New 630-Meter Band Reported “Very Busy”


Amateur Radio got two new bands last year, but is anyone actually using them? Ralph Wallio, W0RPK, of Greenville, North Carolina, and others who took part in ARRL’s WD2XSH Part 5 Experimental operation or have a deep interest in what now is the 630-meter band, 472 – 479 kHz, say activity is picking up on the new allocation. Wallio has been maintaining an informal database tracking the activity of stations on a state-by-state basis, as well as how many states each station has worked. Topping the list is Eric Tichansky, NO3M, in Pennsylvania, with 36 states worked on 630 meters, and 35 confirmed, including Hawaii and Alaska. NO3M, who also operates as W3CDX, reports 8 DXCC entities worked on the new band. Wallio said his list will be updated weekly.

“During the past 6 months our list of stations in the US participating in QSOs on 630 meters has steadily increased to 108 stations across 39 states,” Wallio told ARRL. “As of mid-April 2018, we have 6 months of operating experience over the past winter. Our 630-meter band has been very busy.”

Wallio said modes frequently used for 630-meter contacts include CW, JT9, WSQ (weak-signal QSO), and FT8 with occasional additional digital mode experiments and SSB. Numerous US stations are also participating in WSPR beacon transmission, reception, and reporting on 472 kHz. “An analysis of the past 30 days finds 59 stations occasionally transmitting 630-meter WSPR beacons in the US,” Wallio added.

Transatlantic and transpacific contacts on the new band also have been reported.

John Langridge, KB5NJD, posts a daily discussion of 630-meter operations and conditions. He advises stations operating on 630 meters to upload their logs to Logbook of The World, so 630-meter operators participating in the 2018 ARRL International Grid Chase (IGC) can receive credit.

Another WD2XSH participant, Rudy Severns, N6LF, discusses LF-MF antenna design on his website, with notes. An archive of 600MRG discussions also is available.



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