5MHz

Frequencies at 5MHz are available on a secondary basis to holders of a UK Full Amateur Licence. The maximum permitted output power is 100 Watts from the transmitter and 200 Watts eirp from the antenna. Mobile operation is not allowed.

UK 5MHz Frequencies

The 5351.5 – 5366.5kHz WRC-15 allocation is not in effect in the UK, so stations must adhere to the frequencies set out in the licence schedule.

UK operation largely follows the conventions shown here but exceptions are common and QSOs on popular frequencies may be found using any mode. Take care not to transmit outside the UK segments even if amateur signals can be heard as they may be coming from other countries with different allocations.

Lower limit kHz Upper limit kHz Guidelines on current usage and suggested
USB frequencies
5258.5 5264.0 CW activity, 5262kHz QRP
5276.0 5284.0 USB 5278.5kHz. EMCOMM CoA
5288.5 5292.0 Beacons 5290kHz. WSPR
5298.0 5307.0 All modes. USB 5298.5kHz, 5301kHz, 5304kHz
5313.0 5323.0 All modes. AM 5317kHz. USB 5320kHz
5333.0 5338.0 USB 5335kHz
5354.0 5358.0 All modes. USB 5354kHz. In WRC-15 band
5362.0 5374.5 All modes. USB 5363kHz, 5371.5kHz. WRC-15 band to 5366.5kHz. Weak signal 5366.0 – 5366.5kHz
5378.0 5382.0 USB 5379kHz
5395.0 5401.5 USB 5395kHz, 5398.5kHz
5403.5 5406.5 USB 5403.5kHz

Please ensure out-of-band operation does not occur. Selecting a USB frequency from the table above will ensure compliance and is largely compatible with allocations in other countries also.

Please do not transmit USB on 5330.5kHz, 5357kHz, or 5360kHz. Also do not transmit CW between 5351.5 – 5354kHz. These frequencies are commonly used in other countries but are outside the UK allocation.

Notes on the frequency table:

1. The current UK allocation only covers parts of the 5351.5 – 5366.5kHz band. For UK QSOs, try to avoid the busy WRC-15 segment, shown in green above, and leave it available for international contacts or stations with no other option. Common USB frequencies are indicated in the table so either use these frequencies or keep at least 3kHz away to avoid interference to spot allocations. For example, use 5335kHz and 5354kHz so as not to interfere with 5330.5kHz and 5357kHz, which are common to many countries but cannot be used in the UK.

2. A band plan for the new 5351.5 – 5366.5 WRC-15 band was agreed at the IARU Region 1 Interim Meeting in April 2016. The USB frequencies 5354kHz and 5363kHz shown in the table above are within the all modes segment of the WRC-15 band. The proposed weak signal segment for <20Hz narrow band modes from 5366.0 – 5366.5kHz also falls within the UK 5MHz frequency schedule. The segments of the IARU band plan in red below cannot be used in the UK.

kHz 5351.5 5354.0 5354.0 5358.0 5358.0 5362.0 5362.0 5366.0 5366.0 5366.5
Modes CW All modes All modes All modes Weak Signal

3. Upper sideband is recommended for SSB operation at 5MHz to preserve compatibility with other services. USB frequencies are suppressed carrier frequency.

4. Ensure that the transmitted spectrum is completely within the allocated frequencies. The transmitted spectrum of an upper sideband signal extends from the suppressed carrier frequency, usually also the indicated or dial frequency, to 3kHz higher, so set the frequency at least 3kHz below the top of the band segment. As an example in the diagram below, the narrow segment of 5378 – 5382kHz is only wide enough for one SSB signal which should be no higher than 5379kHz for the signal to remain within the allocation:

USB on 5MHz Channel

Similarly, with digital modes on 5357kHz, any transmission greater than 1000Hz (1kHz) on the waterfall will be above 5358.0kHz and therefore out of band, see diagram below:

5357 Data

5. AM operation is permitted provided the maximum bandwidth does not exceed 6kHz. AM activity can often be found on 5317kHz.

6. Note that the segment from 5403.5 – 5406.5kHz is only 3kHz wide. For USB, set the radio to 5403.5kHz as any other frequency would result in the transmitted spectrum being out of band.

7. Beacons operate around 5290kHz. With the exception of WSPR from 5288.5 – 5289.0kHz, it would be helpful if operators do not transmit in this narrow segment. Since the release of the WRC-15 band, most WSPR activity has moved to the weak signal segment between 5366.0 – 5366.5kHz.

8. As with the WARC bands at 10, 18, and 24MHz, there should be no contest activity on 5MHz.

Communications with Military Cadet Stations

Communication with UK military cadet stations is permitted. These stations will identify with callsigns of a different format to amateur calls and they use a concise operating procedure. They are unlikely to give operator names or locations but will often exchange information on equipment and aerials. Whilst military stations may be heard on any frequency around 5MHz, amateur stations must never attempt to contact military stations outside the frequency allocations above.

The 5MHz Newsletter

Paul G4MWO produces a regular newsletter on 5MHz activity and operation around the world, which also gives useful information about the current status of 5MHz. It can be downloaded or read as a pdf file in a new tab here.

RSGB 5MHz Experiment

Since gaining permission in 2002 to experiment on 5MHz, the Society has provided a basic propagation experiment in which UK amateurs could participate. This experiment is now concluded and we would like to thank everyone who participated. Activity on 5MHz over the last 10 years or more from the UK greatly helped the amateur service gain a 5MHz allocation at WRC-15.