Saturday, January 7, 2012


The ARRL is seeking input on a proposed new bandplan for the 5 MHz or 60 meter band.

As previously reported, last November the FCC released a Report and Order detailing new rules for the 5 MHz Amateur Radio band. This announcement brought with it a number of changes for 60 meter operators.

Changes include substituting a channel at 5 point 358 point 5 MHz for 5 point 368 MHz previously authorized. The effective radiated limit in the 60 meter band will be raised by 3 dB to 100 W Peak Envelope Power relative to a half-wave dipole. Also, three additional emission types are authorized. These are Data, RTTY and CW will be authorized as soon as an effective date for a rules change is announced.

The ARRL says that considering the expected increase in 60 meter activity when the FCC’s Report and Order finally takes effect, the League is asking for feedback to assist in crafting a Linkproposed band plan. If you’re a 60-meter operator, e-mail your suggestions to hf-band-plan (at) arrl (dot) org. You can also participate in an online survey at


Regarding new FCC rules for the US 60m amateur band:

The following URL:

redirects to a search of *all* US Gov't publications for FCC-11-171.
The first hit there was for the document sent from FCC to the Pres. of the Senate, which was

then sent to committee. Apparently, the new rules are being held up by the US Senate

Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation !

The Executive Communication, sent from FCC to the President of the US Senate, reads as follows:

EC–4237. A communication from the Chief
of the Policy and Rules Division, Office of
Engineering and Technology, Federal Communications
Commission, transmitting, pursuant
to law, the report of a rule entitled
‘‘Amendment of Parts 2 and 97 of the Commission’s
Rules to Facilitate Use by the
Amateur Radio Service of the Allocation at
5 MHz’’ (FCC 11–171) received in the Office of
the President of the Senate on December 5,
2011; to the Committee on Commerce,
Science, and Transportation.

To search only the Federal Register for same, I created the following Tinyurl :

Use either of the above URLs for up-to-the-minute notification of the publishing of

the new 60m rules in the Federal Register, straight from the horse's mouth !

Bill, N4QA

My Stamp Collecting Blog

Counter Added January 1, 2011

free counters


The A index [ LOW is GOOD ]

  • 1 to 6 is BEST
  • 7 to 9 is OK
  • 11 or more is BAD

Represents the overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Ap" if averaged from the Kp-Index) (an average of the eight 3-hour K-Indices) ('A' referring to amplitude) over a given 24 hour period, ranging (linearly) typically from 1-100 but theoretically up to 400.

A lower A-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Ap-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.

SFI index [ HIGH is GOOD ]

  • 70 NOT GOOD
  • 80 GOOD
  • 90 BETTER
  • 100+ BEST

The measure of total radio emissions from the sun at 10.7cm (2800 MHz), on a scale of 60 (no sunspots) to 300, generally corresponding to the sunspot level, but being too low in energy to cause ionization, not related to the ionization level of the Ionosphere.

Higher Solar Flux generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; Solar Flux rarely affects the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.

K index [ LOW is GOOD ]

  • 0 or 1 is BEST
  • 2 is OK
  • 3 or more is BAD
  • 5 is VERY VERY BAD

The overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Kp" if averaged over the planet) over the past 3 hours, measured by 13 magnetometers between 46 & 63 degrees of latitude, and ranging quasi-logarithmically from 0-9. Designed to detect solar particle radiation by its magnetic effect. A higher K-index generally means worse HF conditions.

A lower K-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Kp-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.

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