40 MHz

The current bands for radio amateurs in Europe between 25 and 88 MHz are 10 metres (28.0-29.7 MHz), 6 metres (50-52/54 MHz) and 4 metres (~69.9-70.5 MHz).

In April of 2018, Comreg...the Irish regulatory authority allowed Irish radio amateurs access to the 30 MHz to 49 MHz part of the VHF spectrum on a secondary basis. As one European administration has now allowed radio amateurs to experiment with this part of the spectrum, it is possible that others may follow.

The 40 MHz or 8 metre band has the potential to be a future allocation for the Amateur Radio service in the future. The International Amateur Radi Union (IARU) are currently encouraging member societies to try and obtain small allocations at 40 MHz and 60 MHz.

The purpose of this page on the blog is to put any information that I have about the subject in one spot so that others can find it.

History of 40 MHz...
April 2018... Ireland (EI) allocated much of the low VHF spectrum to Irish radio amateurs including 40 MHz.
April 2015... South Africa (ZS) allocates 10 kHz of spectrum from 40.675MHz and 40.685MHz.
August 2007... The UK (G) and Denmark (OZ) approve beacons on 40 MHz. (UK also 60 MHz).
June 1998... Slovenia (S5) allocates 40 kHz of spectrum to beacons from 40.660 - 40.700MHz.

Related posts on this blog...
IRTS publish revised band plans for 40 MHz and 60 MHz ...July 2018
Commercial vertical for 40 MHz ...June 2018
IRTS publish proposed band plans for 40 MHz and 60 MHz ...May 2018
Irish amateurs gain access to the 30 MHz to 49 MHz part of the VHF spectrum ...Apr 2018

40 MHz Beacons...
As of June 2018, there is only one operational beacon in Europe and that is OZ7IGY on 40.071 MHz. The UK beacon GB3RAL on 40.050 MHz was last operational in 2014. I have an online spreadsheet of the previous DX cluster spots for OZ7IGY and GB3RAL HERE

Other users at 40 MHz...
1) Radio controlled models... One of the main users of the spectrum around 40 MHz are the radio model community. While model aircraft operate around 35 MHz, surface models such as trains, cars, boats, etc operate around 40.6 to 41.0 MHz. More info in this online sheet.

2) Cordless telephones... Before the advent of mobile phones, some people used cordless telephones in their houses. The base units operated around 31 MHz while the handsets were around 40 MHz using FM and 10 mW erp. It may be possible that some of these are still in use.

Freq - Channel no.
39.9375 1
39.9625 2
39.9875 3
40.0125 4
40.0375 5
40.0625 6
40.0875 7
40.1125 8
40.1375 9
40.1625 10
40.1875 11
40.2125 12

3) ISM Band... (Industrial, Scientific, Medical)... 40.660 to 40.700 MHz. Licence free low power devices for a wide range of applications. e.g. Garage door openers.

40 MHz news items from the net...
March 2017... OZ7IGY 40 MHz Beacon Shifts to Next Generation Beacons Platform: The 40 MHz OZ7IGY beacon http://www.oz7igy.dk/ was migrated to the Next Generation Beacons http://www.rudius.net/oz2m/ngnb/ platform on March 25. 

The beacon was activated during a 60th anniversary event for OZ7IGY, making it the oldest ham radio beacon still on the air. The beacon was inaugurated at the start of the International Geophysical Year (IGY http://www.nas.edu/history/igy/). The nominal frequency is 40.071 MHz. The beacon's output power is 20 W into an omnidirectional halo antenna. The OZ7IGY beacon is now frequency- and time-locked to GPS. The sequence is programmed to send PI4 http://www.rudius.net/oz2m/software/pi-rx (a digital mode specifically designed for beacons and propagation studies), followed by a short pause, and then the call sign and grid locator sent in CW, then a pause, and a carrier until start of the next cycle. To decode PI4, tune 800 Hz below the nominal frequency. PI4 is similar to JT4, JT9, and WSPR. This completes the upgrading of the 12 beacons at OZ7IGY transmitting from 28 MHz to 24 GHz. -- Thanks to Southgate Amateur Radio News via Bo Hansen, OZ2M

August 2015.... South African 40 MHz (8m) ham radio contact
The South African Radio League (SARL) report that in a telephone conversation, Willem Badenhorst, ZS6WAB, informed them about the first-ever ZS to ZS amateur radio contact on 40.675 MHz (8m) 

It was made on Sunday, August 16, 2015 between Ian Roberts, ZS6BTE, in Johannesburg and Willem ZS6WAB at Polokwane using FSK441 and covering 288 km. ZS6WAB is equipped with a 3 element Yagi and 100 Watts. They are both looking for other ZS contacts. 

