Tag: nvis

Beginners Guide to 5 MHz

If you’re a UK based advanced (full) license holder then you already have access to 5 MHz without the need for any special NOV’s. Most modern radios will already transmit on 5 MHz, others will need modification or wideband for TX. If you have tested your radio on 5MHz and it wont transmit then you could take a look at mods.dk

So lets assume your radio is ready to go..

5 MHz is not like other amateur bands, we don’t have one continuous allocation, more segments of activity.Like the primary user its best to stick to USB on 5 MHz, although technically no reason why you couldn’t use LSB ! The band has pockets of activity, some frequencies are used for CW, Data and Phone. All of the frequencies I quote will be USB dial freq, and these could form the basis for you to program into memory channels. While the new allocation can be portrayed as “band segments”  it’s often easier to think of discreet channel numbers.

If you hear another amateur calling CQ be sure to check the band allocation as not all channels have been harmonised. This can even apply to returning a CQ call from another UK amateur, check before you transmit !

5mhz_taz_guide

You can download a PDF of this guide to keep by your radio here.

A PDF visualising the band plan is available to download on G3NRW site. The RSGB have also provided a guide online.

The RSGB provide a handy guide to ensure all of your signal remains in band.

USB-on-5MHz-Channel

Power is limited to 100w from your radio, and amateurs are secondary users (MOD is primary) I would suggest additional care is taken to ensure you always operate in band and identify your station call sign at regular intervals. Operating away from your main station address is permitted either /P or /A but no mobile usage is permitted.

The band is ideal for short range NVIS contacts during the day, typically 50 to 400 miles, and after dark the band does support some further DX. In the winter the band often closes shortly after dark, but in the summer it will support short hop NVIS all night.

The band does support various digital modes CW, JT65, JT9 and WSPR. The centre of activity for each mode.

CW – 5260 and 5262

WSPR 5287.2

Olivia 5366.5

FSQ 5367.5

73 Dave M0TAZ

FSQ on 5 MHz

FSQ is a Fast Simple Qso chat mode, a bit like chatting by SMS or Skype but of course using RF. The FSQCALL protocol was developed by Murray ZL1BPU with significant input from Con ZL2AFP. Murray suggests all the hard work was done by Con 🙂

FSQ is intended for fixed frequency (channelized) operation, with dedicated calling frequencies. It isn’t intended as a ‘tune around to see what you can find’ mode!

Suggested Frequencies

Region 1 (Africa, Europe , Middle East)
80m 3588 kHz USB (sunset to sunrise)
60m *5367.5 kHz USB local day
40m 7044 kHz USB (sunrise to sunset)
30m 10144 kHz USB (local day, DX night)

*suggested UK freq for 5 MHz.

Region 2 (North and South America)
80m 3594 kHz USB (sunset to sunrise)
40m 7104 kHz USB (sunrise to sunset)
30m 10144 kHz USB (local day, DX night)

Region 3 (Australia and Asia)
80m 3580 kHz USB (sunset to sunrise)
40m 7105 kHz USB (sunrise to sunset)
30m 10149 kHz USB (local day, DX night)

You can read more about FSQ and the way it can generate automatic replies from station monitoring the frequency. You will need to understand how the commands work.

To help you get started have a read at the operating guidelines published here. They establish some rules around callsign format being in lower case and what frequencies to try. One option for inter G is to try 5 MHz, put your dial freq on 5367.5 USB and call CQ.

You can download the software on ZL1BPU website, for some reason we have a USA and rest of the world version. I would suggest you select the rest of the world version (unless your in the USA) as for some strange reason they dont both centre the signal as 1500 Hz (centre of the waterfall) if you try and use the USA version and the other station have the rest of the world version you cant operate on the same dial freq.

FSQ was developed by Con Wassilieff ZL2AFP with the assistance of Murray Greenman ZL1BPU. The first QSO took place between these two on 28th November 2014, and the first Alpha executable release was on 17th December 2014. The source code was released with the Beta version 0.23 on 3rd March 2015. The first US version release (V0.24 RC1 by Bob NW8L) was on 29th March 2015. The first full-package public release was by Bob NW8L on 29 April 2015.

A version of fldigi with full FSQ support was released by Dave W1HKJ on 16 July 2015, and includes support for Linux and Mac platforms.

More information on FSQ and fldigi is available online.

The software requires very little setup, just add your callsign (lower case) and locator. You may need to use VOX to key the radio, much depends on your local setup.

Here you can see a screen grab from a chat with G4VLC Peter, G0VPJ John, G4DAX Dave on 5367.5 MHz USB

fsq

 

73 Dave M0TAZ