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.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

KH6 - DXCC #27 on 60m

Hi all,

yes it is not joke! I worked Merv, K9FD/KH6 from his famous QTH on Malokai, Hawaii Isl. on 60m band...

I do not know if it is some distance record or not but definitely I will never forgot the morning when I worked him on the Tropical band. Excellent xmas gift for me although it was on 28Dec morning.

When I heard Merv from Malokai on LF bands I did not believed that it will be possible to work him also on 60m. I know that my Inverted dipole works well with apex 10m but I used just 100W legal limit and most issue on my side was reception of course.

So I decided to prepare a bit for the trial. The rotary Mini Diamond receiving loop, Mini Whip stick, Inverted V dipole w/apex 10m and 60m long BOG has been prepared for reception on the antenna switch connected to 5MHz band pass filter and connected to W7IUV high IMD preamplifier. The reception chain was then connected into the KD9SV front-end saver then directly to external RX input of the K3/Elecraft tcvr.

When I checked the VOACAP the prediction was really not optimistic.

The time for the QSO seemed to be the best around 06:00Z when Merv heard some EU on 60m band already which corresponded to VOACAP prediction.

The Solar info indicated the numbers which from my experiences does not help to us on 60m band so much so I though it will be just trial and we will have to wait for better days... unfortunately my permission was valid for last 3 days!

After some discussion with friends operating also on 60m we agreed that the major issue will be the rece
ption on my side but also the TX side must be as best as possible so I decided to check antenna for TX properly. I verified if balun connection is ok, connectors are tightened and if antennas is properly tuned in the band. Unfortunately the nite before we had short windstorm in our area and pipes supporting my Inverted V antenna bowed a bit. I had no chance to repair it so I had to be confident that all will work well in the morning.

Last check of the propagation and Ionosphere without comment...

I turned ON the radio about 10mins before the sked and I realized the band is not as noisy as it sounded nite before. Well I started to call for Merv on the 5260kHz but after few mins I realized on this frequency some carrier. It can make the reception issue for Merv so I decided to tune up a bit and started again on 5260.5kHz. For the first few mins I did not heard any sigs on 5403.5 so I did not believed that we can make the QSO. I tried to call K9FD/KH6 again and tried to switch between all of my RX antennas arranged. The Mini Diamond rotary RX loop was the best at this moment. Interesting was that the best reception and signal arriving from 360/0 deg direction.

In the noise I catch my call... Is it really Merv on the frequency? Unfortunately I did not catch any report so I tried to give a call again. I send the report for Merv and asked for report for me. In the next few mins I was amazed... I copied the report but I was not sure with the numbers. Gosh, I had to ask Merv again to be sure. Again I tried to concentrate for reception. Yes, the report is 559 definitely...559 for me from Malokai, Hawaii Isl.

The amazing QSO has been finished. I classified the signal from Merv S3 only on 5403.5 in my QTH with QSB but heard him for sure including my signal report 559 for my signal on 5260.5 frequency.

Yes, yes, yes... it is done. The distance over 12.000km on 60m band crossed over using just 100W output on my side. Also Merv used just
the Zepp antenna with an open feed line and the tuner. The same polarization of the antennas maybe helped too although the signal reflection is changing the polarization for sure.

K3 setting: dSP t3-1 / IF NAR3 / NTCH 900Hz / AGC OFF / PRE ON / Ant beamed to 360/0 deg. / FL3 / 2.3kHz used.

Thank You Merv, K9FD/KH6 for amazing morning on 28Dec11 and for giving me the new one #27 from very hard Oceania direction. Great operator, nice guy and excellent friend is Merv.

73 - Petr, OK1RP

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