Wednesday, November 23, 2011

60 Meters to Get New Channel, New Modes & Higher Power

The FCC adopted new rules for the 60-meter (5 MHz) band in mid-November, swapping one frequency for another and permitting greater flexibility in power and operating modes. Currently, hams in the U.S. have a secondary allocation on the band and are limited to upper sideband (USB) with a maximum of 50 watts PEP on five specific frequencies.

In the new rules, amateurs will also be able to use CW and the PSK-31 and Pactor-III digital modes; and the power limit has been doubled to 100 watts PEP. In addition, the current channel centered on 5368 kHz will be replaced by one centered on 5358.5 kHz. Voice and digital users should set their VFOs 1.5 kHz below the center frequency while CW ops should be right on the center frequency. The new rules take effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, which would most likely mean sometime in mid-January. The complete, 45-page, Report and Order is available online at <>.