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.
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Ralph K0IR, team leader for the Pitcairn VP6R DXpedition, had been turned down by the licensing folks in New Zealand for permission to operate 60m. He had his hands full testing equipment and getting the container ready for shipment to New Zealand and, knowing I had helped many teams get on this band in the past, asked if I would help in winning permission.
I knew I would need help on this project, so I asked Paul G4MWO and Mike ZL4OL for assistance. Between the three of us, plus Ralph, we sent many, many emails. First we wrote Shirley Dillon of the Pitcairn administrative office in New Zealand. She referred the request to Bill Haigh, Telecommunications Network Manager for the Government of the Pitcairn Islands, and he again denied the request. Not ready to give up, Paul wrote to Laura Clarke, the Pitcairn Governor who lives off island as she is also the UK High Commissioner for New Zealand. With his letter he sent supporting documents from the ITU WRC-15 conference, showing 60m had been allocated worldwide. Unsure if the email had been delivered, Mike volunteered to call her, but with no luck. In the meantime, in response to a fax, Paul received a note from the Governor’s secretary saying that the Governor was on leave, but she would pass on the letter upon her return. When Paul finally did get a response from the fax, the situation at that point still remained unchanged.
By now Meralda Warren VP6MW, who lives on the island, had joined our team. She had been very active from 1984 until recently when she had some equipment failure. Meralda asked Bill for permission and also got a “no” answer. Then she asked the Pitcairn Island Council if they would ask Bill Haigh to reconsider, which led to several meetings on this issue. One reason Bill was turning us down is that he was reading old 60m documents and was concerned about interference, so we needed to bring him up-to-date. Paul G4MWO is great on this type of research, so he provided outstanding information for his review.
In the meantime, Mike ZL4OL had asked John Moriarty ZL2JPM of NZART and the IARU Liaison officer in New Zealand, for help. John knew that the ITU WRC-15 60m frequencies were 300 kc away from the New Zealand Search & Rescue frequency, and interference shouldn’t be a problem, so he contacted Bill and explained the frequency range and the 2017 ITU 60m frequency allocation. Shortly after this, our permission was finally granted.
Confusing to say the least, but as you can tell, this team of K0IR, ZL4OL, G4MWO, VP6MW, ZL2JPM and W8GEX has worked tirelessly for the past several months in obtaining this permission. At times we were about to give up, but we persevered. Paul and I have worked on other licensing projects and Mike, being a local down under, was so helpful because he knew the right people to contact. It was my privilege to work with such an outstanding crew and for the team of VP6R.
Our most sincere gratitude goes to Bill Haigh ZL1BUQ, the Telecommunications Network Manager for the Government of the Pitcairn Islands for his reconsideration of this permit.
The team said they are looking forward to operating 60 meters and we are all looking forward to the ATNO.
Robert has plans to start up early in this month and continue until summer, 2021. Robert thinks he will mostly do CW "with some SSB and digital modes," 160-6M. LoTW will be the initial primary QSL route. OQRS QSLing for paper cards direct only is being worked up. For updates: https://www.qrz.com/db/t6aa. Robert adds that he will be on 60 meters CW and expects to be transmitting "somewhere around 5352.5 up to 5355" KHz.