locked Re: 1 minute Re: 60 meters: Operating guidelines for FT8

Seannon Baker (AG0NY)

Bonnie, with the current rules for the united states hams, I really don't think we should be doing FT8 "Business as usual" on the 60 meter band at all! the rules state that it is 1. CHANNELIZED, with voice allowed on USB 1500hz down from the channel's center frequency, and data ONLY CENTERED ON THE CENTER FREQUENCY. 2. ONLY ONE STATION CAN TRANSMIT AT A TIME 3. WE ARE NOT PRIMARY USERS ON THIS BAND.

So, while ALE, SELCAL, and modes like OLIVIA are digital and conversational, FT8 is more transactional, I.E. call, signal report, location and move on to the next contact... and depends on the varying of the AF within the passband, this is NOT allowed per the current rules, it's the center frequency or nothing, not the center frequency shifted 500 hz, 746 hz etc, and the way FT8 utilizes multiple AF to allow transmitting of multiple stations at the same time without "walking on the other stations" this is incompatible with the rules stating only one station may transmit at a time

to make this a bit more visual, check the 60 meter section of the band chart, it pretty much says that FT8 and FT4 aren't compatible with those rules without mentioning them.

we really need to take care of the bands we have, they are hard to get and can easily be taken away, this is one where we are a secondary user, which is even more important that we use our strengths and common sense

Digital Operation
Our expanded privileges on 60 meters were the result of collaboration between the FCC and the NTIA – the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the agency that manages and coordinates telecommunications activities among US government departments, the primary users of the band. The NTIA expressed concern about possible interference and requested that amateurs limit digital operating to PSK31 and PACTOR III only.

It is certainly possible to interpret the FCC Report and Order somewhat broadly as it concerns digital operating on the band, but be careful not to read too much into the text.Therefore, as a practical matter it appears that any J2D data emission is to be permitted up to a bandwidth of 2.8 kHz, provided that care is exercised to limit the length of transmissions

With an eye to the potential for expanded 60 meter privileges in the future, the ARRL believes it is critical to cooperate fully with the NTIA. Therefore, the ARRL asks all amateurs to restrict 60-meter digital operations to PSK31 or PACTOR III.

With PSK31 you must operate on the following channel center frequencies:
Channel 1: 5332.0 kHz
Channel 2: 5348.0 kHz
Channel 3: 5358.5 kHz
Channel 4: 5373.0 kHz
Channel 5: 5405.0 kHz

The easiest way to achieve this is to place your transceiver in the USB mode and tune to one of the suppressed carrier channel frequencies shown in Table 1.

With your PSK31 software display configured to indicate audio frequencies, click your mouse cursor at the 1500 Hz mark (see below). With your radio in the USB mode, this marker indicates the center of the channel and it is the frequency on which you should be transmitting.

PACTOR III operation on 60 meters is straightforward. With your transceiver in the USB mode, tune to one of the suppressed carrier channel frequencies shown in Table 1. Note that only live keyboard-to-keyboard operation of PACTOR III is allowed. Unattended automatic operation is not permitted.

Seannon, AG0NY

On Thu, Feb 20, 2020 at 4:02 PM Bonnie KQ6XA <bonniekq6xa@...> wrote:
The channel at 5357 kHz USB has constant FT8 transmissions, 24/7/365, worldwide. 
Currently, 5357-FT8 is not being shared properly by Secondary hams with Primary users. 

Solution: The developers of FT8 can add a lockout feature in FT8 for 1 minute of silence at the top of every 5 minutes, when tuned to 5 MHz. 
This would provide a viable time window for Primary users to communicate. 
It also would avoid the Amateur Radio Service losing its valuable Secondary allocation on 60 meters.

If the developers of FT8 don't act soon:
  1. Primary users won't allow hams to continuously take over their allocation much longer. 
  2. Some Primary user will probably put multi-kilowatts on it to simply take their allocation back. (We can see this starting to happen already with the HF radars)
  3. Primary users will oppose Amateur Service efforts at ITU conferences to increase the worldwide power allocation from 15 Watts to 100 Watts. 
  4. Governments which not approve allowing their hams to use 60 meters, or will drastically curtail their use of it (see Australia)
5357 is the ONLY international Amateur Radio Service channel on 60 meters.
Be nice to it. 

-Bonnie KQ6XA

“It is a simple feat of scientific electrical engineering — only expensive — blind, faint-hearted, doubting world.”

Nikola Tesla

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