, 5MHz provides constant NVIS communications during hours of twilight and darkness. Many non-governmental and governmental HF systems around the world depend upon 5MHz daily. The Rock Band is always open to somewhere.

In 2003, when activity first began in USA on 5MHz, Bonnie Crystal KQ6XA was on the air talking with a group of stations in California. That evening, she coined the term The Rock Band to refer to the 5MHz ham band. She said "It is as solid as a rock!  ... and it is also channelized, so 60 meters seems fit to be The Rock Band." The term caught on among hams. Now, The Rock Band has become widely used for EMCOMM nets, disaster readiness, and regional QSOs.

Historical Notes on the International 5MHz Frequency List 

1) Dial Frequency: Above listed USB frequencies are "dial frequency" as you see them on your radio VFO. The center-of-channel offset is already figured out for you. (The center-of-channel is usually 1.5kHz higher than the dial frequency).

2) International USB Standard: The worldwide standard for Amateur Radio on 5MHz is Upper Sideband (USB). Other emission types and content are also in use, including digital, data, and morse code CW.

3) USA:  New rules for 2012: All General class or higher licensees are authorized to transmit 2.8kHz maximum bandwidth, using the equivalent of 100 Watts PEP to a dipole. Hams are secondary service, and must not interfere with other services. Data modes are allowed within the channel. RTTY modes such as PSK31 keyboarding must use no greater than 60Hz necessary bandwidth. Phone, Data, and RTTY modes may use the USB (suppressed carrier) dial frequency listing in the chartCW must transmit at the center-of-channel frequency only!

4) UK: As of January 2013, UK now has multiple splintered band segments of various frequencies.
Operation requires Notice Of Variation (NOV) special permit. 100Watts PEP transmitter output power (max 200 Watts PEP EIRP). All modes. Max bandwidth 6kHz, except in the 3kHz segments where it is max 3kHz bandwidth; signal must not extend outside the band segment frequency limits. Max antenna height 20m Above Ground Level.

5) Germany: ITU Band.
Historical: DRA5 Experimental Beacon, operated by DARC (DK0WCY beacon team), transmited propagation data (dial+1500Hz) CW/RTTY/PSK31.

6) Canada:  Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations 2018 Edition. Footnote C21 (CAN-18) Amateur service operators may transmit in the frequency band 5351.5-5366.5 kHz and on the following four centre frequencies: 5332 kHz, 5348 kHz, 5373 kHz and 5405 kHz. Amateur stations are allowed to operate with a maximum effective radiated power of 100 W PEP in each channel and are restricted to the following emission modes and designators: telephony (2K80J3E), data (2K80J2D), RTTY (60H0J2B) and CW (150HA1A). Transmissions in any channel may not occupy a bandwidth of more than 2.8 kHz. 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.
Canada 5MHz Historic note: In 2003-2007, an experimental licensed operation by Marconi Radio Club (VO1MRC) members used CW or USB on 5260, 5269, 5280, 5290, 5319, 5400 and 5405 kHz with 100 watts output, and issued reports on the results of the experiments.

7) Finland: Club stations may apply for authorization to operate the 5MHz channels with maximum power of 50 Watts on USB only. The USB dial frequencies for Finland are: 5288.6, 5298.6, 5330.6, 5346.6, 5366.6, 5371.6, 5398.6 kHz.

8) Australia: USB only. Wireless Institute Civil Emergency Network WIA. WICEN Non-amateur callsigns AXF404 or AXF405 or VXE580. ACMA type approved land mobile radio equipment (i.e. Barrett, Codan, QMAC, commercial Icom, etc)
registration required.
VKE580 on 5425 kHz USB - Amateur Radio New South Wales, WIA, broadcasts VK1WIA National news and local VK2WI news on Sunday morning at 10 AM local time, on this 5MHz commercial Emcomm channel. According to their website: "The transmission using the callsign VKE580 has been added to provide linking for manual relay stations. Callbacks cannot be taken on this frequency as it is currently a Commercial frequency allocation. Note that transmission is Upper Sideband (contrary to normal amateur practice below 10MHz) "

9) Remote bases and Echolink HF stations: Some HF remote base stations in USA have operated  on 5371.5kHz, using Internet Remote Base or Echolink with voice squelch and/or UHF remotes. Channelized HF operation provides excellent compatibility for remote base operation.

