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


Bonnie KQ6XA
 

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


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



Bonnie KQ6XA
 

60 meter band programming proposal:
If 5 MHz, don't transmit when:
TIME is equal to
hh:00:ss
hh:05:ss
hh:10:ss
hh:15:ss
hh:20:ss
hh:25:ss
hh:30:ss
hh:35:ss
hh:40:ss
hh:45:ss
hh:50:ss
hh:55:ss

That simple change to FT8 software could save the Amateur Radio Service 60 meters allocation. 

-Bonnie KQ6XA 


Butch Washer
 

Hi all,

IMHO, I think Seannon is on the right track. 

I personally have never keyed a mic on 60m yet because I have not found a need. 

But I think the root thought that MAY have been behind the 60m allocation may have either never been printed or said, but was the reason. Who knows...

That is to give Amateur Radio operators a common set of frequency channels with government groups to communicate back and forth, directly during an emergency without operating split mode. 

Copied from Seannon below
 The NTIA expressed concern about possible interference and requested that amateurs limit digital operating to PSK31 and PACTOR III only.”

It makes sense that it has been mentioned specifically that voice and limited PSK31 and PACTOR III be used, because those would be the modes that would be used during an emergency situation. These would also allow the primary users to interrupt secondary users conversations for primary use of their channels. 

I would suspect that the channels are hard programmed into their radios that probably do not have a VFO to allow them to move to an off center conversation. 

Please consider these thought going forward. Remember these are government channels and we are allowed to share use, probably to allow us to get our stations ready to be used during an emergency. 

I don’t like to write long emails, but I felt that more logical thinking might help this conversation some. 

I apologize in advance if I wrinkle any hairs with this line of thought. 

Best Regards to All,

Butch N5SMQ 





On Feb 20, 2020, at 7:44 PM, Seannon Baker (AG0NY) <KD4IYI@...> wrote:


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




Kai-KE4PT
 

This is another opportunity to use Bill's quote:
"...no one should be mindlessly blasting through QSOs without adding in their common sense and operating skill." -Bill Sommerville, G4WJS, [WSJT-X reflector, 2018/09/25/14:12 UTC]."

Let's keep the burden of complying with the regulations squarely where it belongs: on the operator, not on the developers!

That said, I'll add Bonnie's own quote to my list (thanks Bonnie):
"5357 is the ONLY international Amateur Radio Service channel on 60 meters.
Be nice to it. -Bonnie KQ6XA"

With kindest regards,
Kai Siwiak, KE4PT

On 2/20/2020 17:02, Bonnie KQ6XA wrote:
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.


Ria, N2RJ
 

The source code is open, and many will just reverse engineer and disable this. Not everyone uses WSJTX for FT8 anyway. Not many of the full auto robot guys. They use their own software like MSHV or WSJT-Z which is a fork of WSJT-X.

JT and the dev team have taken out 60m from the default frequencies anyway. People are adding it back in themselves or using other software.

The only real solution is to use one of the other channels, until another DX channel opens up or we get rid of channelization.  Some countries do not have channelization on 60m. In 9Y I can use 1.5kw from 5.25 to 5.45MHz without restriction. It’s just another HF band.

There is no ARRL award for operation on that band. So there is less incentive to operate there anyway. 

73,
Ria
N2RJ


Amir K9CHP
 

I used the band once or twice, for a MARS exercise, on phone. I don't think FT8 is really compatible with the very unclear regulations on that band. Don't look me up there. There is plenty of room elsewhere.

--

73 de Amir K9CHP

ARRL, Emergency Coordinator (EC)
Liverpool Amateur Repeater Club www.W2CM.org
Radio Amateurs of Greater Syracuse  www.ragsclub.org
Wilderness SAR (ret.) www.wsar.org
Eagle Valley Search Dogs (ret.) www.evdogs.org

On Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 11:35 Ria, N2RJ <rjairam@...> wrote:

The source code is open, and many will just reverse engineer and disable this. Not everyone uses WSJTX for FT8 anyway. Not many of the full auto robot guys. They use their own software like MSHV or WSJT-Z which is a fork of WSJT-X.

JT and the dev team have taken out 60m from the default frequencies anyway. People are adding it back in themselves or using other software.

