01 February 2013

QRV on the 60 m band

Since December last year it is possible for Swedish radio amateurs to apply from the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) for a 6 month license, permitting the use of four 3 kHz channels in the 5 MHz band. These channels are:

5.310-5.313 MHz
5.320-5.323 MHz
5.380-5.383 MHz
5.390-5.390 MHz

All transmit modes are allowed. Maximum output power allowed is 100 W PEP. Mobile operation is not allowed. The license is valid only for one fixed location, i. e. your permanent QTH.

My ordinary QTH is in Stockholm. I spend a lot of time as SM0FOB/2 in Boden (KP05vs) in northern  Sweden. This QTH is not so far from the Arctic Circle and the latitude is the same as for Iceland as a comparison. I thought it could be of interest to get some experience from this new band; like how the propagation changes between day and night time and different seasons, what distances can be achieved with low power and simple antennas etc. . So I applied for a license and got it one week ago.

You can see my result until now in the screen dump above (click on it for a larger view) from my logbook. I found that the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN) is a very useful tool as the "skimmer" receiver stations decode calls together with received signal strengths.This information is automatically sent via Internet to the RBN net. Another useful tool is to listen for beacons. I will try that later.

My twin brother Leif, SM7EQX has also received a license. He lives in Ronneby in southeastern Sweden (JO76pf). The distance between us is 1,117 km. I do hope we can have daily contacts between our KX3s.

This is my SM0FOB/2 station. The radio is an Elecraft KX3 QRP HF (incl. 50 MHz) 10 W transceiver. The transceiver control and logging software I use is Ham Radio Deluxe v5.24.0.38. The laptop is an ASUS with an 11.3" touch screen. OS is Windows 8. The laptop is HDMI-connected to a 27" screen.

The antenna is a 31 m long G5RV wire antenna less than 3 m above ground. Part of one leg is now passing through some snow. I wish I could have a better antenna installation :-)