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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Icom IC-7000 on 60m band


the RX range expand mod from www.mods.dk and the TVRO & MARS Mods by Steve, N5AC (US version) for IC-7000 tcvr You can find over here IC-7000-mods

These mods will expand the RX range and provide an out-of-band mod that does TX from 0-54, 118-173, 400-470 MHz on Your own risk.

73 - Petr, OK1RP

60m - Tropical band in 9A - updated 29/8/2011


as I got few questions regarding the actual situation with 9A stations on Tropical band there I am posting an updated information about the 60m band operation in Croatia.

Regarding licenses for 60m band operation in 9A all licenses are issued on experimental basis for one year period of time and they can bereissued again. Some of the licenses was valid until 30th May but it doesn't mean that all licenses are valid for same period of time. Each amateur radio operator in 9A can get experimental license for 60m. Of course if he/she request it from 9A Telecom authority(http://www.hakom.hr). Such experimental license is valid for one year from the date ofissuing. As far as we know there are more stations with license for 60m for example 9A9T, 9A4ZZ, 9A2EY etc.

I confirmed it with Chris, 9A5K and for example his license was valid also until 30th May 2011 but he is planing to reissue his license during September so we can expect him on 60m again during next months.

Currently: all licenses on 60m in 9A are limited to 100W. Frequencies are the same > VFO based 5260 - 5410 kHz...

Many thanks for informations and support to Chris, 9A5K ! Hope to see You Chris again on the air.

73 - Petr, OK1RP

Thursday, August 25, 2011

KP4 - DXCC #22 on 60m

Hi all, I am pleased to report that I finally catched Willem, WP3UX. Again it was not easy and again I worked cross mode/cross channel as I used CW of course whereas Willem used SSB. I have to cfm that most quiet channels for trials with weak sigs are 5371.5/5366.5 instead of 5403.5 (QRMed quite often). Also secret weapon - RX ant w/BPF and preamp was necessary! 73 - Petr, OK1RP

Thursday, August 18, 2011

60m - Tropical band in OM - updated 18/8/2011

Hi all,

today I got very good news from Dezo, OM5NA about the new allocation for Slovakia on 60m band as follows:

After several negotiation and requests the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority in Slovakia allowed finally OM stations to operate on 60m band up to 5410kHz.

According to that an entire band 5258.5 - 5410.0 kHz is allowed in Slovakia for experimental purposes as secondary service. The allowed power is max. 100 W ERP and licences are valid for 1 year as same as in OK land. In case of conflict with primary user the ham radio license holder has to take effective measures or even stop the operation. No contests are allowed on 60m band. Ham radio operator has to indicate his callsign after each trasmission.

Thank You to Dezo, OM5NA for information. Congrats to all OMs and specially to SARA and A.R.E.S. associations in Slovakia for their great job! I wish good luck to all with hunting new DXCC from Slovakia.

73 - Petr, OK1RP

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

60m - Tropical band in CU

Hi all,

as Eloy, CU3AK confirmed to me by email he is again allowed to operate on 60m Tropical band. There I am posting the more details about the 60m band allocation on Azores Isl. as follows:

The licence of Eloy, CU3AK is valid until 30 December 2011 and he can operate the following freuquencies: 5288.5 kHz, 5371.5 kHz & 5403.5 kHz. Modes allowed on 60m band are A1A (CW) & J3E (SSB). There is no power limit.

Eloy is using nice setup with Kenwood TS570D runs 100w and the antenna is the Barker & Williamson, BWD90 which operates all frequencies continuously from 1.8 to 30 MHz without an antenna coupler/tuner, allowing operation on any frequency in that range.

If You need the Azores on 60m then look for him over here...

73 - Petr, OK1RP

Sunday, August 14, 2011

NVIS - The phenomenon of last few years only?

Hi all,

did You heard about the NVIS already?

The NVIS - shortening of the Near Vertical Incidence Skywave utilizes high-angle skywave paths between stations instead of ground-wave or surface-wave in order to communicate via HF radio equipment. Although it seems to be the phenomenon of the last few years and lot of ham radio guys talking about it and using it to reach local stations the NVIS technique is definitely not new!

The NVIS was originally evaluated by U.S. Army Forces in Thailand during the Vietnam conflict in the mid of 1960's. It was found that the mobile stations using whip antennas bent parallel to the ground could communicate more reliably with their base-stations instead of standard vertical whips mounted in it's original vertical position. Signal strengths would be weaker using high-angle skywave but communications would be more reliable less subject to fading known as QSB in ham radio and consistent between all stations. This was because the intervening terrain was less of an absorber of signals. Terrain obstructions between stations such as hills, mountainous areas, jungle growth, built-up areas with tall buildings no longer become path obstructions with stations when NVIS techniques are employed.