The only real solution is to use one of the other channels, until another DX channel opens up or we get rid of channelization.  Some countries do not have channelization on 60m. In 9Y I can use 1.5kw from 5.25 to 5.45MHz without restriction. It’s just another HF band.

There is no ARRL award for operation on that band. So there is less incentive to operate there anyway. 

73,
Ria
N2RJ



Seannon Baker (AG0NY)
 

So, I've spent a while searching the FCC web... everyone knows what a pain it can be.., I'm going to drop the link here and point at a couple of sections, hopefully it will help clear this up. along with this, I'd like to point out that FT8 is an RTTY derivative, RTTY is accepted for use on the band BUT ONLY ON THE CENTER FREQUENCY OF THE CHANNEL! there is only ONE place we are allowed to transmit... ON the center frequency! which is setting to the USB frequency and setting the tx at 1500hz in the program, not 1225, not 500, not 2000, 1500 ONLY! also, if we hear other traffic on the channel, per arrl rules, don't tx.

IN THE US, we have to follow the US part of the rules, other countries have different rules, we have to follow our set.


9. Under the existing rules, only upper sideband voice transmissions are permitted in the 60 meter band. In the NPRM, the Commission proposed to authorize the use of three additional emission designators in the band: CW emission 150HA1A, which is Morse telegraphy by means of on-off keying, and data emissions 2K80J2D and 60H0J2B. In § 97.307(f)(14)(i) of the proposed rules, the Commission restricts emission designator 2K80J2D to data using PACTOR-III technique and emission designator 60H0J2B to data using PSK31 technique. The Commission also sought comment on whether amateur stations could be permitted to transmit emission types in addition to those requested by ARRL in the 60 meter band without increasing the likelihood of interference to primary users. As discussed, the Commission adopts its proposal to allow the use of the three additional emission designators.

13. The Commission adopts its proposal to authorize the use of three additional emission designators in the 60 meter band. These additional capabilities can serve to enhance amateur emergency communications and allow for greater experimentation in the band, and it believes that doing so is in the public interest. We note, however, that because “emission J2B” is specifically defined in part 97 of our rules to be a Radio Teletype (RTTY) emission, emission designator 60H0J2B must be codified as a RTTY emission in order to provide for consistency within part 97 of our rules. Accordingly, the Commission authorizes control operators to transmit the following additional emission types and designators in the 60 meter band: CW emissions, limited to emission 150HA1A (i.e., Morse code telegraphy); data emissions, limited to emission 2K80J2D (exemplified by PACTOR-III); and RTTY emissions, limited to emission 60H0J2B (exemplified by PSK31).

20. Operation on Channel Centers. Section 97.303(h) currently requires that amateur operators ensure that their station's transmission occupies only 2.8 kHz centered at each of the five center frequencies. The NPRM proposed that, for amateur stations transmitting CW emissions and PSK31 data emissions, the carrier frequency shall be set to the center frequency. NTIA has requested that the Commission continue to restrict amateur service transmissions in this manner.

So, now for the actual part 97 rules!
 this is from CfR 47 part 2: US23 In the band 5330.5-5406.4 kHz (60 m band), the assigned frequencies 5332, 5348, 5358.5, 5373, and 5405 kHz are allocated to the amateur service on a secondary basis. Amateur service use of the 60 m band frequencies is restricted to a maximum effective radiated power of 100 W PEP and to the following emission types and designators: phone (2K80J3E), data (2K80J2D), RTTY (60H0J2B), and CW (150HA1A). Amateur operators using the data and RTTY emissions must exercise care to limit the length of transmissions so as to avoid causing harmful interference to Federal stations.

PART 97—AMATEUR RADIO SERVICE

3. The authority citation for part 97 continues to read as follows:

Authority: 48 Stat. 1066, 1082, as amended: 47 U.S.C. 154, 303. Interpret or apply 48 Stat. 1064-1068, 1081-1105, as amended; 47 U.S.C. 151-155, 301-609, unless otherwise noted.

4. Section 97.221 is amended by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:

Automatically controlled digital station.
* * * * *

(c) Except for channels specified in § 97.303(h), a station may be automatically controlled while transmitting a RTTY or data emission on any other frequency authorized for such emission types provided that:

(1) The station is responding to interrogation by a station under local or remote control; and

(2) No transmission from the automatically controlled station occupies a bandwidth of more than 500 Hz.

