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New 4 m repeater ON0ABT on air
Published on 14 July 2014 by Jean-Jacques ON7EQ
Last weekend a new 4 m repeater has been activated with call sign ON0ABT on 70.3875 MHz, locator JO11PC, output 25 W on 5/8 antenna elevated 55 mASL.
The main purpose of setting up this repeater was to stimulate the activity on the 4m band, by providing a limited 'relay' function for the sparse stations active on this band, and on the other hand provide them a possibility to perform tests an optimization of their station.
Due to the limited bandwidth of the band and the IARU bandplan to which the UBA wants to adhere to, a full duplex was out of question to be achieved - therefore a simplex  'echophone' was provided as alternative.
FM signals modulated with a CTCSS tone of 79.7 Hz during at least 3 seconds will be recorded op to 60 seconds, and played back - if the frequency is clear. After being repeated, the message will be followed by an accurate S-meter report in CW, this can be handly to adjust antenna, check propagation etc. Every 20 minutes, when the frequency is clear, a beacon will be sent in CW.
As 70.3875 MHz is the  'standby' frequency in the Western part of Flanders, probably that signals from across the borders (Southern UK & The Netherlands) can reach the locals ham's through the repeater.
Any reception report is mostly welcome!

German Class A access to 4 m
Published on 2 July 2014 by Bo OZ2M
Today the German BNetzA has announced that German radio amateurs holding a Class A license are allowed to use 70,000 MHz to 70,030 MHz until the end of August 2014. The other operating conditions are similar to those on 50 MHz, i.e. 25 W EIRP, max 12 kHz bandwidth and horizontal antennas.
Last year DARC files a petition for 70,0 MHz to 70,2 MHz but this was not granted by BNetzA. However, DARC will continue to work for a more permanent solution.

Please note: To minimize the interference to/from beacons it might be worthwhile considering if split operation will make sense for sked like QSOs.

Germany sets 4 m free
Published on 27 June 2014 by Bo OZ2M
Until now German operators have had access to 4 m after being granted a special permit. But from 2 July 2014 the 4 m band should be free to everybody according to DARC and BNetzA. However, the access and further conditions have to be published in "Regelungen in der Mitteilung 502 im Amtsblatt 12/2014" before any operation can take place.

Italy back on 4 m
Published on 26 June 2014 by Bo OZ2M
Thanks to Professor Piero Tognolatti of the University of Aquila Italian radio amateurs can use the 4 m band again from 23 June 2014 to 19 December 2014. The frequencies are as before 70,1 MHz, 70,2 MHz and 70,3 MHz all +/- 12,5 kHz and with max 50 W ERP. No transmission within 30 km of France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia. thanks to Emilio, IK0OKY, for the information.

Montenegro on 4 m (since Apr 2012)
Published on 19 June 2014 by Bo OZ2M
Thanks to Chris, PA2CHR, it has now been verifed that radio amateurs operating in Montenegro have access to the 4 m band since 11 April 2012. The frequency allocation is 70,050 MHz to 70,450 MHz with a maximum of 25 W PEP and applies to license categories A and N. Montenegro also accepts CEPT operation.

New 70 MHz CEPT Initiative by IARU
Published on 19 June 2014 by Dave EI3IO
I've been appointed as an expert by IARU to mount a new 4m initiative to obtain regulatory recognition for a 70 MHz allocation in Europe (CEPT).

A document addressing 70 MHz is currently doing the rounds for comment in Committee 5 of IARU and in National Societies. The document explains the current initiative and strategy. It is a two pronged approach to obtain a secondary allocation to the amateur service at 69.9 - 70.5 MHz in the European frequency table, firstly by encouraging national societies to lobby their regulators to support such an initiative and secondly through direct liaison by IARU with the regulators of those CEPT countries which have had some form of access to the band in recent years. The latter has already commenced. The document contains an appendix which is intended to be a multi-country and IARU proposal to the Frequency Management Working Group of CEPT which looks after the European Common Allocation (ECA) table. The proposal is to modify the ECA and footnote EU9. The support of at least 10 administrations is required to obtain an automatic modification to the table. The document will be sent for comment and hopefully support to most of the 30 countries having provided some form of access to the 4m band.

In this regard a Spectrum Workshop will be held at Hamradio FHN on Saturday 28th June at 15:00 until 16:00 in - Room A , 5th floor, 'Verwaltungsgebaeude' (Messe Administration Building).

Topics will include presentations on 4 metre CEPT proposals by myself EI3IO and 5 MHz WRC-15 progress by Hans PB2T. Other topics can also be discussed if time permits. Because of the short notice of this workshop it will not feature in the Hamradio lecture programme.

Not yet 4 m in Bulgaria
Published on 29 May 2014 by George LZ1ZP
70 MHz band is still not allowed in Bulgaria! We are waiting for a "technical permissions" to be given by Bulgarian telecommunication authorities. Then we will have to wait for a couple of months before this permissions will be publicly discussed and if there are no objections it is to be published in "Official Gazette of Bulgaria". After that we will start to operate on 70 MHz. Any previous transmission on 70 MHz can stop this process. Please don't encourage peoples who are working against Bulgarian radio amateurs - just don't call him!

Finland expands allocation to include 200
Published on 2 April 2014 by OZ2M
Finnish amateurs are now allowed to transmit in the segment from 70,175 MHz to 70,225 MHz also. This means that the total Finnish allocation is now from 70,0 MHZ to 70,3 MHz.

REF addresses 4 m with regulator
Published on 1 April 2014 by Bo OZ2M
REF of France informes that in a recent meeting between the French National Society (REF) and the French National Regulatory Authority (ARCEP), REF raised the issue of access to a number of frequency allocations, including 70 MHz.
ARCEP was informed that 15 European countries had provided access to 70 MHz. The regulator agreed to review again the possibility of a 70 MHz allocation.

Another 4 m operation from Sweden
Published on 31 March 2014 by Bo OZ2M
I will be doing a presentation about the Next Generation Beacons project and OZ7IGY at the ESR AGM at 12 April next to the Grimeton VLF transmitter. PTS has granted me a permit to perform a live demonstration of 4 m. The operating frequency is 70,1375 MHz, with a 25 kHz channel spacing and maximum power is 25 W ERP. See more at VUSHF DX.