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Germany back on 4 m
Published on 29 April 2015 by Bo OZ2M
As of 29 April 2015 German hams can use, on a secondaty basis, the 4 m band again until end of 31 August 2015. The conditions are: 70,150 MHz bis 70,180 MHz, max 25 W ERP, max bandwidth 12 kHz, all modes and horizontal antennas.

Spain gets permanent allocation
Published on 15 April 2015 by Bo OZ2M
Jose, EA7KW, writes: "The frequency band from 70.150 MHz to 70.200 MHz may be used by the amateur service on a secondary basis and the technical conditions set out in Annex I to Regulation use of public domain by amateurs , approved by Order IET / 1311/2013, 9 July." Furthermore is the allocation now permanent since 6 April 2015.

Lithuania gained access to 4 m since 10 February 2015
Published on 8 April 2015 by Bo OZ2M
Alex, LY3UM, writes that Lithuania amateurs have had access to the 4 m band since 10 February 2015. The permission dates back to the official gazette 2010, Nr. 108-5577 annex no. 1V-205, 2015-02-10, published in TAR, 2015-02-10, i. k. 2015 to 02041. Conditions are 70,240 MHz to 70,250 MHz, maximum EIRP 22 W, maximim SSB bandwidth 3 kHz and CW 500 Hz. Antenna height from the mid-point, not higher than 10 m from the ground.

Ofcom permits up to 71,5 MHz
Published on 3 April 2015 by Bo OZ2M

RSGB writes that Ofcom have agreed the use of 70.5 MHz to 71.5 MHz by radio amateurs for digital experimentation. Use will be permitted only via a Special Research Permit and further details of the application process will be published in due course.For information, the following conditions will apply:

  • Access to this part of the spectrum will be authorised under a Notice of Variation, time-limited to 12 months and available to Full Licence holders only.
  • Ofcom will retain the right to reallocate Amateur Radio spectrum at 70.5 – 71.5 MHz should there be a demand for this part of the spectrum from Business Radio and/or other or new services. In the event of this happening, Ofcom will not consult on this decision. However, Ofcom will provide Amateur Radio users with 12 months’ notice before such reassignment and this notice period will be publicised on the Ofcom website.
  • Amateur Radio use of this spectrum will be permitted on a non-protection, non-interference basis. Please note that if use is shown to cause interference, the spectrum will be removed with immediate effect
  • Permission will be subject to a geographical restriction and only granted for use in England, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Northern Ireland and Wales. (There is legacy use of the spectrum by the Scottish Government which precludes licensing for Amateur Radio)

Note that in a similar manner to 146-147 MHz, international coordination is likely to be required as use must be compliant with the level published in the Harmonised Calculation Method (HCM) Agreement of +6 dBuV/m.

Malta on 4 m
Published on 16 February 2015 by Paul 9H1BT
The 70,0 MHz - 70,5 MHz band has been allocated to Amateur Radio use on secondary basis and included in the National Frequency Plan as published by the Mata Communications Authority (MCA) on 13 Feb 2015.
There are quite a few local stations interested in being active on 4 m.

WG2XPN back on the air
Published on 7 February 2015 by Brian WA1ZMS
The Experimental License for WG2XPN with one-way only beacon operations on 70.005 MHz with 3 kW ERPd from here in the US (QTH: FM07FM) has been renewed until May 1st of 2017. As such, it gives the only 4 m North American beacon an chance to be heard via TA in the EU for another 2 years. That’s a good thing in my mind. Thanks again goes to the FCC & the Society of Broadcast Engineers here in the US for their continued support; after all this portion of spectrum is still reserved for TV service only and no US 4m ham band appears possible in the future. I am always hoping for a repeat of the 7000+ km Eskip DX reports that took place in 2013. To all EU stations on 4 m: Remember to point your beams West during Eskip season and give a LONG listen on 70.005 MHz. You might just hear something!

Finland gets 300 kHz continuous allocation
Published on 2 January 2015 by Bo OZ2M
Erik, OH2LAK, writes that the allocation in Finland now covers 70,0 MHz to 70,3 MHz continuously without any special permit but still as a secondary service.

Czech Republic on 4 m in 2015
Published on 26 December 2014 by Bo OZ2M
Matej, OZ1TEH, writes that the Czech Telecommunications Office has granted another extension 4 m permits for 2015. Two small changes applies: 1) the maximum validity of an individual license is one year and 2) it is not possible to apply for a permit valid for three different locations, however, /P operation is not permitted. The price of a permit is 500 CZK.

IRTS 70 MHz (4 m) Awards
Published on 7 December 2014 by Dave EI3IO
To celebrate the adoption of the band 69.9 MHz – 70.5 MHz as a secondary amateur allocation in the European Common (frequency) Allocation Table and Ireland’s significant involvement in the process, IRTS as the national IARU member society in Ireland is pleased to launch two new 4 m awards.

The purpose of the awards is to recognise and promote DX achievements by amateur radio operators interested in the range 69 MHz – 74 MHz. In-band and cross-band awards are available. Log extracts are required and there is currently no charge for the awards. The awards will be available from 1 January 2015.

70 MHz Maidenhead Locator Award (MLA) Programme
  • For the 70 MHz MLA in-band Half Century award, communicating with stations in 50 locators is required, 75 for a cross-band award
  • For the 70 MHz MLA in-band Century award, communicating with stations in 100 locators is required, 125 for a cross-band award
  • For the 70 MHz MLA in-band Double Century award, communicating with stations in 200 locators are required, 250 for a cross-band award. A Double Century award can also be endorsed for additional locators worked in steps of 50 e.g. 250, 300, 350 etc.
A PDF document providing full details of the award and how to apply can be downloaded from the IRTS web-site.

70 MHz Continents, Countries and Islands Award (CCI) Programme

For this award points are earned for working WAC continents, DXCC countries and IOTA island groups. A continent is valid for 10 points (once only), an IOTA island reference which is not listed as a DXCC entity is valid for 2 points and a DXCC entity is valid for 1 point.
  • For the 70 MHz CCI in-band Basic award 50 points are required, 65 for a cross-band award
  • For the 70 MHz CCI in-band Century award 100 points are required, 115 for a cross-band award
  • For the 70 MHz CCI in-band Century Plus award 130 points are required, 145 for a cross-band award. A 70 MHz CCI century plus award can also be endorsed for additional entities worked in steps of 20 e.g. +20, +40, +60 etc.
A PDF document providing full details of the award and how to apply can be downloaded from the IRTS web-site.

Recomendations from the IARU Region 1 meeting in Varna
Published on 12 November 2014 by Bo OZ2M
At the International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 2014 General Conference helt in Varna-Albena, Bulgaria from 21–27 September 2014 the following recommendations were made concerning 70 MHz:
  • Deleted the RTTY allocation, 70,300 MHz, in the bandplan
  • The reference frequency for WSPR transmissions is the center of the four transmitted frequencies.
  • It is emphasized that all frequencies in the bandplan refer to the frequency transmitted in the air and not any radio dial etc.
  • A 24 hours contest will be held on the same week-end as the 50 MHz contest
  • IARU contest logs deadline is the second Monday after the contest