The VO1MRC 5 MHz Experiment
Note: with the allocation of 5 MHz to Canadian amateurs on 22 Jan 2014, this experiment is concluded. (22 Nov 2002 - 22 Jan 2014) Thanks to all who contributed.
UPDATE: 22 Jan 2014. Canadian amateurs are granted access to 5 spot frequencies on 5 MHz. Please see the particulars as outlined by Industry Canada.
Existing and possible (red) amateur radio allocations below 7.5 MHz. Note that the proposed 5 MHz band is midway between the 40 and 80 metre bands. Also note the new LF allocation at 135.7-137.8 kHz.
Frequencies: 5260, 5269, 5280, 5290, 5319, 5329, 5400 and 5405 kHz.
Modes: A1A,J3E. Bandwidth: 3 kHz. Power: 100 watts.
Call sign VO1MRC.
The Marconi Radio Club is enthusiastic about experimentation on 60 metres. Members have been monitoring the band, listening for UK and US stations. An experiment was proposed by J. Craig VO1NA and with the assistance of Dr Ken Pulfer VE3PU and Jim Dean VE3IQ, and the endorsement of Radio Amateurs of Canada, was approved by Industry Canada, the national regulatory body.
The primary purpose of the experiment is to compare differences in propagation over distances up to several hundred miles on the 80,60 and 40 metre bands. A report will be prepared for publication in "The Canadian Amateur", the national magazine for Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC).
12 May 2012 Industry Canada is seeking comments on a Canadian allocation. Please see this link
9-10 November. Several QSO's on 60 metres.
June 2012: VX9MRC is authorised to transmit on 5 60m spot frequencies.
April 2011: Several Canadian stations began using 60 metre spot frequencies under developmental (VX9) licences.
2010: A report has been prepared and was published in the November-December 2010 issue of "The Canadian Amateur" pp 33-34. It is anticipated by RAC that access to 5 MHz will be granted to Canadian Amateurs in the fall of 2011. MRCN extends many thanks to all who assisted with the operation.
June 2007: We are most grateful to the following amateurs who had QSO's and/or provided signal reports of the June 2007 60 metre operation: FP5CJ G3TXL G4TRA GI4VIV K2MUB K4AVC K8EUR K9HMB VO1BC VO1DK VO1HLD VO1PWF VO1RYL VO1UG VO1UL VO1WIZ VOT1A W1JR and W3UR.
Tentative Operation Schedule:
To participate, you should have have receive capabilities on 40 and 80 metres and 5.2 MHz. VO1MRC will transmit beacon signals on 5269 kHz and the strength of these signals at different times of the day at different locations will be determined. This can be read from an S meter on your transceiver but it is important that the settings and antenna be the same for all readings.
As of 6 April 2004 the following have participated in the fifth phase of the experiment. GI4VIV G4CAO G3GXQ VO1's LV UG PJN DD DAD UL ABN TA VCE CBS RYN TK QS UG RAH ER QS.
On 19-21 June 2004 it is proposed to conduct an experiment to compare wave angle differences and other activities. The beacon software written for the early 5 Meg Experiment work was revised to conduct the wave angle experiment. This involved toggling another RS232 line to switch the antenna and to transmit a code indicating a different aerial was being used. We hope to learn which aerial is most effective for a given range. This is a very simple experiment but may give some information on high angle performance over the short range (up to 500 km) for typical amateur aerials. A half-wave dipole inverted "V" with the apex at 10 metres and a half wave vertical will be used. Signal reports will be gratefully accepted.
Tentative Operation Schedule: Phase 5b
Suggestions are welcomed.
8 November 2002. Drafted proposal, found 4 crystals that could give carriers in the 5.3 MHz range. Using a glass plate and about half a bottle of the XYL's gritty cleaning paste, ground a crystal from 5.255 MHz up to 5.260 MHz. Although this took over 2 hours and over a thousand figure 8 grinds, it was motivated by hearing GI3XZM calling CQ on 5.260 MHz and the foul mouth fishermen gracing 5.255 MHz.
An internet signal report for GI3XZM was acknowledged and confirmed by Ian GI8AYZ who indicated that Des was "highly chuffed" by his signal being heard across the pond.
14 November 2002. Frank VO1HP hears and records the G3PLX LDE experiment transmission on 5280 kHz. A computer was programmed to send beacon text for the VO1MRC TX. Due to an inefficient algorithm, it sounds like the computer has a glass fist, ie: has a swing -- a bit of QSD. Interface comprising a 2N2222A, 15k resistor to base and the collector shunted to ground with 0.22uF, was used to key the tx.