Read more  about VHF in ZS2FM's weekly updates here http://www.sarl.org.za/Default.asp#VHF_UHF

South African Radio League http://www.sarl.org.za/

April 2015... New Band For ZS Hams... by VE7SL
Sharp-eyed Roger, G3XBM, has brought attention to the recent news of a new amateur allocation granted to South Africa's amateur radio community! It's just a small slice of a band but in an exceptionally interesting part of the spectrum ... 40MHz! 

Amateurs have been given 'propagation studies' permission to transmit between 40.675MHz and 40.685MHz as 'primary users' and use up to 26dBW (400Watts) of power ... a healthy assignment. 

August 2007.... Ivan OZ7IS has announced that the first 40 MHz Amateur Radio propagation beacon OZ7IGY is now on the air on 40.021 MHz. Background: The European Radiocommunications Office (ERO now ERC) of the CEPT launched in March 1993 Phase II of a Detailed Spectrum Investigation (DSI) covering the frequency range 29.7 - 960 MHz. The results were presented to Administrations in March 1995 with the objective of facilitating a European Table of Frequency Allocations and Utilisations to be implemented by the year 2008. Regarding the Amateur Radio Service the DSI Management Team recommended (among other things) that 70 MHz to be considered as an amateur band AND:  frequencies in the vicinity of 40.680 MHz be considered for amateur propagation beacons. During the IARU, Region 1, C5 meeting in Vienna earlier this year David, G4ASR, told that the RSGB were planning such a 40 MHz beacon. I promised him to take a similar initiative when returning to Denmark. In July the GB3RAL 40.050 and 60.050 MHz VHF beacons were approved and shortly after OZ7IGY received the permit to operate on 40.021 MHz. On 26th of July (after paying the licence fee) at 18.20 UTC OZ7IGY became operational on: 40.021 MHz near Jystrup (Ringsted), JO55wm, 97 masl / 5 magl. The antenna is a dipole heading 255 / 75 degrees. Will shortly be changed to a Turnstile (X-dipole). The output to the antenna is 22 Watt keying in F1A (frequency Shift Keying) according to the IARU, Region 1, standard. 250 Hz shift. The  licence  is valid for a year and the results of the experiments are to be reported to the ITST. The  licence  is  experimental on a non-inteference basis and will not create a precedent for any other kind of amateur radio activities in this part of the spectrum! Please report to DX-summit whenever you hear the beacon. Then we can collect data for the report to ITST and may be able to argue for a renewal of the licence next year? In 1993 the head of ERO was David Court, EI3IO (G3SDL, OZ3SDL etc ;.) I have a feeling that without his on the DSI report we would not have had the ever increasing access to 70 MHz throughout Europe or these 40 MHz amateur propagation beacons!

June 1998... GB2RS News, 28-Jun-1998
Good morning / evening. It's Sunday the 28th of June [1998] and here is the GB2RS news broadcast
   *  A new VHF beacon band in Slovenia;
Radio amateurs in Slovenia, S5, were granted access to four new frequency bands on the 13th of June. They are the 136kHz LF band, 70MHz, 3.4GHz, and a new 40MHz 'beacon band'. Thanks to a Sporadic E opening, the first contacts between Slovenia and the British Isles on 4-metres were being made within just a few days.
The 40MHz band is for beacons running narrow-band FSK CW only. The frequency limits are 40.660 - 40.700MHz and the power limit is 10dBW ERP. It is not known if any beacons are currently active on the new band. This is part of an IARU Region 1 initiative to obtain spectrum at 40MHz for DX beacons, as an aid to propagation investigation, but it is understood that Slovenia is the first country to make the allocation available.

1) Clive Davies, G4FVP writes a column called VHF Low Down in the journal for the UK Six Metre Group. This often has items of interest for anyone interested in what is going on in the low part of the VHF spectrum outside of 50 MHz. Annual membership required. http://www.uksmg.org/

2) OZ7IGY... website for the Danish beacon on 40.070.2 MHz... http://www.oz7igy.dk/

3) G3USF's VHF beacon list... https://www.keele.ac.uk/depts/por/50.htm

4) Paul Logan in Northern Ireland has an interesting list of signals heard between 30 and 50 MHz near the peak of the sunspot cycle... http://band2dx.webs.com/lowvhfarchive.htm

Page updated 13th July 2018

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