Andre Kesteloot andre.kesteloot at
Fri Sep 29 20:49:25 CDT 2006

from the ARRL Bulletin
André N4ICK



The project manager for the ARRL 500-kHz experiment, Fritz Raab, W1FR, says
The 500 KC Experimental Group for Amateur Radio is still in the
organizational stages but has already recorded its first two-way contact.
The FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology on September 13 granted Part
5 experimental license WD2XSH to the ARRL on behalf of a group of radio
amateurs interested in investigating the LF spectrum. The two-year
authorization permits experimentation and research between 505 and 510 kHz
(600 meters) using narrowband modes at power levels of up to 20 W effective
radiated power (ERP).

"It will probably be a free for all through October as guys get their
stations on the air," Raab told ARRL Headquarters. "The Midwest stations
will be limited to 505 to 508 kHz for the time being, and the rest can use
505 to 510 kHz." He said a couple of the WD2XSH participants got on the air
the day after the license was issued, and several others activated the first
week, generating a number of reception reports. 

"Many are for distances of about 300 miles, of course, but some are much
longer," Raab told ARRL Headquarters. He reports that W0RPK in Iowa copied
the WD2XSH/20 station in Oregon early on September 26 - a distance of 1500

The first QSO took place September 21 between the stations in Tennessee and
North Carolina - a distance of some 300 miles.

Raab eventually would like to see at least a secondary 600-meter Amateur
Radio allocation from 495 to 510 kHz. He envisions eventual use of the
spectrum to provide Amateur Radio emergency communication via groundwave.

Announcement of the license grant earlier this month brought a few requests
from radio amateurs interested in joining the experimental group. Raab says
there are no plans to expand the group's membership, however. He does invite
reception reports of transmissions made by group members

For the time being, the WD2XSH group is only using CW. The ARRL Part 5
application had requested permission to use both CW and PSK31, but the
license grant omitted the latter mode. Raab says he's working to secure
permission to add PSK31 to the grant.

During October, the 21-station experimental group will develop a band plan
that assigns frequencies for QRSS -- very slow speed CW -- as well as for CW
beacons and for two-way communication, Raab said. WD2XSH participant Conrad
Murray, WS4S (WD2XSH/11) reports he's transmitting a QRSS beacon on an
irregular basis on 505.505 kHz from his Tennessee QTH.

News of the WD2XSH license grant opened another line of communication for
Raab. "The announcement brought me a bunch of e-mails, and contact with
someone I knew from college and hadn't seen since the 1970s," he said.

More information is on the 500 kc Experimental Group for Amateur Radio Web
site <>.

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