The 60 meter band

The 60 meter ham band is particully useful for emergency communications. Its propagation characteristics are a blend of those found on the 40 meter and 75 meter ham bands. Worldwide operation is limited by narrow segments or channels as well as transmit power. The IARU has designated the band to generally cover 5.250 MHz to 5.450 MHz. Every country is different. In the USA we have five discrete channels with a maximum of 100 watts. Since propagation is wide-regional, it is a favorite for military and FEMA. Below is information from other Internet sites with recommended links.

IARU     IARU (Europe)     QRZNow guide     60 meter history & FAQs     US channel allocation

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made the 60-meter band available to General, Advanced and Amateur Extra US amateur radio license classes in 2003. The five channels currently used for the 60 meter band in the USA (ITU Region 2) are:

Center 'Dial' Frequency (USB) 'Unofficial' Channel Designation
5332.0 kHz 5330.5 kHz Channel 1
5348.0 kHz 5346.5 kHz Channel 2
5358.5 kHz 5357.0 kHz Channel 3
5373.0 kHz 5371.5 kHz Channel 4
5405.0 kHz 5403.5 kHz Channel 5
60 m 5330 - 5406
United States 5330.5   5346.5   5357.0   5371.5   5403.5
General, Advanced, Extra                  
Note: US licensees operating on 60m with emissions of upper sideband voice, suppressed carrier, 2.8 kHz bandwidth (2K80J3E), should use the dial frequencies indicated on this chart

Modes permitted:
USB Voice (2K80J3E)
CW (150HA1A)
RTTY (60H0J2B) (Example: PSK31)
Data (2K80J2D) (Example: Pactor III or Packet)
which includes any digital mode modulated in a single sideband transmitter, with a bandwidth of 2.8 kHz or less whose technical characteristics have been documented publicly, per Part 97.309(4) of the FCC Rules. Such modes would include PACTOR I, II or III, 300-baud packet, MFSK, MT63, Contestia, Olivia, DominoEX and others.

Maximum Power: 100W PEP ERP referenced to a half-wave dipole. Secondary status. At no time may any transmission exceed the channel bandwidth of 2.8 kHz and the center of all CW and RTTY (data) emissions must coincide with the authorized center frequencies. Automatic operation is not permitted and the control operator of a station transmitting data emissions must exercise care to limit the length of transmission so as to avoid causing harmful interference to United States Government stations.

These frequencies are also authorized to certain US Government and Military users to establish interoperability with Amateur Radio operators in disasters. This is exercised several times each year in the USNORTHCOM led exercise "Vital Connections", Department of Defense exercises utilizing MARS stations, and exercising 60 meter band interoperability has become a regular component of FEMA communications exercises in the Regions. High Power night time broadcasts have been utilized in exercises to provide information and instructions from the Government to Amateur radio operators across North America. Government stations using these frequencies are authorized significantly more power than Amateurs.

5351.5 5354 5357 5360 5363 5366 - 5366.5
CW and narrow digital modes All modes, USB voice Weak signal, narrow band
200 Hz 2700 Hz

20 Hz

The above ARRL bandplan strongly recommends that the WRC-15 frequencies should only be used if other 5 MHz frequencies, allocated under Article 4.4, are not available. It does not require stations to adopt the USB dial frequencies of 5354, 5357, 5360 and 5363 kHz but these frequencies provide a good fit with the American channel on 5357 kHz, and UK stations which can use 5354 and 5363 kHz (but not the middle two). Also, it is only by using these exact frequencies that there will be enough room for four simultaneous SSB conversations without mutual interference, assuming the 2.8 kHz de facto standard bandwidth of typical SSB transceivers.

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