New band DXCC confirmed: 60M

Today I received confirmation no. 100 on the 11th band: 60M.

Most contacts are with FT8. Not much cw/phone going on on 60M. But I was lucky to work nice DX like PJ5 and TT8 in cw.

I started 60M in December and worked about 300 calls. I was very selective in my qso’s. With FT8 it is just hitting the send-button and get some coffee and watch the screen, not very exciting.  The ‘deep search’ funtion delivered a real fake qso with ZA. Very strange in my log it was completed but the station never a qso with my computer. We both checked the logs (all transmissions are logged in a hash-file) and indeed in his his log no sign of my call&report. Very strange.

The ARRL doesn’t see 60M as a DXCC-band so no extension for my 10Band tablet. Strange that the ARRL can decide on which bands are valid for DXCC-validation. There are more than 170 DXCC’s active on 60M. In the USA the use of 60M is very restricted but why this leads no a non-qualification beats me.

But it what I think of my hobby, and now I worked 11 bands DXCC.

CQ160 cw

This is one of the best 160M cw contest every year. Like Stew but far more stations.
I worked assisted with skimmer and the bandmap was full of stations.
Sometimes I was working two stations the same time because if there is only 200 Hz seperation between calling stations it is obvious that they both will here my call/report. But only one makes it into my log…

Lots of DX to work too, like E2X, JT5DX, YV1DIG (new one), XE2X, CX6VM. Worked 30 States in W/VE with AZ, NM en CO as best DX.
CE2LR, LU hrd but weak like XV1X. XV1X was out of band (1809) but worked split with rx up 1 which is clever solution!

Have to look into my Linear 1K-FA, I think the display is all wrong about power output. In operate mode (but no tx) the meter already displays 15W. When tuning with 20W the meter displays 45W out. Something wrong here.
My feeling is that the output itself was OK, but have to check too.
Never a dull moment.

Big Stew (December Stew)

final result Big Stew

Big Stew is the best 160M contest in my opinion. Very busy and good operating. And no multiplier-effect so all stations are workable in a decent way with no or short waiting (in the cqww there are big pile-ups on “new multipliers”).

Nice DX were KL7RA XE2X K0RF VE6WZ. No SA heard, PJ2T heard but couldn’t get my call in.

Als a new DXCC (for me) showed up 7X7X in the contest. 158 DXCC worked on 160M.

I have the feeling that my reception has to improve, when I listen to stations in my neigbourhood I’m sometimes not able to hear what they are working. On 160M the distance between stations is not a big deal (not like Sporadic Es on 2M).
From PA to antenne is about 50 meter but on 160M that will only cost 3 dB. And the beverages I use are close to my house, one has a preamp.

Looking into small rx-systems like SAL-30 or the 9-circle (article by W1FV)



60M running

With a FT-857D which was made ready for 60M, I tried to work some new ones.
But I needed an antenna for this band and after some research bought EZwire-500W-16m endfed (with 1:9 balun)
On the website an swr of 1.2 is promised on 60M.

After a lot of experimenting and moving the antenne around on my lot (close to the tower, high in the tree, etc.)
I gave up. This type (16m version) is not going to work on 60M.

Strangely enough on the website of Ezwire there is a page which shows that on 5353 kHz the swr is way up and Rs > 100 ohm.
That matches with my measurments.

I found a spare 18m Spiderbeam pole in the barn and mounted it in between the trees (we have to manage the WAF – wife acceptance factor).
With a wire length of 13,5 meter the vertical was easy tuned to 60M: Rs = 50 ohm, X=10 and swr 1.2
In the last 48 hours worked about 50 countries, most of them on FT8 and a few on cw. VR2 heard, XE worked, zone 3 worked.

I’m planning to use my TS-2000 for this job but it needs a small ‘operation’ for that. The TS-2000 has a port for an external rx-antenne and with the beverages I might work DX more easy.

Never a dull moment.

FT8 is here to stay

It is a sad development but unstoppeble. FT8 is here to stay, and other (digital) modes will die out. RTTY? Hardly heard in 2019.
The last 2 DXCC’s on 160M added to my track record are FT8-qso’s. I tried to work those stations in cw on 160M but the percentage of time they were spending on 160 cw versus FT8 was very low. See A50BOC stats on clublog. Low number on cw, zero RTTY.