10) Iceland:  5260 5410 kHz band (replaces 8 channels). Maximum power 100W ( 20 dBW ).

11) Bangladesh: 5250 to 5310 kHz Amateur Applications; Amateur propagation experiments with stations of administrations permitting such activities. Secondary status.

12) St. Lucia (J6) has the same 5 channels as USA and there continues to be activity.

13) Greenland: VFO band. SSB, CW, or Digital.

14) Other countries: Some other countries reported to have 5MHz activity, officially or unofficially:
Andorra, Czech, Kenya, Greece, Columbia, Russia, Turkey, Belize, Ascension Island, Panama, Honduras, Italy, Grenada, Suriname, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Morocco, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Ghana, Slovak, Portugal, Switzerland, Croatia, Ireland, Luxembourg, Bermuda, Kuwait, Caymans, New Zealand, Ascension, Bulgaria, Ghana, Kirabati, Sierra Leone, Niue Island, and Mexico.

15) Norway: 5260-5410kHz full band with VFO at 100W. Operation with VFO within the passband of the recognised common international channels should tune directly to the channel frequency.

16) Denmark: 5260-5450kHz full band with VFO all modes. Maximum 1kw ERP, Bandwidth 8kHz.

17) Alaska Emergency Frequency, USA: The frequency 5167.5 kHz USB may be used by hams in Alaska in case of emergency, to communicate with hams or PART 90 PRIVATE LAND MOBILE RADIO SERVICES in Alaska. Max 150W PEP. Must be within 50 nautical miles (92.6 km) of the State of Alaska. May also be used for establishing communication before switching to another frequency. For tests and training drills necessary to ensure the establishment, operation, and maintenance of emergency communication systems. FCC table of frequency allocations Footnote US212.

18) Somalia: 5060-5450kHz full band with VFO all modes, as of 2004. Max 3kW. May be used to communicate with non-ham users of Somalia's license-free 5MHz band, and others. Licenses issued in Puntland. See more info on Somalia ham radio.
19) Dominican Republic: 7 channels SSB and CW.

20) New Zealand: Channel width: 2.8kHz. EMCOMM, Secondary use on a Non-Interference basis. Only for recognised AREC activities, using AREC callsigns.

21) Barbados: 100W PEP USB Voice VFO band.

22) Sweden: ITU Band

23) Update: Feb 2014. The number of countries allowing amateur radio operators to use frequencies in the 5MHz band increased during 2007-2014. Some countries do not widely publish their amateur frequency bands, or only provide special operating authorisation for 5MHz on an individual basis. It has now become extremely difficult to acquire and follow all the changes happening with 5MHz around the world. In the case of non-published telecom frequency allocations/authorizations, we rely upon private email information from amateur radio operators in each country. The channel and frequency assignments are evolving, and therefore, this site will also try to maintain some references for historical purposes.

24) Samoa:  In mid-2013 Samoan telecomms regulator OOTR (Office Of The Regulator) authorized 5250-5450 kHz at 100 Watts without other restrictions, any mode. Prior to that, there were various individual channelized temporary licenses issued.

Evening/Night Guidelines:
5MHz channels are a shared resource with many users. Especially on this band, it is very important to use the lowest power necessary for communications. The Rock Band is always open to somewhere. At night, you may find that 20 Watts is sufficient. In many countries, amateurs are secondary users and must QRT when a primary station is on the channel. For this reason, transmission time should be kept to a minimum, and it is best to wait a few seconds before responding during a QSO conversation. Considerate hams usually try to avoid longwinded ragchews during peak evening hours whenever activity is high and propagation is open for wide regional communications on the 5MHz channels. 

Useful operating techniques for the 5MHz channels:
1. Put the 5MHz channels in your transceiver memory, including the USB mode. If possible, also include narrow TX bandwidth (2.4kHz transmit filter) and the correct transmit power level.

2. Before transmitting, check your transceiver calibration against a time/frequency reference signal such as WWV on 5000.000 kHz. Select a channel, check your power setting, lock your VFO dial, and lock your microphone "channel Up/Down" switch and keypad.

