To all DX stations who operate on 80mb JT65/JT9 mode,
Thank you very much for having QSOs with JA stations. This blog entry tries to explain JA legal situation regarding JA band plans, especially focusing on JT65 and/or JT9. This entry describes the situation as of February of 2017, after the band plan change in January of 2015.
Current legally allowed JA 80/75 mb amateur band frequency range is as follows:
(frequencies in MHz)
3.500 – 3.575(*) CW/digital modes/phone
digital mode bands are 3.520-3.535 and 3.535-3.575(**)
JA JT65/JT9 users use 3.531 as QRG frequency.
3.599 – 3.612 (*) (phone, CW, and digital mode)
3.680 – 3.687 (phone and CW, but no digital mode band)
3.702 – 3.716 (phone and CW, but no digital mode band)
3.745 – 3.770 (phone and CW, but no digital mode band)
3.791 – 3.805 (phone and CW, but no digital mode band)
* 3.500-3.575 and 3.599-3.612 are the only 80mb ranges in which JA stations are legally allowed to operate in digital modes (JT65/JT9, PSK, RTTY, etc…)
** 3.535 – 3.575 This part of the above mentioned frequency range is primarily for phone and CW operations. Digital mode operation may use this range only when contacting stations outside JA.
(official band plan sheet from JARL (in Japanese) can be found here, frequencies are written in plain numeric characters and I am sure anyone can at least read the frequency boundaries.
Regulations state that all JA amateur stations must comply with the above mentioned band plan, meaning all spectra must fall on inside the above range.
This means that, in JA, JT65/JT9 transmissions using QRG frequency of 3.576 or 3.578 in rig’s USB mode is not permitted; JT65/JT9 operations with rig QRG frequency of 3.576 is illegal.
Japan’s authorities monitor off band operations. News says some JA stations were warned by phone from authority, others went so far as to receive legal penalty of temporary ham operation prohibition for four to six week period.
I have no idea if the QSL with JA in off-band frequency is valid DXCC-wise. At least you should be aware of the fact that JA stations transmitting between 3.575-3.599MHz are illegal ones. You may want to respond like “NO JA ON 3576” or something like that when called from JA on the same QRG frequency of 3.576MHz.
For your information, legal JA JT65/JT9 users operate with QRG frequency of 3.531MHz. If you are allowed to transmit in digital mode at around 3.531 MHz, all JA stations are happy to have contact with you around that frequency.
Another approach would be to have split frequency QSO (like JA 3.531 x You 3.576), just like we used to do in 160mb CW (1.8MHz x 1.9MHz) long time ago.
I strongly wish JA authorities soon allow Japanese amateur radio stations to use 80/75mb seamlessly, without any frequency gaps.
Thank you for reading this,
If you have any questions regarding JT65/JT9 activities in Japan, please feel free to send an email to jh8jnfBLAHBLAHjarl.com (replace BLAHBLAH with an at mark).