Band CW FT8 SSB Total
160 268 669 0 937

(This only shows 160m but no RTTY-qso on any band.)

TO9W: 153 RTTY out of 12888 qso
V6K no RTTY qso
PJ5-expedition: no RTTY

So conclusion can be: RTTY (and maybe other modes but not much in use on dx-peditions) is DEAD.

I worked them on 80m in cw for a new one. But I didn’t manage a cw-qso on 160M, but I did in FT8.

When working with WSJT some data is already predefined (time-block). The automation (sequencing) is nearly perfect, you hit the enter key once and can make coffee while the machine is running the qso. Technically speaking it is (nearly) unattended working which is forbidden in our license.

Last week I started with WSJT on 144 MHz, MSK-144 mode. But no rx because my frequency was not within the limits of WSJT (200 Hz).
Thanks to PA3BIY I tried MSHV which has a much bigger window. That is how I found out that my trx is off by 400 Hz (better: +400 Hz.)
I then worked 2 stations with 50W rf only. My first MS-qso’s since…when? I don’t know, maybe last century.

Still experimenting with 60M antenna’s. The endfed from EZwire doesn’t work but don’t know why. So I started to build a 1/4 wave vertical, still had a spare 18m glasfiber-pole. Nearly ready this weekend but a storm on Saturday blew it away. Have to restart again, luckely no irreversible damage done.


cqww cw 2019

Only 160M, S&P Assisted
Conditions were not very good, some aurora on Friday and Saturday gave a lot of static and low signals. Could not even hear PJ2/PJ4/P4 with decent signals. To the East JT5DX was worked after long calling.
But I made 250 qso with one new DXCC (V26K). Heard HI and some Jx stations but to weak/to big pile-up.
Sundaymorning was a disappointment, not many dx on the band. I can understand, already enough multipliers scored and low qso-rate makes 160M not very interesting. But even multi-multi stations were very few.

(Worked TI7W on 80m for checklog)

Saw PJ5/SP6IXF on 160M but never CW, always FT8. Need PJ5 on 160M so installed WSJT-X and worked him for new DXCC-160M.

Is there anyone here who still remembers to sound of RTTY? Hardly ever I hear RTTY anymore.

Stew Perry (October version)

Not so busy as the December version but I worked 70 stations for 360 points.
About 10 USA, and JT5DX from Mongolia. No Japan 😦

And 3 new DXCC on 160M: CX6VM (new zone 13), 5K0K (out-of-contest; they didn’t take my call OK) and VP6R (out-of-contest).
VP6R on 160M is stronger than 5K0K. Conditions to the Caribean are very bad on 160M, compared to last year (worked YN4RRC 599)

Still need VP6R on 20M..


IOTA 2019

Joined the IOTA contest. Mostly SSB, 35% cw. Many cw ops transmit to fast for me 😦

Had a family dinner in the night and play some squash in the morning, operating time less than 12 hours.

But worked 4 new IOTA’s, still 400+ to go but with the bad conditions it is difficult to work NA-W, AS-E and OC.

Noctilucent clouds

June 21, the sun is not far below the horizon, only 9-10 degrees.
Sunset and sunrise are nearly the same.

And for the second (third?) time this week the noctilucent clouds showed in a magnificent display. Many structures were visible.

I also add some pics from last week (June 12th)







======================== June 12



At last a new one

Conditions are bad. If you don’t work FT8/FT4 there much to grab for new. Because all of you are on FT8-4 even when condx are up and OK for CW or even SSB.
I guess that RTTY is obsolete now, a mode for old-timers.

Apart for some new IOTA’s (703 worked, 680 confirmed, chasing 20 qsl’s for the 700-mark) I only worked a new one on 6M: Eritrea on phone! Good opening for a few hours peaking real 55 with deep qsb. Prop was F2 or TEP or multi-hop-Es?

Need them on 30M cw too, but the expedition will be there unitil June 3. So must be possible although they work FT8 on 30M when they are spotted…..
No 160-80M at the moment although I need those bands too.

I have setup my 4M-70 MHz system hope to work some Es the coming month.