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ARRL’s 500 kHz Experiment Shows Small Growth


In the quarterly report for the ARRL’s 500 kHz Experimental Station for the period ending May 2010 (see link to PDF below), Experiment Coordinator Fritz Raab, W1FR, reported that since the experiment began in late 2006, 20 of the 32 participating stations are currently active. The FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology granted the WD2XSH experimental license to the ARRL in September of that year. “Our present license grant expires on August 1,” Raab said. “We are planning to do an ‘as-is’ renewal this month.”

Raab said that during the quarter, one additional QSO was made, bringing the total number of WD2XSH contacts to 405. The WD2XSH Web site has received 511 reports since the end of February, bringing the total number of reports to 11,234 since the beginning of the issuance of the experimental license. Raab said more than 60,000 hours of activity has been logged on the Web site since September 2006. Stations do not have to be members of the experimental team to post reception reports.

“As usual, the decrease in night time hours, coupled with the increase in static, meant the spring results showed reduced operations,” Raab explained. “Nonetheless, a number of stations have remained active. A good deal of recent activity has been WSPR transmissions. We will be conducting several ground-wave tests during the summer months. The most extensive is being coordinated by Ralph Wallio, W0RPK, and involves several Midwest stations and several other clusters who produced useful results in the 2008 tests. A number of the new stations are continuing to ready their stations.”

According to Raab, several WD2XSH stations are subject to a “QRT Order” for not being current in submitting their logs. “These stations are required to remain QRT until they have rectified the situation,” Raab told the ARRL. “Generally, these stations have an equipment problem or some other problem that keeps them from operating. Two stations moved from the location specified on our original license, but are now authorized to operate at their new locations.”

On the international front, Raab said that German amateur Horst Stöcker, DO1KHS, has been issued experimental license DI2AN. The Radioclub YO2KAB Beacons in Romania, using call sign YO2X, is reported to be operating a beacon on 505.110; this is the second Romanian station to operate on 500 kHz. The Fort Pearch Rock special event station, GB4FPR, operated on 502 kHz from Fort Perch Rock to celebrate Marconi Day in April.

Raab said that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) continues to oppose an amateur allocation on 600 meters. The IMO’s subcommittee on Radiocommunications and Search and Rescue (COMSAR) noted in its March meeting that “a secondary allocation [in the 415-526.5 kHz band] for the Amateur Service would increase the probability of harmful interference.”



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