Welcome to Tropical band

To most people the phrase "tropical bands" bring a pretty clear picture to mind - a bunch of shirtless guys playing calypso music. But to experienced shortwave DXers those two little words express the most challenging and enjoyable part of the radio hobby. The phrase kindles memories of a DXer's best catches and favorite QSLs, of exotic stations, music and of early morning listening sessions. (Don Moore)
I like the "Tropical band" name for new 60m allocation. (OK1RP)

Effective from 1st Jan 2017 please paper QSL via OM-bureau only.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

US night on 60m Tropical band...


on 19/1/2011 I listened to my communication receiver (see
Tropical Band DXing by broadcast listeners article overe here on blog) and I realized that there are many stations from USA readable in between 5-6MHz broadcast band. Well it sounds like good propagation to NA tonite which maybe will alow me to work some stations on 60m ham band also. As my antenna is still not the USA killer I have to watch the conditions carefully.

I am sending an eml to few friends active on 60m and going to turn ON my K3 around 22:45z. Starting CQ on FA channel with QSX to ch2...no chance as there is huge QRM from intruder. OK > QSY to ch3 should help. No it's even worse here so I moved to finally ch5. There is no traffic and I am starting to call CQ again on FA split up to ch5.

After few minutes I am recognizing in the noise Pete, N0FW. After several trials we exchanged reports. Not easy so I guess the conditions are not the best but ok lets go to continue call on frequency.

I am getting some calls but I am not able to copy any complete call. YES...Charles, K5SUL is calling me for sure. Callsigns are completed so now we have to get report. Deep and long periods QSB making it hard. Charles did not received my report and I have nothing too. Grrrr I need the Texas on tropical band. After 30mins we are trying it again. Long minutes I am trying to send my report for him (btw sigs improved a bit). Charles completed report for him correctly. I am very nervous as some RTTY local station make me QRM for few seconds. No, not now please. We are trying to repeat the report for me but I am not able to get it correctly. After 40 minutes I scratched the battle. No correct QSO for now. :(

I hear another weak station on ch5 for me. Several trials... Again QRZ > 4? Well number 4 please again? K? recognized in the noise. I am trying all of my antennas (3pcs) but no way...Again please K4??? My correspondent must be dissapointed that I am so deaf! Grrr...again? No, no, no I am not able to copy my frend. Just K4?? but nothing more.

I call CQ again but dissapointed with preview trial I am thinking about QSY to bed.
Just about 00:55z Bob, W4DR is calling me with good sigs. Nice QSO improved my state of mind. New state for WAS60 > very good. Immediatelly after I am called by another station. Lot of noise on channel and intruder with wide spectrum of carriers making me challenge to get the call. I am asking again to call me please. Well number 4 I got but nothing more. Again...K4??? but still deep QSB and lot of noise. After several trials I am trying to use EQ in my K3. I am not experienced and situation is even worse. EQ goes OFF. Please again...K4?C. Well I got K4C?? using DSP NR and playing with Notch filter. After for some seconds signal going up. Yes I got N4CH. it should be "CH". I am sending quickly report and believing that improved signal will sustain few seconds more. OK > I am getting report and it seems that QSO is done. Ufff. I am tired.

On the ch5 calling some UK station the USA. Well but if someone is calling on ch5 it should be for me as there is split operation untill now...I am thinking and asking on FA channel CW QRZ? Yes Gary, K4AVC is calling me with solid signal. We made beautiful QSO and I am working my another US state to WAS60 > NC. Great!

Upss...I have just 3.5hrs for sleeping before my leaving to QRL (50 miles by car to Prague city) as same as 2 nites before. I am so tired and it seems that I will have problem to not sleeping close to test equipment in the lab...:(

I am turning K3 tcvr OFF and going zzzzing. In the morning my son was boggled at my face after waking up. Maybe my face was more or less zombie, hi.

When I arrived to QRL I found eml from Les, K4DY. "Petr I called You several times but finally You did not copy me." :(( I really need better antenna for rx USA I think.

Totals: 4QSOs from OH, VA and NC (4 init callsigns) using 100W and low apex Inverted Z dipole (see on this blog an article about this crazy antenna)

Nothing special just one another nite on the 60m Tropical band...

73 - Petr, OK1RP

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