I do not like so much the NVIS technique simply because I am looking for long distances communication on the 60m - 160m bands in general. Nevertheless I realized that I am also using the NVIS technique on 60m band to reach close areas. My half sloper originally tuned for 160m band with really bad ground system worked pretty poor over there. I was not able to work comfortably UK stations and I got very poor reports from there.

After few weeks I decided to build new antenna for 60m but unfortunatelly I had not tower or another support to put planned dipole enough high. So I installed the Inverted Z (legs are folded to Z letter) with 10m apex only. (see here http://60mband.blogspot.com/2011/01/experimental-60m-inverted-z-for-pocket.html)

Immediatelly after the installation this antenna I found that my sigs rapidly increased in nearby location. The reports gotten from UK stations from now are superior and I have no serious problem to work station around Europe. When I though about it in fact I have just 0.16 lambda apex feed point so it can be called NVIS technique on 60m band too... and it really work well for these kind of ranges.

If You are interesting more in the NVIS techniques then click over here:

or You can read the famous presentation of Jack, W5JCK here:

73 - Petr, OK1RP

CU - DXCC #21 on 60m

Hi all,

last week I was very delighted with getting an email from Eloy, CU3AK that his 60m band authorization arrived already...

"Hi Petr, I have received the authorization until the end of the year. The frequencies allowed are 5288.5 - 5371.5 - 5403.5 so I will call you on 5371.5 kHz and please give me the listen frequency. 73's Eloy, CU3AK"

I replied to Eloy immediatelly to congrats for getting the license for Tropical band again and we arranged the sked on 60m band. I will call on 5260 kHz on CW and I will be ready to listen Eloy's sigs on 5371.5 kHz CW/SSB around 21Z.

Well I was on the air on time but no sigs from Eloy. Just noise and sometime the QRM as usual. After few minutes I decided to call CQ on the FA channel w/QSX 5371.5 and wait until Eloy's call back. At the 21:10Z I began to be a bit nervous as I did not heard any sigs on the listenning frequency. Azores Isl. are not so far from me and using 100W into the Inverted Z dipole at 10m should be enough. I quickly checked the actual SN and SFI and also A/K indexes... All seemed to be ok and the radio blackout was not forecasted.

After another CQ I decided to tune up/dwn if I will hear atleast some weak sigs around or so. Wow, Eloy's sigs just 700Hz down were S8 and very clean. Eloy called me on CW > yes I am fool and had my K3 switched to USB and Eloy called me outside the narrow filter incidentally.

Well we exchanged reports and we made very nice QSO during next few minutes. Eloy's sigs were really nice and even tone was really beautiful. I suspect that Eloy is using TenTec tcvr...:)

I am so happy to say that my DXCC #21 is done by CU3AK, Eloy on 60 band from today (12-Aug-2011)

Thank You very much Eloy for Your effort to arrange the sked and for giving me new one on 60m band!

73 - Petr, OK1RP

Monday, August 8, 2011

60m - Tropical band in VE (... near future)

RAC Bulletin 2011-022E - Industry Canada Responds Favourably to RAC request for access to 60M. Public consultation to begin shortly.

Over the last year RAC has been in discussions with Industry Canada with the objective of obtaining access to 60M. This has been a policy objective of RAC since Spring of 2010.

At the last CARAB meeting between RAC and Industry Canada on May 17, 2011, two of the major items discussed were updates to Industry Canada's regulatory documents (RBR-4 and RIC-3), and the RAC request for an assignment of certain frequencies in the 60m (5 MHz) band to the amateur service in Canada. Neither of these subjects was finalized at the time of the meeting, but Industry Canada undertook to respond to RAC on both ofthem this summer.

Industry Canada has now informed RAC that at this point is sees no reason not to respond favourably to the RAC request for frequencies at 60m on a no protection, non-interference basis.

The new frequencies would be included in the schedule of amateur frequencies in the updated edition of RBR-4 to be released for public consultation in the future. Public submissions will be considered by Industry Canada in preparation for the final version of RBR-4. Any new frequencies it contains would become available to Canadian amateurs at the time of release of the updated RBR-4. Thus, if all goes well, Canadian amateurs may expect to gain access to frequencies at 60m, basically the same as those in the US, some time this fall.