3. Use your RIT or receive clarifier to tune other stations in. Do not change your main VFO dial or transmit frequency unless you discover that you are out of calibration.

4. Avoid long auto-tuning or manual-tuning times if possible. Transmission of a dead carrier, especially zero-beat, is not allowed in some countries (such as USA).

5. How to make a contact: Before starting to transmit, listen on the channel for at least 3 minutes. If it is vacant, start by just saying CQ and your CALLSIGN once using standard phonetics. Listen for any response. It is not necessary to call a long CQ on a standard 5MHz channel. Often, simply announcing your callsign and location can sometimes be enough to start up a contact.

6. If you have a very high receive noise level at your QTH, be very cautious about transmitting because you may be interfering with primary users or a QSO that is already in progress between amateurs.

7. Try to peacefully co-exist and share the channel with other ham signals in the background. Unlike other HF SSB ham bands, 5MHz is channelized and very limited. Don't insist upon a totally clear channel, because it is possible for there to be several layers of ham QSOs going on simultaneously in different areas on the same channel.
If anyone requests immediate access to the channel, acknowledge the request, and immediately stop transmitting.

8. ID more often than you normally would. Once you establish contact, say your callsign and the callsign of station you are talking to. This will help a lot when there are multiple stations simultaneously using the same channel.

9. Avoid longwinded ragchewing. Use short transmissions, drag your feet between overs, and give everyone a chance to use the channels.

10. Be open to other stations calling each other between gaps in your QSO.

11. Channel Names: Avoid saying "Channel One, Channel Two", because there are at least 20 Channels on 5MHz around the world now, and the list is growing. Also, some radios have older or obsolete channel memories for 60 meters. Among regular 5MHz operators, the channels are often called by the last few digits in kiloHertz, such as "403.5" (meaning the dial frequency 5403.5kHz).

Note: FCC Changed USA Amateur Radio 5MHz Rules in 2012

The USA FCC changed its rules for the Amateur Radio Service at 5MHz.
Here is a basic overview of the changes and rules in plain language, as they apply to the Amateur Radio Service in USA. 
  • The new rules took effect on 05 MARCH 2012.
  • The FCC adopted the use of the name "60 meter band", to refer to 5MHz amateur radio in the frequency range 5330.5-5406.4 kHz, but USA hams are still only allowed to transmit on 5 specific channels in the band.
  • The FCC changed the rules to allow: Phone (Upper Sideband), RTTY, Data, and CW; with specific new limitations on the use of these modes.
  • Amateur radio is a "secondary user" in this band, and must not cause harmful interference to other services! Amateur Radio Service must accept interference from primary, other services, and other nations services.
  • Operators transmitting data or RTTY must exercise care to limit the length of transmission so as to avoid causing harmful interference to US Government stations.
  • General, Advanced, or Amateur Extra Class license only.
  • The maximum allowed power level is 100 Watts PEP (ERP) effective radiated power referenced to a halfwave dipole. If another type of antenna is used, the station licensee must maintain a record of either the antenna manufacturer's data on the antenna gain or calculations of the antenna gain.
  • Upper SideBand Phone, Data, or RTTY transmissions may use dial (VFO) USB suppressed carrier frequency as listed. Transmissions must not exceed the 2.8kHz bandwidth channel. RTTY modes such as PSK31 must not exceed 60Hz necessary bandwidth. Data modes must not exceed 2.8kHz bandwidth. CW bandwidth must not exceed 150Hz bandwidth and the CW frequency must be at the center of the channel.
  • Section 97.221 automatically controlled digital station, excludes the 5MHz channels.
  • For compliance purposes, please rely only upon the actual FCC rules.   More info about FCC rulemaking

USA 5MHz Channel List



"5167 dot 5"

, NO QSOs ] 
"330 dot 5"
"346 dot 5"
"357 dot 0"
5358.5 [ *NEW CHANNEL 2012 ]
"366 dot 5"

"371 dot 5"
"403 dot 5"

2012, 2011, 2010, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007,2008,2009 HFLINK. All Rights Reserved.

