Monday, December 01, 2008

IARU Region 1 Passes New 40 Meter Bandplan

The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) concluded its meeting in November with an agreement on a new voluntary band plan for the expanded 40 meter amateur band.

IARU regions coincide with those of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Region 1 is Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and all of Russia east to its Bering Strait border with (gasp) the United States. Region 2 is North and South America, plus Greenland. Region 3 is Asia (minus Asiatic Russia), the Central and South Pacific, Australia, and New Zealand. Antarctica and the Arctic are split up accordingly, as the lines run clear to the poles.

On March 29, 2009, an ITU agreement will kick in, expanding 40 meters in Region 1 from 7000-7100 kHz to 7000-7200. AM broadcasters in Region 1 will no longer be coordinated in this part of the "41 meter band," though it is not known whether all will actually move anytime soon. Furthermore, broadcasters in Region 3 will not have to move unless interference from legally operating amateurs becomes a problem.

The major change for hams is to move most voice operation above 7100 kHz, somewhat more in harmony with the United States rules. Night time 40 meter users in the US will hopefully not be required as often to work crossband or cross-mode to contact voice DX stations. However many countries don't have required band segments by mode, and band plans are voluntary in such cases.

Here's the band plan:

7.000-7.025 CW, contest preferred (existing prime DX-chasing segment worldwide)
7.025-7.040 CW QRP, Center of Activity 7030
7.040-7.047 Narrow band digital (PSK31, etc)
7.047-7.050 Narrow band digital, auto allowed
7.050-7.053 All digital, auto allowed
7.053-7.060 All digital
7.060-7.100 All modes, 7070 digital voice, 7090 SSB QRP
7.100-7.130 All modes, Region 1 Center of Activity 7110
7.130-7.200 All modes, SSB contest preferred, SSTV 7165
7.175-7.200 All modes, priority for intercontinental