ARRL Contest Branch Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ says the new 630 and 2200-meter bands will be fair territory in the ARRL International Grid Chase. The year-long operating event begins on January 1, 2018 at 0000 UTC (New Year’s Eve in US time zones). The object is to work stations in as many Maidenhead grid squares as possible, and radio amateurs around the world are encouraged to take part. Contacts made on the 60-meter band will not be eligible for award credit, however.
US radio amateurs are advised, however, that the use of 630 and 2200-meters requires advance notification to the Utilities Technology Council (UTC) of their intention to operate on one or both bands. If UTC does not respond within 30 days or specifically denies access, these stations may commence operation there.
Once approved to use either 630-meters, 2200-meters or both, US radio amateurs must adhere to the FCC rules regarding the use of those bands.
- Amateurs operating on 472-479 kHz (630 meters) may run up to 5 W equivalent isotropically radiated power (EIRP), except in parts of Alaska within 800 kilometers of Russia, where the maximum would be 1 W EIRP.
- Amateurs operating in the 135.7-137.8 kHz band (2200-meters) may run up to 1 W EIRP.
- The FCC has placed a 60-meter (approximately 197 feet) above-ground-level (AGL) height limit on transmitting antennas used on 630-meters and 2200-meters.
- The bands are available to General class and higher licensees, using CW, RTTY, data, phone, and image.
Any contact you make in 2018, with the exception of contacts on 60-meters, can count toward your International Grid Chase score, and contacts do not have to include an exchange of grid squares. Participants may upload their logs to Logbook of The World (LoTW), and as long as the other operators worked use LoTW, they get credit automatically once they upload their logs. This means that contest contacts will also count, as will contacts with special event stations, or other on-air activities that use LoTW to confirm contacts.
Email the ARRL Contest Branch for more information – contests [at] arrl [dot] org.
Credit: The ARRL Letter – November 16, 2017