Operating Guide for USA 60 meter Band - Modes

Mode Type or Content
Maximum Transmit
or Limitations
Emission Designator
2.8kHz or less
2.5kHz Filter Transmit Voice in 2.8kHz USB Channel
Upper Sideband Only
May set VFO dial to USB Suppressed Carrier Frequency:
5346.5 USB
5357.0 USB
5371.5 USB
5403.5 USB
Voice USB only.
Do not interfere with other services traffic.
Use USB to monitor all other modes and services.

Use LBT Listen- Before- Transmit.

Use a narrow SSB transmit IF filter setting such as 2.4kHz.
File Transfer
2.8kHz or less
USA operators sending DATA traffic: maximum bandwidth 2.8 kHz
May set VFO dial to USB Suppressed Carrier Frequency:
5330.5 USB
5357.0 USB
5371.5 USB
5403.5 USB
Must exercise care to limit the length of transmission so as to avoid causing harmful interference to US Government stations.
Use LBT Listen- Before- Transmit. Data signal should be near center of channel
(approximately 1500Hz audio).

No 97.221 automatically controlled digital data stations.
[Note: There is no 300 baud limit]

PACTOR3 or similar
data transfer modes

Texting Keyboarding
60Hz or less
5MHz USA limits digital keyboarding mode signal to 60Hz in Center of Channel
May set VFO dial to USB Suppressed Carrier Frequency to:
5330.5 USB
5346.5 USB
5357.0 USB
5371.5 USB
5403.5 USB
Must exercise care to limit the length of transmission so as to avoid causing harmful interference to US Government stations.
Use LBT Listen- Before- Transmit. Data signal should be near center of channel (approximately 1500Hz audio).
No 97.221 automatically controlled digital data stations.

Transmit signal at Center of Channel Only.

PSK31 or similar direct printing text keyboarding modes
150Hz or less
For USA operators, the CW signal should be at Center of Channel only.
Set CW transmit Frequency to Center of Channel Frequency:
5332.0 CW
5348.0 CW
5358.5 CW
5373.0 CW

5405.0 CW

Use LBT Listen- Before- Transmit.
Before and during CW transmissions:
Listen carefully for Upper Sideband signals on
5330.5 USB
5346.5 USB
5357.0 USB
5371.5 USB
5403.5 USB
and do not interfere with other services traffic.

Transmit CW at Center of Channel only.


Morse CW Telegraphy

Maximum Power Limit: 100 Watts PEP at the feedpoint of a halfwave dipole antenna, or the equivalent.
Use 5MHz Operating Techniques click here.
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Operating with a 2.5kHz filter, an Upper Sideband transmitter set at 1.5kHz below the center-of-channel frequency, with a typical voice bandpass of 300Hz to 2800Hz, the signal will just barely meet the requirements of the FCC rules for the 2.8kHz channel. 

2.5kHz Filter Transmit Voice in 2.8kHz USB Channel

For USA operators using a digital keyboarding mode, the maximum bandwith is 60Hz and the signal must transmitted at the Center of Channel only. If you use your VFO dial frequency, it should be set the same as if you were using Upper Sideband voice, and your PSK31 audio center should be 1500 Hz exactly. If you use a digital computer program that displays your signal center instead of your dial frequency, it should be set to the Center of Channel frequency. Operators should also monitor Upper Sideband voice to avoid interference.

5MHz USA limits digital keyboarding mode signal to 60Hz in Center of Channel

For USA operators, CW must be transmitted at the Center of Channel only. CW operators should also monitor Upper Sideband voice to avoid interference. 

For USA operators, the CW signal should be at Center of Channel only.

For USA operators sending DATA traffic, the maximum signal bandwidth is 2.8kHz. Operators should also monitor Upper Sideband voice to avoid interference.

USA operators sending DATA traffic: maximum bandwidth 2.8 kHz

Behind the FCC rule changes: about the FCC 5MHz Rulemaking and governmental process...  A report from FCC on the rule changes sent to the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation was assigned Executive Communication number EC-4237 in December 2011, and a communication from the Chief of the Policy and Rules Division, Office of Engineering and Technology, Federal Communications Commission, transmitting, pursuant to law, the report of a rule entitled "Amendment of Parts 2 and 97 of  the Commission's Rules to Facilitate Use by the Amateur Radio Service of the Allocation at 5 MHz" (FCC 11-171) received in the Office of the President of the Senate on December 5, 2011; to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. The summary of report and order was published in the Federal Register on 03 February 2012. The Table of Frequency Allocations for the 5.06-5.45 MHz segment was amended:
ZOOM: FCC Table of Frequency Allocations 5MHz as Amended

USA Emcomm Digital Data
The new FCC rules for 5MHz do not contain any 300 baud symbol rate limitation. Instead, the 5MHz channels have a bandwidth limit of 2.8kHz. The 5MHz ham channels are thus suitable and legal for various modems, such as PACTOR3, PACTOR4, and the MIL-STD 188-110 PSK-2400 waveforms, and others that have 2.8kHz bandwidth or less.

