5 MHz / 60m band - the next frontier
The amateur radio shortwave spectrum has been extended
to the 5 MHz range recently.
At the closing meeting of the 2015 ITU World Radiocommunication Conference
(WRC-15) on 27 November 2015, amongst the Final Acts signed into the
International Radio Regulations was one approving A
Worldwide Frequency Allocation of 5351.5–5366.5 kHz to the Amateur
Service on a secondary basis.
The ITU's enhanced band allocation limits most amateurs to 15 watts
effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP), with some countries allowing 25
The ITU allocation will come into effect January 1, 2017, after which each
country's national administration must formally revise their rules to
permit amateur operation.
So far there is a hotchpotch of different channel- / block- and frequency
allocations, differing from country to country.
Hopefully this situation will be cleared within the near future.
However, this Wikipedia
article gives a superb overview on the current frequency allocations
in the 5 MHz / 60 m band.
Prior to December 2016, german amateur radio operators
were still waiting for a frequency allocation of the 5 MHz / 60 m band
from their regulation authority.
So we were restricted to receive-only operation.
The image below shows the receive coverage up
to November 2016 using the following equipment:
- a PA0RDT
mini-whip receive antenna.
There are several kits available in the Internet, even fully
assembled antenna and power-feed units.
But you may also set up the PCB yourself by milling a single-sided
- my good old Alinco DX-77
After the german regulatory authority granted amateur
radio allocation on 5 MHz in late December 2016, I set up a magnetic loop
The loop has a trapezoid shape with ca. 6 m circumference.
It is made up of 9 parallel braided copper wires of 0.5 mm² each (so it is
a loop with 1 winding).
Resonance is achieved using ca. 1 m of RG-62 coax used as a cylindrical
With an additional 1:3 balun I could transform the loop impedance up to
ca. 50 Ohm for coax feeding.
Using the Magnetic
loop calculator by DG0KW, I have calculated the loop "gain" as -13
With 200 mW (23 dBm) TX output and the above simulated antenna gain,
I have calculated an equivalent isotropical radiated power (EIRP) of ca.
10 dBm EIRP (= 10 mW EIRP)
Reception reports received so far:
upgrade from QRPp to QRP:
In the next step I have already prepared a 25
Using it far below its capability (ca. 5 W output), the achieved radiated
power may be ca. 250 mW EIRP.
Due to the good results with 10 mW EIRP
so far, the amplifier rests in the shelf ;-)
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