US 600 Meter Experimenters, Canadian Amateurs Take Part in Berlin Treaty Event
Experimental station licensees in the US, including some ARRL 600 Meter Experimental Group (WD2XSH) participants, and radio amateurs in Canada took part in a special event operation over the November 13-14 weekend, which also involved the Maritime Radio Historical Society (MRHS). The event marked the 109th anniversary of the Berlin Treaty, which established SOS as the official distress signal, and 500 kHz as the official distress band.
“Conditions were regarded as mediocre, and QSB was a problem,” ARRL 600 Meter Experiment Coordinator Fritz Raab, W1FR, in his just-released Experimental Group quarterly report. “Nonetheless, there was a good deal of activity.”
The Canadian amateurs had invited cross-band contacts with the US Experimental licensees, and several took place. The MRHS transmitted from shore station KSM in Point Reyes, California, and from KYVM on board the SS Red Oak Victory.
In his last quarterly report, Raab also reported 24 additional contacts during the September 1-November 30 reporting period, for a total of 562 since the experiment began in 2006. Raab last year recommended renewal of the WD2XSH Experimental license, since the US still had no medium-frequency (MF) Amateur Service allocation. WD2XSH operations have demonstrated that the Amateur Radio community is interested in MF operation, he said.
The WD2XSH experiment involves more than three dozen stations and includes all geographic areas of the US, including Alaska and Hawaii. Raab has reported no interference issues during the WD2XSH experiment.
In other MF news, Raab reported that on December 9, WH2XCR in Hawaii and WG2XIQ in Texas connected using JT9, marking the first 630 meter contact from the US mainland to Hawaii. WH2XCR, WE2XPQ, and WH2XGP have been received in Japan via WSPR.
Amateur Radio operators in Canada gained access to 472-479 kHz on May 1, 2014. In the US the FCC has allocated 135.7 to 137.8 kHz to the Amateur Service on a secondary basis, in accordance with the Final Acts of the 2007 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07). The Commission also has proposed a secondary 630 meter MF Amateur Radio allocation at 472 to 479 kHz, implementing decisions made at WRC-12. The FCC has not yet permitted Amateur Radio operation in either band, however.