Automatically Controlled Data Stations are not allowed, however. So, any use of 5MHz must be with an operator active on both sides of the QSO. Still, this provides a wonderful opportunity for fast email or data traffic regional comms in Emcomm scenarios. The same QSO can be a mix of voice SSB and data;  this is a feature not available on other HF bands.

5MHz was established to serve Emcomm. It is important that all ham operators involved with HF Emcomm increase their capability for the 5MHz 60 meter band for base, mobile, and portable operation. These channels are also open for the possibility of Interoperation during emergencies with other disaster response agencies and organizations.

IARU Proposes International 5MHz Ham Band Secondary Status 150kHz Wide
The IARU Administrative Council met in Sun City, South Africa on 19 August 2011, and announced their  strategies for upcoming World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) agenda. They established 4 major spectrum allocation priorities: 
  • A harmonized allocation including amateur-satellite at 50 MHz
  • A wider harmonized allocation at 160 meters
  • Expansion of the 10 MHz amateur allocation
  • A worldwide secondary allocation of approximately 150 kHz at 5 MHz
The Council also reviewed IARU Spectrum Requirements, and indicated that "more information is needed regarding national arrangements for allocations near 500 kHz and 5 MHz".  

Although the IARU Administrative Council did not detail the exact band edges proposed, there have been other references in international conferences to the possible band limits: 5260 kHz to 5410 kHz. These are the same band edge VFO frequencies already in effect in some countries.
The ITU Table of Frequency Allocations indicates that the primary use of the band is allocated to "5250 kHz to 5450 kHz, FIXED, MOBILE except aeronautical mobile".  For more information, please see the complete IARU Administrative Council 2011 Summary Record.

World Radiocommunication Conference
Information from WRC12 in February 2012 indicates that a proposal for an international Amateur Radio allocation with secondary status around 5.3 MHz (5250~5450 kHz contiuous or non-continguous) is likely to be on the agenda for the next WRC15 in 2015. There has been opposition from many countries and regional spectrum organizations. USA has said it would support 15kHz around 5.3 MHz... approximately the same as USA's present channels! Some other countries already have already assigned portions of this spectrum to hams on a secondary or Emcomm basis. We are likely to see more countries supporting it through compromises, and this could result in a 60 meter global ham band (or regional sub bands) after 2015.

Other WRC12 News: Oceanic radar systems are being allocated 5250-5275kHz. This overlaps some of the area of existing 60 meter band amateur and Emcomm.

USA FCC "Emergency Communications Declaration" information for USA emergency net operators using 5MHz:

In 2004, the FCC changed its general policy for issuing Emergency Communications Declarations (ECD) on Amateur Radio Service frequencies.
ECDs typically are issued to temporarily protect certain frequencies for emergency net use only. The policy says that ECDs may now be issued for one or two 5MHz channels and/or VHF/UHF frequencies. Prior to this policy, ECDs typically were issued during weather-related and wildfire emergencies for frequencies in the 75 and 40 meter bands. The FCC also said that frequencies in other Amateur Service bands where emergency nets already have been established may be used during emergencies under the provisions of rule 97.101c (which stipulates that Amateur Radio Service operators give priority to stations providing emergency communications at all times and on all frequencies).

2012, 2011, 2010, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007,2008,2009 HFLINK. All Rights Reserved.

NOTE: The following rule ended 04 March 2012, replaced by new rules.

