Friday, December 20, 2019

#DX ?....the incredible 60m band

Little did I know that 60m would be my main DX band in 2019 when we just were allowed on this band on 3-dec-2015. Actually in the first years there were not many stations, most DX traffic was on SSB/CW and all digital traffic was on JT65, JT9 and RTTY. Imagine sometimes there were no stations at all on 5357KHz digital. I remember I did a QSO QRP 5W JT65 to A45XR Oman in 2016 when I was busy with my QRP challenge. But over the years more and more countries are allowed to transmit on 60m. And these days the digital mode frequency is getting overcrowded with FT8. It also seems that DXpeditions are seriously interested to gain access to 60m because there is a lot of interest for that. There are even DXpeditions in countries that don't normally have 60m access but do make exceptions. It also revealed surprise propagation paths that no one would ever think of. Like hearing the pacific till late in the morning (daylight), longpath contacts to New Zealand almost every day and hearing Asia late in the afternoon (daylight). If you want to DX, the 60m band is a good choice if you're allowed to transmit there. The only problem is the limitation on output power. 15W is not a lot, but with a good antenna and good propagation everything is possible.

At the start of 2019 I worked about 80 DXCC on 60m. I thought it would be great if I would be able to get that number at 100 but doubt it would be possible. I created a list for 6m and 60m at the right side of my blog, just for fun. That way I was able to count towards that 100 and others could see my efforts. However, things went crazy....I worked far more as expected. I had never thought that 60m would be this suitable for DX.

We are almost at the end of 2019 and the list is still growing...
 I gathered all worked stations on 60m in 2019 (till today) to display it at the world map.

Total number of DXCC worked in 2019 only is 58. Total DXCC worked at this date is 132. I never dreamed I would get this far on the 60m band.

Time for a little research. We have a small DXCC league on clublog. Unfortunately not every DXer is participating. I miss PE5T and PG0DX, I know both worked many DXCC, certainly more compared to what I managed to work. PA2S is at top with 166 DXCC, I think he does a good job considering he suffers a lot of QRM at his QTH. PA3FQA is a well known DXer in the Netherlands. Surprisingly I'm on 3rd place, but I know that's only because at least 2 top DXers are not in the list. As far as I know PG0DX Henry has worked over 140-145 DXCC, not exactly shure of that number. I don't know how many PE5T Kees has worked. Kees has been on top of the overall DXCC league for years, but that tells nothing about the 60m of course since everyone started at zero in 2015. It would be interesting to know what countries they worked. I know that between the 166 DXCC Henk PA2S worked are a lot of DXCC that are officially not alowed on 60m. Unfortunately this happens to me as well. I'm not shure how many DXCC are illigally on 60m but I guess I worked at least 5.

Well, I know.....many radioamateurs do collect DXCC as a hobby. It is nice to compare numbers to see if you do well. But DXCC is not the most important thing in the hobby. Everything in the hobby is important, some prefer this and some prefer that. It is just wat you're attracted to. Personally I like to experiment, but I like to make contacts to DX  as well. 2019 was really a "DX" year for me and on 60m it was a blast.

Below some nice cards received from some of the DX I worked (Click on it for larger versions).

HC2AO Ecuador 06-Mar-2019 60m FT8
K5EK USA 15-Nov-2017 60m FT8
MJ/OQ7A/P Jersey C.I. 27-May-2019 60m CW
TA4AEI Turkey 17-Mar-2019 60m FT8
TK/DB4BJ Corsica 07-May-2019 60m FT8 (probabely illigal!)
VE1YX Canada 5-Dec-2015 60m SSB
5B4ALX Cyprus 06-Juli-2017 60m JT65


  1. Hello Bas - GD0TEP certainly has a nice QSL card!

    I've been spending more and more time on 60m but am not even near your DXCC total on the band. I've noticed that there is very little activity on 60m on my mornings - 40 and 80 are full of JA, VK, ZL and other Pacific stations at that time of day but almost none on 60. Hopefully more and more countries will get access to the band but, for now, 60m is an evening-only band for me.

    73 - John AE5X

    1. Hello John, strange you haven't got much propagation in the morning. However JA en VK are not allowed on 60m. ZL is but they are on 5362, you could try to make a sked with them since they are willing to work split as well listening 5357 and transmitting on 62. Worked ZL2BH this morning. ZL4OL was also on, worked him several times, he's very active. You probabely have propagation in the morning but other stations don't expect it so they are not on. Same here for Asia, they can be worked at daylight in the afternoon but 60m shouldn't be open at daylight....Propagation to the USA opens here at the moment around 22 UTC. It starts with stations around NY, then it moves towards the west. Your CQ was received by me at around 23:40, UTC that's 18:40 your local time I believe....Geographically we have a advantage in Europe, it's easy to get a high number of DXCC with so many different DXCC here. However for DX like Bhutan, New Zealand or South America it makes no difference of course. Hope to meet you some day on the 60m band freq. 73, Bas

  2. Well done, Bas! Excellent achievement in such a short time. It's been a while since I ventured onto 60m, so I think I will make the most of the added Xmas holiday radio-activity and see if I can work something new. Happy Xmas and good DX on all bands for 2020!

    1. Tnx John, I saw your call on 60m this afternoon. I have to say my main activity was on 60m this year. Happ Xmas to you and yours. 73, Bas

  3. Dear Bas, happy to see my qsl card here, thank you. Have a nice year, 73 de TA4AEI Emirhan.

    1. Very nice card Emirhan. Tnx for the comment....happy new year and good DX. 73, Bas


Thanks for your comment. Bedankt voor je reactie. 73, Bas