Monday, March 2, 2020

#60m band DX February 2020

France is allowed to transmit now on the 60m band since the 14th of February. And not only France but also the french territories. So, it is possible to work a lot of new ones on the 60m band since this month. The downside is that 60m becomes more and more overcrowded. It is already difficult to find an empty spot in the waterfall to fit you TX signal. Then we had a lot of wind this month which forces me to work with my less as good multiband vertical on top of my lowered tower a number of days. Still DX could be worked, propagation was excellent again at times...

I've been seeing India several times on 60m but unfortunately didn't have a chance to contact any.  Luckely VU2CPL showed up on the evening of the 2nd with good signal and not too many takers. Sometimes you're lucky! I finally got India in the log now.

Guadeloupe was the first DXCC from the french territories I could contact. I'm really lucky to have a IC-7300 with filtering on max. width. Since Jean-Pierre was transmitting almost on 3200Hz (from 5357kc). Most old radios would have missed receiving him, certainly my old IC-706. The side effect of this was that contacting him was easy on the evening of the 13nd

Gabon is no french territory but the operator is french. It looks like the french finally found the 60m band even in Gabon. TR8CA is the first station I saw transmitting outside the FT8 allocation on F/H mode in both FT8 and FT4. Worked him above 5760KHz FT8 on the 14th.

Willy ON4AVT was active from Senegal last year as 6W7/ON4AVT but unfortunately I was not able to work him on 60m. He did his best and I even got a QSL which I treat as a SWL card. He probabely saw me or someone else made the contact for me, but I did not. So I was eager to work Willy this year since he's active again on 60m till the end of March. I did hear him already the first evening when he was just testing the antenna, but he didn't see me unfortunately. Then I saw Willy at several evenings with good signals but still, even after calling many times, I didn't get a contact. In the mean time we both discussed a possible QSO and operating tips on a Dutch internet forum. I suggested he should try F/H mode on another frequency but till now Willy thinks he's not able to do that without making errors. Anyway, I saw him calling at the evening of the 24th, he made it with my neighbourstation PA4O Peter so I should have a chance. I asked Peter to monitor my signal to see if I was not doubling with another station, he told me to move up a little.....and with a lot of effort on Willy's side and mine we did make a complete FT8 QSO.

TU5PCT Cote d'Ivoire or Ivory Coast. Totally by surprise he appears on 5760 FT8 with 5 MSHV multistreams at the evning of the 25th. It seems to be a habit to be on 5760 KHz with a DXpedition these days. The problem only is that countries that have channels to operate on like the UK and USA do not have a chance to work them. However, is there another option these days? After the contact I switch back to 5357 KHz and find VP8PJ, V47 and CN8 calling with a zoo of callers in the opposite time slot making it totally impossible to make any contact.

The evening of the 26th brough much DX and rare stations. I suddenly saw replies to CN8SG  from Morocco again, and a few moments later I had a strong signal appearing from him. However, it seems he got bored from all the stations calling. I imagine the only thing he sees on screen is replies to him in the same color. I noticed he was carefully picking stations and even replied to CQs (another color). I saw him picking stations that were transmitting very low  and very high in the waterfall so I decided to call at around 2900Hz. Just a gamble....but it worked.

Have seen FM1HN from Martinique Isl. a few times last weeks. But you can imagine the pile-up for this station. I couldn't sleep and at 3 in the morning (2 UTC) I had to go to the toilet. I decided to look for DX for a few minutes and saw Julien struggling to get replies. The band was really open and several DX stations were on including a zoo of followers. I could hardly find a open spot to call but persisted till he finally came back to me and got me in the log. And of course Julien is in my log as well ;-)

Then when I was chasing the South Orkney Islands DXpedition VP8PJ I suddenly saw HP2DFA from Panama calling. I actually was surprised he came back on my call and we managed to make the QSO. From Omar's QRZ page I learned he was a 11m operator long time ago. Have to search for my old paper logbooks from that time since I think I could have made a QSO with Omar before long time ago.

VP8PJ is the call from Alan VK6CQ, team member of the South Orkney Island DXpedition. This call was issued to Alan for operation from the British Antarctic Territory. Since the team was unable to get their own callsign they use this call. Working VP8PJ on 60m would be no problem a few years ago but a matter of luck now. They are not using F/H mode so making QSOs in FT8 is not going very fast. Regular readers do know I made the contact at 28 Feb.
It was a new one on 60m and a ATNO as well.

Working DX on 60m is really great. I don't really care about confirmations though. It is the fun to contact new countries on this band and especially the ones that have a story to tell. Above I only described the "new on 60m band" QSOs. Besides those I made a lot of other interesting DX as well.


  1. Hallo Bas, mooie verbindingen op 60 meter. Klasse. 73 Paul

    1. Bedankt Paul, vond het ook weer boven verwachting en dat in het dal van de zonnecyclus. 73, Bas

  2. Indeed to crowded and bad operating practices is making it more and more difficult to setup a qso and receive report and RR. F/H and multistream should be used more often on a seperate frequency

    1. Ja Aart, dat zou mooi zijn voor ons. Helaas is er een nadeel voor USA en UK, die mogen alleen maar op 5357 uitkomen. Datzelfde speelt in ZL waar ze alleen op 5362 mogen uitkomen. Wij vonden de actie van TR8CA en TU5PCT natuurlijk zeer geslaagd. 73, Bas

  3. Some GREAT contacts there Bas. I'm very envious :-)


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