The anticipated success of this initiative is the result of many months of effort from the RAC executive and volunteers, including the HF Band Planning Committee, and also from all of those amateurs who have made observations on the use of these frequencies and relayed their comments to RAC on the need for this band in Canada. We would not have been successful without all of your help and input.

Geoff Bawden, VE4BAW
President and Chair Radio Amateurs of Canada
Co-Chair of Canadian Amateur Radio Advisory Board
Orig. posted by Keith, VA3QF on 60m Yahoo mailing list
In a message dated 8/7/2011 9:19:43 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time

Friday, August 5, 2011

4X - DXCC #20 on 60m... time to celebrate milestone?


YES, it's done. Thanks to my good friend Dov, 4Z4DX I was able to reach DXCC #20 on 60m Tropical band yesterday evenning.

It was not as easy as it seams to be for the first time. Dov and I we spent almost 2 weeks with trials daily but no beeps on both sides.

The propagation on low bands and specialy high level of noise and QRN from the summer storms makes any QSO on 60m band hard. I built the new BPF centered on ch3 to eliminate the close-in wideband QRM and I hope it will improve my receiving performance a bit. (see the actual situation below just day after the QSO with Dov... :)

I was QRV daily from 20:30z on 5260 but no sigs from Dov. Even I did not hear the military "4XZ" beacon from 4X on 5159 with 3kW so it really sounded like condx were too bd. After week of trials I left for 1 week of vacation so I was not QRV.

Last nite we started again the trials and immediatelly for the first time we were lucky to make QSO.

Is it time to celebrate the DXCC #20 milestone now? Maybe a little but my target is 50 countries worked on 60m band. If it sounds easy to You guys please be mentioned that the only single channel FA (5260 +/-1.5kHz) is allowed for us in OK land and even I am CW only operator so all of my QSOs are done using CW on my side... So many cross channels and cross modes QSO must be done to make new country over here. Still sounds easy? ...no it is not.

Thank You Dov for Your effort and time You spent with me to make QSO on 60m band and hope to hear You soon again somewhere on CW

73 - Petr, OK1RP

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

VP9 - DXCC #19 on 60m

Hi all,

my new one #19 on 60m band is VP9 > my god...!

"OK Petr, Good QSO. Noise on your freq up to 9 at times but your sig had very little QSB. A good start to a new month!! 73 Ed"

I would like to thank to Ed, VP9GE for very nice QSO finally and comment on my sigs in VP9.

In fact when I hear QRMed weak sigs from Ed, VP9GE on ch5 for the first time yesterday nite I was very dissapointed and though "no it will not be possible to work him..." suddenly. After few trials we moved to ch3 where the channel seemed to be clean. When Ed replied to my call on ch3 then I was really surprised! Ed's sigs was not so strong but very nice to copy as the channel was really clean and quiet at that moment. In the end of short QSO Ed's sigs peaked to 55 with nice readability. All of the time I used my receiving loop with BPF and preamp. Also the sunset period helped to us a lot I guess.

BTW When I switched back to TX antenna > nothing except the noise and QRM over S8! So only thanks to W2PM's RX loop I was able to hear Ed, VP9GE last nite! I am recommending to make one. It cost almost nothing (except work...) and it can improve Your receiving capability and help in situation like it was last nite!

Again thank You Ed for Your effort to make QSO and for giving me new one #19 on 60m!

My best regards,
73 - Petr, OK1RP

Monday, August 1, 2011

60m - Tropical band in A9

Hi all,

Dave, A92IO (EI3IO) is very active on 5 MHz from Bahrain. Information provided by Dave about the allocations are as follows:

Amateur stations are authorized to use two specific 3.0 kHz channel assignments with centre frequencies 5 373 kHz and 5 405 kHz. The corresponding Upper Side Band (USB) carrier frequencies are 5 371.5 kHz and 5 403.5 kHz. These frequencies are assigned to the amateur service on a secondary non interference basis for propagation experiments. Such stations shall not cause harmful interference to stations of other administrations operating in accordance with the ITU Radio Regulations. The maximum mean power of any amateur station shall not exceed 27 dBW (500 Watts).

No special permits are required and all modes permitted. It is available to all General class Bahraini licensees (i.e. all 'A9' prefixes)

I am trying to catch Dave as I really want to have A9 on 60m band but FE/5 channel is QRMed quite often over here in OK land. I will need to improve my RX antennas I guess.

Good luck to all,

73 - Petr, OK1RP