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Project No 11

 

Getting ready for the 60m band ...

 

December 2015. 

 

Following WRC2015 a proposal to allocate a small segment of the 60m band to the radio amateur service has been approved.  The segment 5351.5 - 5366.5 kHz would become available on a secondary basis, 15W EIRP.

 

Several European countries already had an allocation which is either a "channel" (fixed frequency) or a segment for VFO use.  Frequency allocation, power limit and mode vary per country, unsurprisingly, this is Europe!

 

Shortly following WRC2015 the Belgian regulator BIPT pro-actively put forward a consultation on making the WRC2015 proposed 15kHz segment of the 60m band available to radio amateurs.  The consultation period runs until January 4th, 2016. 

 

I am eagerly awaiting publication so that I can use 60m from my home QTH and from SOTA locations throughout Belgium.  Meantime I have been testing my 60m set-up from a SOTA in the Netherlands where the 60m has been made available to radio amateurs (full licence / HAREC) since December 2015.

 

 

SOTA PA/PA-003 on 60m SSB.

 

December 17th, 2015 was a sunny day with unseasonally mild temperatures.  I had stuffed a "manpack" radio and full size wire dipole in my ruckpack and set course for Sint Pietersberg near Maastricht, about an hour's drive from my QTH.

 

 

A flock of sheep greeted me upon my arrival.

The FT-70G delivers 10W.  Thumbwheel switches set the TX/RX frequency, simplex only.

The inverted-V wire dipole in the trees, a bit top heavy because of the balun box.

My 60m antenna, a full size wire dipole.  Used at my home QTH for a few years as RX antenna.

Close-up of the 1:1 balun, encapsulated ferrite toroid in the box.


 

 

I set the transceiver to 5354kHz and started calling CQ around midday.  The result of my first ever 60m SSB activation was that I worked 7 stations from The Netherlands and 6 from England.  Especially the Dutch stations were within the NVIS distance of 120 - 300 km, it would not have been possible to work them via ground wave.  The English stations were a bit further afield at between 400 - 600 km, within the NVIS zone as I understand it.

 

Running 10W into a dipole, my signal report was usually 1 or 2 'S' points below the signal of the station worked.  I exchanged equal signal reports with a G6 station (novice licence / 10W) so a positive test all together.

 

 


 


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