GM4ULS ham radio station

a QRM-free zone!

Chilly, isn’t it!

Posted by gm4uls on October 25, 2013

John, GI0HWO, on Svalbard

John, GI0HWO, on Svalbard – he knows a thing or two about ‘chilly’.

Nights are drawing in – just the right time to consider a trip to Iceland, eh? That’s what MM3YVQ and I will be doing soon. Well we’ll be booking it soon, but not actually going there until July next year. What? What?

60m continues to keep my attention. It’s actually a fascinating portion of the spectrum. Unfortunately it suffers from two contradictory myths. No.1: Propagation is rubbish during daylight hours. No.2: Propagation is rubbish after dark. Hence it is often deserted when both 80m and 40m are packed. This topic of conversation has cropped up when I have spoken to GI0HWO (pictured above) during our usual encounter shortly after 8am on 5.3985MHz USB. We both wonder why more stations don’t appear in our allocated slots. Maybe the myths, maybe the knowledge that only a handful of countries have an allocation, maybe the scarcity of people with rigs adapted for 60m, maybe confusion about what frequencies to use, we don’t know. Nevertheless, the band is worth a visit.

A GB2RS broadcast of unspecified date advised that US stations often appear between 0100 and 0200 UTC. I’ve heard a signal CW from the USA at 0400. I know not many of us are awake at any of these times. The news broadcast suggested that USA amateurs should listen out for Shannon Volmet on 5.505MHz and RAF Volmet on 5.450MHz, and that UK amateurs should listen out for the evangelical stations WWCR and WWRB, although a frequency was specified for the former that I don’t think they still occupy. WWCR’s operating schedule is here, and WWRB’s is here. Unfortunately they don’t say whether their times are UTC or local.

There are all kinds of other signals around 60m. I regularly hear a bloke I’ve come to know as ‘Pedro the Fisherman’ on 5.400MHz USB at 0600 clock time ± 10 minutes…

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