60 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 60 MHz or 5 metre band has the potential to be a future allocation for the Amateur Radio service. 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 Amateur Radio at 60 MHz (5 metres)...
In 1927, the band of 56-60 MHz was allocated on a worldwide basis by the International Radiotelegraph Conference in Washington, D.C. for amateur use. In 1938 with the advent of television, the International Radiocommunication Conference in Cairo, television broadcasting was given priority in this part of the spectrum which had the impact of restricting some radio amateurs in Europe to 58.5 to 60 MHz.

Following World War II, radio amateurs in the USA had access to the 5-metre band for a brief period but came to an end on the 1st of March 1946 when they allocated the 6-metre band of 50-54 MHz instead.

At the 1947 International Radio Conference in New Jersey, broadcasting was allocated 41 to 68 MHz in Region 1 (Europe/Africa).

In Britain, radio amateurs had an allocation at 56 MHz prior to WWII. After the war, they were allocated 58.5 to 60.0 MHz but lost this in 1949 when the band was allocated to TV broadcasting. In 1956, radio amateurs in Britain were given an allocation at 70 MHz instead which is how the 4-metre band came into being.

For decades, this part of the spectrum was used for broadcasting television signals worldwide. Towards the end of the 20th century, many of the TV transmitters were moved up into the UHF part of the spectrum. With the advent of digital television, this has accelerated. This has the result that in many parts of the world, there aren't as many TV signals in the 60 MHz region as there once was.

In August of 2007, the UK (G) approved the use of beacons at 60 MHz.

In April of 2018, Ireland (EI) allocated much of the low VHF spectrum to Irish radio amateurs including 60 MHz.

In late 2019, LY2YR in Lithuania was given permission to operate at a spot frequency near 60 MHz.

Related posts on this blog...
Update on the EI1KNH 60 MHz beacon (changing from PI4 to FT8) ...June 2020
Crossband contacts made on 60 MHz on the 18th of May 2020 (DL, SP,S5) ...May 2020
New home wanted for the GB3RAL suite of beacons which include one for 60 MHz ...May 2020
New Facebook Group for the 40 MHz & 60 MHz amateur bands ...May 2020
Irish 60 MHz beacon EI1KNH heard in West Wales ...Mar 2020
The Five-Metre Story ... Article from the Short Wave Magazine in 1949 ...Dec 2019
EI1KNH - New Irish Beacon on 60 MHz now on the air ...Dec 2019
A look at the ex-British army Clansman PRC-3512 Low Band FM VHF Radio ...Nov 2019
German commercial Log-Periodic antenna for 28 to 144 MHz ...May 2019
Low Band VHF Log-Periodic Aerials from Antenna Products Corporation ...May 2019
IARU Region 1 adopt IRTS band plans for 60 MHz ...May 2019
Example of Band 1 TV reception by tropo back in the 1960's in Ireland ...Apr 2019
New 60 MHz Transverters on the way from Spectrum Comminications UK ...Apr 2019
IRTS paper on 5 metre band to be presented at IARU Meeting ...Feb 2019
Russia proposes to use DRM on 65.9-74.0 MHz ...Sept 2018
Frequency for new Irish beacon on 60 MHz announced ...Sept 2018
IRTS publish revised band plans for 40 MHz and 60 MHz ...July 2018
IRTS publish proposed band plans for 40 MHz and 60 MHz ...May 2018
Irish amateurs gain access to the 30 MHz to 69 MHz part of the VHF spectrum ...Apr 2018

For the latest news on the 60 MHz band, consider joining the 40 MHz & 60 MHz Facebook Group

60 MHz Beacons...
As of December 2019, there is just one beacon operational on the band... EI1KNH

IARU recommends beacons at 60 MHz...
IARU - International Amateur Radio Union.
IARU-R1 VHF Handbook - Version 8.01 November 2017
Multi-Band beacon clusters (Cavtat 2008)
• National Societies should encourage the deployment of multi-band beacon clusters covering low
VHF between about 30 MHz and about 70 MHz.
• Deployed beacon clusters should wherever possible provide signals at around 40 MHz and
around 60 MHz.
• Amateurs should be encouraged to set up and maintain automated monitoring stations and to
contribute the measurement results to the community.
• A common transmission format should be adopted to aid the reception of multiple clusters

60 MHz news items from the net...
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!

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) Wikipedia page about the 5-metre band... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5-meter_band

Page updated 29th June 2020

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