USA 2003-2012 FCC old 5MHz Rules
"97.303 (s) An amateur station having an operator holding a General, Advanced or Amateur Extra Class license may only transmit single sideband, suppressed carrier, (emission type 2K8J3E) upper sideband on the channels 5332 kHz, 5348 kHz, 5368 kHz, 5373 kHz, and 5405 kHz. Amateur operators shall ensure that their transmission occupies only the 2.8 kHz centered around each of these frequencies. Transmissions shall not exceed an effective radiated power (e.r.p) of 50 W PEP. For the purpose of computing e.r.p. the transmitter PEP will be multiplied with the antenna gain relative to a dipole or the equivalent calculation in decibels. A half wave dipole antenna will be presumed to have a gain of 0 dBd. Licensees using other antennas must maintain in their station records either manufacturer data on the antenna gain or calculations of the antenna gain. No amateur station shall cause harmful interference to stations authorized in the mobile and fixed services; nor is any amateur station protected from interference due to the operation of any such station."

USA: 5MHz for EMCOMM, not Ragchew, not Contest/DX
--an article by Bonnie Crystal KQ6XA

The 60 meter ham band has quite different operating privileges in various countries of the world. The frequencies, rules, purpose, regulations, operating procedures, and levels of priority are all different in each country.

In USA, the 5MHz channels for ham radio were specifically requested, justified, and approved primarily for Emergency and Disaster Communications. The stated justification is the need for NVIS and regional disaster response communications to fill in the propagation gap between 40 meters and 80 meters. The process of the Amateur Radio Service gaining access to these 5MHz frequencies was long and exacting.

Recently, due to another multi-year process of proposal and rulemaking, FCC increased the privileges slightly for hams on 5MHz. However, the FCC put even tighter technical restrictions on 5MHz operation than on any other ham bands. 60 meters is not a normal ham band.

In this new ruling, FCC re-affirmed and clearly spelled out major restrictions for hams on 5MHz. Hams are secondary users (or less) and the Primary users of the 5MHz channels must not be interfered with in any way that harms their communications.

Non-interference with a Primary user isn't just a matter of stopping transmitting if you are asked to. It can also mean refraining from transmitting, if there is any chance that you might be preventing a Primary user from utilizing or starting communications on the channel, even if you are not asked specifically. The only way we can hope to fulfill our requirement for non-interference, is to use very short transmissions and listen/watch carefully between transmissions.
What are some common amateur radio operating practices that may not be suitable for 5MHz 60 meter band operation in USA? 

1. Calling CQ DX repetitively.
2. Long CQs.
3. Longwinded ragchews.
4. Calling in pile-ups.
5. High power transmissions.
6. Contesting.
7. Sending a long brag file on PSK31.
8. Transmitting without listening first.
9. Split DX exchanges.

In order to be ready for Emergency/Disaster Communications, hams need to have good familiarity with the band and have equipment capable of operating 5MHz. Hams can only do this by participating in active operating on the 5MHz band. Somehow, we need to achieve a balance between a good level of activity and the requirement for non-interference. Finding this balance may be difficult, but for the most part, hams are quite adept at good operating habits.   

Every ham operator transmitting on 5MHz must pay special attention to the different operating methods and procedures that this unique authorization requires.

There are proposals in the works to create an international ITU allocation of a 60 meter Amateur Radio Service band with Secondary status.

If hams in USA are found to be operating in ways that disregard the spirit of the requested, justified, and approved reasons for which we obtained 5MHz privileges, then it may be extremely difficult to ever get FCC support for increased spectrum. 

Bonnie Crystal KQ6XA

2012 HFLINK. All Rights Reserved.

ARRL Expresses Concern Over 5MHz DXing

The ARRL Letter. Vol. 26, No. 14
The ARRL is expressing concern that negative consequences could result from
chasing DX on 60 meters. Some DXpeditions have announced plans to operate on
Amateur Radio's only channelized band, where amateur operations hold
secondary status to fixed service operations, including some US government
stations. ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, says that while it's legal for
DXpeditions to operate on the 5-MHz band provided the licensing
administration extends privileges there, DX pileups on 60 meters pose the
potential for real and unique problems.

"US amateurs are limited to five channels on 60 meters, USB only, maximum
effective radiated power (ERP) of 50 W, audio bandwidth not exceeding 2.8
kHz, and not all of the channels are useable because of ongoing fixed
service operation," Sumner points out. "It is absolutely imperative that any
amateur transmitting on a 60 meter channel be prepared to relinquish the
channel immediately upon being requested to do so" by a primary service

Among other things, Sumner says, this means constantly monitoring the
transmitting channel, thus ruling out any split-frequency operation while
using a single-channel receiver.

