ARRL-Sponsored 600 Meter Experiment Approaches 170,000 Hours of Operation
According to the most recent report on the ARRL WD2XSH experimental operation on 600 meters, participants have logged 168,472 hours on the air. Things are not perceptibly closer in terms of obtaining an Amateur Radio allocation in that part of the spectrum, however. So far, 522 contacts have been made between participating stations on 472 to 479 kHz since the experiment got underway in late 2006.
“Activity has continued strong into the spring, in spite of the increasing noise level and decreasing amount of night time,” Experiment Coordinator Fritz Raab, W1FR, reported in his Spring 2014 summary of operations, released June 23. “Many transmissions used digital modes and other experimental licensees were quite active.”
The FCC has remained silent regarding the ARRL’s November 2012 Petition for Rulemaking that asked the Commission to make 472-479 kHz available to radio amateurs in the US. Delegates to the 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference approved a 7 kHz-wide secondary allocation for the Amateur Radio Service, with a power limit of 5 W EIRP (or 1 W EIRP, depending on location). The FCC has indicated that it will address the issue within the context of its Notice of Proposed Rule Making in ET Docket No. 12-338, to formally reflect the Final Acts of WRC 2007 in its rules.
Some regular ARRL MW experiment participants, including Raab, now are off the air temporarily. Raab is moving to the Midwest, and Dean Gagnon, KK1K, will take over his site in Burlington, Vermont and operate as WD2XSH/47. Pat Hamel, W5THT, operating as WD2XSH/6, also is off the air for the time being. In addition, after one season, Neil Klagge, W0YSE, in Utah, who had been operating as WG2XSV, has shut down because he is relocating. Michael Reid, WE0H, in Minnesota, who had been participating as WD2XSH/16, is off the air but will return under his own Part 5 Experimental license WD2XGI, which was modified to add 460 to 490 kHz.
Proponents of the MW allocation, which is variously called “600 meters” and “630 meters,” have been spreading the word at ham radio gatherings. Raab reported that Rudy Severns, N6LF, gave a presentation on the 600 meter band at the SeaPac earlier in June, while John Langridge, KB5NJD/WG2XIQ, spoke at Ham-Com in June and reported strong interest a new band at 472-479 kHz.
A few countries, including Canada, France, Germany, the Philippines, and Vietnam, have approved Amateur Radio bands in the vicinity of 500 kHz. Canada’s band is 472-479 kHz.
Raab reported that three new experimental licenses have been issued, and one existing license was modified to include frequencies in the 472-479 kHz range. They are WD2XGI in Minnesota, WH2XAR in Arizona, WH2XCR in Hawaii, and WH2XES in Texas.