17 November. Vertical halfwave aerial was inspected. Reconnected and soldered several radials. Due to an unfortunate mishap, ie.: grinding with excessive enthusiasm, the xtal for 5319 is no more. Netted the remaining crystals to work the following frequencies: 5260.5 5268.4 5328.5 kHz.
The xtal case for 5268.4 is 4.4 x 4.0 x 1.9 cm, and is labelled "GEC Quartz Crystal Plate Made in England" and has the call signs G3LMD VO1FB and FP8BD etched on the side. I wonder who that is? Several stations volunteer to monitor signals from VO1MRC .
22-25 Nov 2002. The half wave vertical is tuned for 5.3 MHz despite the awkward transformation ratio and resulting high Q. VO1FB is the first to report reception of CW and SSB from VO1MRC on 5.328 MHz. Reports and/or contacts are acknowledged from: VO1JVA VE1DY G4UPS GI4VIV GI3PDN GI3XZM G3TXL G3DNF G3IFF VO1LV VO1QS VO1FJS VO1UL VO1CAL VO1TJM VO1BC VO1CWP VO1BP VO1UG VO1UL VO1EGH FP5CJ VE1AMA G4CAO VO1ABN VO1HP VO1MP. David Edwards in Hobart Tasmania (the oposite side of the world from Newfoundland) reported hearing CW on 5328 while VO1MRC was transmitting its beacon on this frequency.
July 2003: US Amateurs permitted 50 watts (USB) on 5332, 5348, 5368, 5373 and 5405 kHz. UK Amateurs with NOV's have been operating on 5260, 5280, 5290, 5400 and 5405 kHz since 2002. March 2005. Norwegian Club stations can run 100 watts CW and USB on 5280, 5290,5332, 5348, 5368, 5373, 5400 and 5405kHz.
Tentative Operation Schedule: Phase 1
Phase 1 Summary The vertical aerial has been tuned and tested and determined to be operating properly. The transceiver has been properly adjusted to operate on 60 metres. It has been tested as a transceiver and beacon and works well. The SSB transmit frequency was 1 kHz lower than the corresponding CW frequency for a given crystal. Computer software to operate radio beacons and monitor signal strengths has been developed and tested. Substantial differences in propagation have been observed between 60 80 and 40 metres based on unstandardised signal reports. Methods of obtaining standardised signals reports have been discussed. Two way contacts were had with Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ireland, and England. Signals were heard in St Pierre, Tasmania and by a commercial station.
The Marconi Radio Club of Newfoundland expresses sincere gratitude to all who have participated in Phase 1 of the experiment and contributed to its excellent success.
Tentative Operation Schedule: Phase 2
Preliminary Results: Phase 2
Apparent diurnal fluctuation or artifact?
Note: time of dusk was approx 2000Z; path about 60 km,
30 km over salt water. Conclusion: more data needed before
one can be drawn.
Diurnal variability for local and transatlantic (bottom) paths.
More data has been received thanks to: AA1VX DL8AAM F0DBD G0FHK G0HNW G3PLP G3SES G3TXL G3UNT G3YMC (First 60m QRP TA[jc 13/06/2007]) G3YMC G3ZBE G4AGE G4CAO G4LOP G4LOP G4UPS G4VXE G4WWA G5BM GM0HDR GM0HMR K2RT K2SMD OZ7DX PY2FUS PY2ZX VE2DWE VE3PU VE7CRO VE7HCB VK7RO VO1BC VO1HP VO1TK VO1UL VO1UG VO1XP W2MC W4IHK who either established QSO's or furnished signal reports of VO1MRC on the 5260.5 working frequency or the 5269 beacon frequency. These results will be processed in the near future.
Many thanks to all who participated in Phase 2 of the 5MegEx.
Operation Schedule: Phase 3
Operation Schedule: Phase 4
2330 0030 UTC TX/RX 5329 kHz USB/CW 26/27 Sept 2003.
2230 UTC TX/RX 5260.5 kHz CW daily as time permits.
1 Oct 0030 TX 5329 kHz (tune to 5327.5 kHz USB) RX 5330.5
Operation Schedule: Phase 5 20 Feb. Letter of Authorisation has been received for MRCN to resume experimentation on 5 MHz. Thanks to RAC.