5. Section 97.303 is amended by revising paragraph (h) to read as follows.

Frequency sharing requirements.
* * * * *

(h) 60 m band: (1) In the 5330.5-5406.4 kHz band (60 m band), amateur stations may transmit only on the five center frequencies specified in the table below. In order to meet this requirement, control operators of stations transmitting phone, data, and RTTY emissions (emission designators 2K80J3E, 2K80J2D, and 60H0J2B, respectively) may set the carrier frequency 1.5 kHz below the center frequency as specified in the table below. For CW emissions (emission designator 150HA1A), the carrier frequency is set to the center frequency. Amateur operators shall ensure that their emissions do not occupy more than 2.8 kHz centered on each of these center frequencies.

60 M Band Frequencies (kHz)

CarrierCenter
5330.55332.0
5346.55348.0
5357.05358.5
5371.55373.0
5403.55405.0

(2) Amateur stations transmitting on the 60 m band must not cause harmful interference to, and must accept interference from, stations authorized by:

(i) The United States (NTIA and FCC) and other nations in the fixed service; and

(ii) Other nations in the mobile except aeronautical mobile service.

* * * * *

6. Section 97.305 is amended by revising the table in paragraph (c) by inserting the new entry “60 m” between the “75 m” and “40 m” entries to read as follows.

Authorized emission types.
* * * * *

(c) * * *

Wavelength bandFrequenciesEmission types authorizedStandards see § 97.307(f), paragraph:



*         *         *         *         *         *         *
HF:


80 mEntire bandRTTY, data(3), (9).
75 mEntire bandPhone, image(1), (2).
60 m5.332, 5.348, 5.3585, 5.373 and 5.405 MHzPhone, RTTY, data(14).
40 m7.000-7.100 MHzRTTY, data(3), (9).



*         *         *         *         *         *         *

7. Section 97.307 is amended by adding paragraph (f)(14) to read as follows.

Emission standards.
* * * * *

(f) * * *

(14) In the 60 m band:

(i) A station may transmit only phone, RTTY, data, and CW emissions using the emission designators and any additional restrictions that are specified in the table below (except that the use of a narrower necessary bandwidth is permitted):

60 M Band Emission Requirements

Emission typeEmission designatorRestricted to:
Phone2K80J3EUpper sideband transmissions (USB).
Data2K80J2DUSB (for example, PACTOR-III).
RTTY60H0J2BUSB (for example, PSK31).
CW150HA1AMorse telegraphy by means of on-off keying.

(ii) The following requirements also apply:

(A) When transmitting the phone, RTTY, and data emissions, the suppressed carrier frequency may be set as specified in § 97.303(h).

(B) The control operator of a station transmitting data or RTTY emissions must exercise care to limit the length of transmission so as to avoid causing harmful interference to United States Government stations.

Seannon, AG0NY


On Fri, Feb 21, 2020 at 10:53 AM Amir K9CHP <sarlabs@...> wrote:
I used the band once or twice, for a MARS exercise, on phone. I don't think FT8 is really compatible with the very unclear regulations on that band. Don't look me up there. There is plenty of room elsewhere.

--

73 de Amir K9CHP

ARRL, Emergency Coordinator (EC)
Liverpool Amateur Repeater Club www.W2CM.org
Radio Amateurs of Greater Syracuse  www.ragsclub.org
Wilderness SAR (ret.) www.wsar.org
Eagle Valley Search Dogs (ret.) www.evdogs.org

On Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 11:35 Ria, N2RJ <rjairam@...> wrote:

The source code is open, and many will just reverse engineer and disable this. Not everyone uses WSJTX for FT8 anyway. Not many of the full auto robot guys. They use their own software like MSHV or WSJT-Z which is a fork of WSJT-X.

JT and the dev team have taken out 60m from the default frequencies anyway. People are adding it back in themselves or using other software.

The only real solution is to use one of the other channels, until another DX channel opens up or we get rid of channelization.  Some countries do not have channelization on 60m. In 9Y I can use 1.5kw from 5.25 to 5.45MHz without restriction. It’s just another HF band.

There is no ARRL award for operation on that band. So there is less incentive to operate there anyway. 

73,
Ria
N2RJ





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

Nikola Tesla