The Swains Island N8S DXpedition, just under way, announced plans on its Web
site to operate SSB on the 60-meter frequency of 5.4035 MHz, although that
band was not among those on an updated frequency list released this week.
While Sumner said he wasn't singling out the N8S operation, working into the
South Pacific on 5 MHz running just 50 W ERP on phone would be a challenge
under the best of circumstances.

"Amateurs must resist the temptation to exceed the radiated power limit,"
Sumner stressed.

He also warned amateurs in countries that do not authorize amateur operation
on 60 meters to resist the temptation to make contacts on the band. Radio
amateurs transmitting on a 5 MHz frequency without authorization, Sumner
asserts, not only are breaking the law but are putting their continued
participation in the ARRL DXCC program in jeopardy.

"Anyone who submits a 5 MHz confirmation for DXCC credit may be asked to
provide evidence that their operation on that frequency was authorized," he

Even countries that authorize operation on 60 meters impose the express
condition Amateur Radio stations not cause harmful interference to fixed and
mobile service stations.

"Should such interference occur and not be immediately corrected, it will
place in jeopardy our existing limited privileges, our chances of increasing
those privileges on a domestic basis, and any chance we might have of ever
obtaining an international allocation," Sumner emphasized.

Last fall, the ARRL asked the FCC to expand 60 meter operating privileges
and substitute a new channel for one that's often occupied by a federal
government user. The League filed a Petition for Rule Making (PRM) October
10. The petition said amateurs have proven, through interference-free
operation on the five channels, that compatible sharing of the channels is

The League wants the FCC to authorize radio amateurs of General and higher
class to run 100 W ERP and to allow Morse code and data communication. It
also asks the Commission to replace the 5368.0 kHz center-frequency channel
with 5358.5 kHz, so amateurs can avoid federal government digital traffic on
the current channel.

If the FCC goes along with the ARRL's suggested changes, operation on 60
meters would remain on a secondary basis, and radio amateurs would still
have to avoid interfering with incumbent federal government and other

In an unrelated move, the ARRL has supported efforts to have World
Radiocommunication Conference 2007 (WRC-07) establish a worldwide secondary
amateur allocation of 5.260 to 5.410 MHz. A participating national
administration must formally propose the change for it to be considered this
fall at WRC-07.

5MHz interference from BPL and HomePlug transmitters:

Some Broadband Over Power Line (BPL) and in-building powerline communications systems (PLCs) use HF and low VHF spectrum for transmitting signals which radiate in the general area of the power lines. Some of these systems have voluntarily conformed to the HomePlug standard which uses "spectrum notches" in most of the HF ham bands in their effort to mitigate some of the interference they cause to hams. However, the existing HomePlug standard does not provide spectrum notches for the 5MHz channels. The USA FCC requires that any new BPL systems have the capability to notch out frequencies whenever they generate interference to licensed services. However, in practice, it is has been difficult to get BPL systems to deal with interference complaints.

For reference purposes, here is a list of the USA FCC-authorized BPL (Broadband over Power Lines) transmitting bands for USA

1.705 MHz to 2.850 MHz (160m Amateur Radio Service)
3.025 MHz to 3.400 kHz
3.500 MHz to 4.650 MHz (80m Amateur Radio Service)
4.700 MHz to 5.450 MHz (60m Amateur Radio Service)
5.680 MHz to 6.525 MHz
6.685 MHz to 8.815 MHz (40m Amateur Radio Service)
8.965 MHz to 10.005 MHz
10.100 MHz to 11.275 MHz (30m Amateur Radio Service)
11.400 MHz to 13.260 MHz
13.360 MHz to 17.900 MHz (20m Amateur Radio Service)
17.970 MHz to 21.924 MHz (17m,15m Amateur Radio Service)
22.000 MHz to 74.800 MHz (12m,10m,6m Amateur Radio Service)
75.200 to 80.000 MHz

The above information about BPL is only provided as a reference guide
for those who are using 5MHz and experience interference from BPL.


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