After some pleasing success I thought: that’s it.
But today on OE/NO-323 for Vienna sota-day the band was completely dead.
My modest advice: Do not attempt a 60 m solo activation. At least check the conds in advance.
Otherwise it could turn out much harder than a 2 m FM solo activation.
Luckily mni 2 m FM stns today and nice contacts on 30 m.
gl 73 Martin
Solo activation can be difficult. I have also called myself hoarse on 2m ssb with an IC 202 - without success.
But I still find 60m an exciting band because you can bridge shorter distances here. This gives one (or the other) the chance to complete a summit. My 40m antenna is still being matched to 60m by the tuner … 80m is not possible.
As we’re entering summer conditions (on the northern hemisphere) QSOs on 60 metres become more difficult. D-layer absorption is now more pronounced than earlier (or later) in the year, especially during the times where most activations happen.
It’s a good idea to plan for an activation on at least one additional band.
However, I still like 60 metres as it offers a unique possibility to reach nearby stations, where 40 and above will fail.
Yeah. 60 metres can be quite a time-of-day band. I’ve done activations where I tried starting on it, got no responses, spent an hour on other bands, came back to 60 metres, and had lots of responses.
Spring going to summer has as result for propagation a strong D layer absorption of signals, the lower the band the stronger, so 60m and 80m getting very difficult especially with sota qrp signals.
With strong sporadic e one can make qso on 20m even to distances as low as 500 or 600 km. The smallest skip distance I ever got in a non sota qso with my qrp was something like 100 km (60 miles)
60m is my second-favourite band. With D-layer absorption making 80m difficult during the daytime in spring and summer, no wonder 80m is deserted then. I really like 60m’s NVIS propagation so I can work local, national and near continental stations on the same session. And I can get away with using my 40/30/20 EFHW on 60m and still get decent reports.
It’s a pity activity is still low, on CW at least. I doubt I could have qualified many SOTA summits just with 60m CW, although I know other activators have had pileups with SSB. That’s probably a UK prospective. I can hear much more EU CW activity in the WRC-15 CW and narrow digital modes section (below 5354kHz) but that’s not allocated in the UK. Fortunately, some EU stations do stray up to my favourite frequency, 5354.5kHz.
As they say “60m is the new 80m”.
So, what’s my favourite band? 30m
30m is a very nice band, but deserted too with the exeption of those evading contest in the weekends.
Think also of 17m and 12m, 10m: low noise, one can hear very faint signals with DNR + APF.
Hi Patrick, I’ve almost never had that experience. I can only imagine it’s your location or setup. If I activate using HF, I always include 30m and I usually get ten or more contacts all over Europe and in quick succession.
The one time I really struggled is a few months ago when using my new Chameleon MPAS Lite vertical and I was distracted and forgot to extend the 5.2m (17ft) telescopic whip (it was still in its 61cm collapsed position). And I still managed to work a few HB stations including an S2S.
If I had to choose only one band with which to qualify a SOTA summit, it would be 30m.
60 m is great for me to take in closer stations where 40 m has an extended dead zone.
Was very happy to attract here Sylvia @OE5YYN today for a S2S contact from my summit Golterberg, HB/AI-010, this afternoon what was her first 60 m and first S2S when I got it right thru the QRM. There IS substantial QRM most of the time, especially on SSB and as long as the primary user on 5363 is QRV. I’m hoping for many more contacts and S2S contacts to Austria (and hoping that Sylvia will promote that around her guys, hi). First users check it out that they don’t harm their trx using their common antenna as long as that one is not made also for 60 or a tuner doesn’t help to ply the SWR.
So good experience here for me as a complementary. But yes, I don’t activate on 60 only. Only with big contests on all other traditional bands i.e. 1-2 times a year.
Vy 73 de Markus, HB9DIZ
Very happy to be “lured” onto 60m. My endfed (40m +20m) + KX2 tuner managed quite nicely
Thanks for the S2S on that band!
I’m finding that an antenna actually resonant on 60m makes a big difference. Mine is only 27.3m long, so not as much trouble as a 40m wire for 80m and above; although mine still tunes up on 80m (just). Here’s my log from a recent activation on the Haneggkogel:
They were mostly good reports with lots of 599s.
Whenever there is a fence (or similar supports) on the summit and plenty of room, I will happily take along my 60m antenna. I also take my 10m pole for a little bit extra elevation. It’s probably not necessary, but it’s all good exercise.
It’s just a shame that the CW portions in the UK and EU don’t line up so well, meaning acceptance of occasional QRM from telephony.
73 de OE6FEG Matt
Matt, I think you are probably referring to QSY’ing from the WRC-15 CW sub-band to around 5354.5 to work the UK on CW and sometimes there are SSB QSOs around that frequency. This is true and you are right to say it’s “occasional”. I activate on or close to that frequency and don’t often have a problem with SSB there.
Thanks to you and other WRC-15 operators for giving UK CW chasers and activators the opportunity to work you on 60m.
Yes, I should have been a bit clearer. As you say, to reach CW ops in the UK, you have to squeeze in at the bottom of the WRC-15 all modes section.