Wednesday, January 26, 2011

First emissions on 60m

On looking through the mail at lunch time I saw that I had received a letter from Ofcom. My NoV permitting me to operate on the 60m experimental band had arrived!

Until now I hadn't been bothered about operating on 60m because I couldn't see how I could possibly find room for an antenna for that band. However a couple of weeks ago I heard someone activating a SOTA summit in the Lake District on 60m and was frustrated that I could not reply to them. So I decided to put in an application for permission to operate and here I am.

I don't have an antenna that is resonant on 60m so I tried tuning up my multiband dipole using the K3 auto ATU. After a lot of persuasion it managed to find an acceptable match on the higher frequency channels but it gave up on the lower ones. So I should be able to manage some activity on the new band.

Fortunately, the channel allocated for beacon and WSPR use is one of the ones I was able to match. And today just happened to be a 60m WSPR activity day. So I fired up the WSPR software and beaconed on 60m using 2 watts, increasing to 5 watts in the evening when propagation went long and most of the traces faded out. The 5 watts did me no good at at all, but my 2 watt signal was heard by 7 different G stations all around 400km distance from me plus F/G6AIG at 760km. I received 6 different G stations including G4ZFQ at 458km running 20mW, plus OZ1PIF (my best DX at 984km) and LA3JJ.

Tomorrow is QRP day on 60m when everyone is supposed to run 500mW or less. I have not decided yet how little power I will run but I will be WSPRing on 60m all day. Hopefully there will be a few more people who manage to spot me.
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