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OZ7IGY on Next Generation Beacons platform
Published on 26 January 2013 by Bo OZ2M

Today the 4 m OZ7IGY beacon has been migrated to the Next Generations Beacons platform http://www.rudius.net/oz2m/ngnb

The beacon is now frequency and time locked to GPS. The sequenced is timed to start at 00 second sending JT65C2 followed by a short pause then CW ID sending callsign and locator, then pause and carrier until next cycle. The nominal frequency remains the same, i.e. 70,021 MHz.

To decode JT65C2 tune your receiver 1270 Hz below the nominal frequency. On most radios this is a USB dial of 70,019730 MHz. The plan is to replace all the old beacons with the new platform as time permits.
Listeners reports and feed back are highly appreciated.

OZ7IGY status page: http://www.rudius.net/oz7igy

Hungary back on 4 m
Published on 30 December 2012 by Bo OZ2M
Tamas, HA5PT, wrote that as of 30 December 2012 the Hungarian radio amateurs may use 70 MHz again and this time with a permanent allocation. The permission follow the new Frequency Allocation Table, page 38353, issued by the Hungarian regulator. The licensing conditions are 70,0 MHz to 70,5 MHz and 10 W.

IC-7100 available in spring 2013
Published on 21 November 2012 by Bo OZ2M
According to ICOM UK the interest for the new ICOM IC-7100 there has been much excitement from the radio amateur community. ICOM UK expects that the IC-7100 will be available in UK in sprin 2013.
The news release does not seem to address important features like:
  • Strong signal handling capabilities, e.g. OIRT signals
  • Variable power control and overshoot management to avoid destroying external power amplifiers
  • MGM performance
  • AGC off, fast, medium and slow
  • Transmission from 69,9 MHz and to 70,5 MHz
  • Split operation
  • Heat disipation and long time transmissions
  • Using CW memory and PTT keying without using VOX

Czech Republic continues on 4 m in 2013
Published on 14 November 2012 by Bo OZ2M
Matej, OK1TEH, informs that the Czech Telecommunication Office has extended the special 4 m licenses so Czech radio amateurs can continue operation until 31 December 2013. Frequency allocation remains the same as in 2012, i.e. 70,100 MHz to 70.300 MHz, maximum power is 10W ERP.

Norway expands 4 m and gets "200"
Published on 6 November 2012 by Tom LA4LN
As of 31 October 2012, the Norwegian P & T Authority has made changes to the Norwegian amateur license regulations. The major changes are:
  1. Permission has been given to use 472 - 479 kHz (max. 100 W transmitter power output; max. 1 W EIRP). Hence the former permission to use 493 - 510 kHz has been stopped.
  2. Permission has been given to use 70.1875 - 70.2625 kHz, EXCEPT in the three Norwegian southwest counties of Hordaland, Rogaland and West-Agder, where there still is commercial traffic within this frequency segment.
NRRL had argued that the bulk of Norwegian radio amateurs should not be barred from using the IARU Region 1 calling frequency on 70.200 MHz and vicinities, because of a few commercial stations in the southwest corner of the country. This reasoning has thus been accepted by the Norwegian P & T authority. Hence the permission on 4 m with max. 100 W transmitter power, and max. 16 kHz bandwidth, include the following frequency segments:
70.0625 - 70.0875 MHz
70.1375 - 70.3125 MHz*
70.3625 - 70.3875 MHz
70.4125 - 70.4625 MHz
* 70.1875 - 70.2625 MHz not permitted in the counties Hordaland, Rogaland, and West-Agder (southwest Norway).

New Dutch contest 1-2 June 2013
Published on 31 October 2012 by Bo OZ2M

Theo, PA1TK, writes in an email that VERON has decided to run the first Dutch contest on 70 MHz 1-2 June 2013. More details will follow prior to the contest.

Greece extends its allocation
Published on 31 October 2012 by Bo OZ2M
Costas, SV1DH, and RAAG VHF manager informs that on 23 October 2012 all Greek radio amateurs may use the entire band from 70,000 MHz to 70,250 MHz and as a permanent allocation, but on secondary basis.

ICOM shows transceiver with 70 MHz
Published on 26 August 2012 by Bo OZ2M
At the Tokyo 2012 Ham Fair ICOM had a new transceiver with 70 MHz on display the ICOM IC-7100. The text does not say anything about 70 MHz or much other details. However, searching the Internet some more detailshave been found:
  • Slanted front separated controller with large touch screen dot matrix LCD (controller cannot be attached to body front)
  • Speaker is self contained inside the controller
  • Full mode (SSB, CW, AM, FM, RTTY decode) and D-STAR DV
  • HF (100 W), 50 MHz (100 W), 70 MHz (50 W), 144 MHz (50 W) and 430 MHz (35 W). Note: Power may be different according to version. The 70 MHz band is available for some versions only
  • Lower current consumption/cooler operation (compared with the IC-7000)
  • SWR meter function also works for VHF and UHF bands
  • Remote power on/off
  • IF DSP for filtering/interference removal/noise reduction
  • SD memory card slot, voice recording
  • USB Audio In/Out, remote control
  • +/- 0.5 ppm frequency stability
  • 505 memory channels
As with any new technology thses parameters are probably sucject to change before market launch.

It will be interesting to find out more about this new radio and its performance on 70 MHz especially with respect to:
  • Strong signal handling capabilities, e.g. OIRT signals
  • Variable power control and overshoot management to avoid destroying external power amplifiers
  • MGM performance
  • AGC off, fast, medium and slow
  • Transmission from 69,9 MHz and to 70,5 MHz
  • Split operation
  • Heat disipation and long time transmissions

More information is likely to surface with time.

Denmark expands its 4 m allocation again
Published on 21 May 2012 by OZ2M
The Danish frequency hearing has ended and by 1 June 2012 Denmark will extends its allocation on 4 m. The overall allocation will then cover 69,9375-70,0625 MHz, 70,0875-70,1125 MHz and 70,1625-70,5125 MHz.

Poland on 4 m 1 June 2012
Published on 17 May 2012 by Bo OZ2M
Today it was announced in the official Polish news gazette that Polish radio amateurs have access to the 4 m band. Effectively this means that 1 June 2012, local time, is the day we have all been waiting for. The conditions are: 70,1 MHz to 70,3 MHz and maximum 20 W EIRP and operation is on a secondary basis.