Amateur Radio’s two newest bands came to life on Friday the 13th. Both 630 meters (472-479 kHz) and 2200 meters (135.7-137.8 kHz) bands now are available to radio amateurs who have notified the Utilities Technology Council (UTC) of their intention to operate and did not hear anything back during the ensuing 30 days.
“Many of us filed notices with the Utilities Technology Council on September 15, the day the notification procedure was announced,” said Fritz Raab, W1FR, who coordinated the ARRL WD2XSH 630-Meter Experiment. “We did not expect to hear from the UTC unless they were objecting to amateur operation. Much to our surprise, on Friday, October 13, a number of operators received ‘okay’ notices. So, the first amateur operations commenced that night.”
Some Denied Access to 2200 Meters
UTC e-mails went out to an undermined number of US radio amateurs who had notified the Council, but not everyone got the thumbs up. One of those thwarted in his hopes of operating under his Amateur Radio license on 2200 meters was John Andrews, W1TAG, a long-wave veteran with thousands of hours on the band over the past 15 years or so under his FCC Part 5 Experimental license.
Andrews, who also participated in the ARRL’s 630-Meter Experiment, said UTC denied his request because he was within 1 kilometer of a power line using PLC (power line communication). Raab said another who did not pass UTC muster for 2200 meters was Alabamian Dave Guthrie, KN4OK, who is hoping to give 630 meters a try. UTC also told Guthrie that he was within 1 kilometer of a power line using PLC, and that operation on 2200 meters could cause interference, but added, “We encourage you to reapply and select only the ‘472-479 kHz’ range, as it is much more free of interference from utilities.”
Awash with Signals
Raab said a few operators reported making contacts on 630 meters the first night, although noise levels were high, and a geomagnetic storm was in progress….