Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Revisiting the 60 Meter Band

Having been somewhat dismayed when I first listened in on 60 meters I thought I’d better give it another go and see if the awful abuse I heard before was just a one off incident. 

So I put the old inverted vee back up and had another listen to see what was about. There were a few amateurs on sideband and some interesting conversations, but quite honestly I am still surprised how quiet the band is, I didn't hear any CW at all. 

For the past week I've listened most mornings, afternoon and evenings but I can probably count the number of amateurs I've heard on one hand. Admittedly the band is used on a secondary basis but it is very quiet. 

Then finally on Monday afternoon whilst sweeping across the band I crossed over 5.325 heard some voices, so I fine-tuned and there they were, back again, swearing and cursing with the most obscene language and believe me I'm no prude! 
I appreciate that not all users of 60m are licensed amateurs and 5.325 is not in one of the UK 60m frequency blocks but listening to that language does put me off. By the sound of their accents they were from the South West, possibly Gloucestershire or Bristolian and they seemed to be talking a lot about fish, so one can only guess these are local fishermen. 

It’s a shame really because 60 meters can be a great band, I remember back during my military days being stationed for a while in Belize and having to set up a radio station to contact our main base which was at Bruggen in Germany. 

I worked with a Royal Signals chap who was very knowledgeable and together we set up a nice little radio station by the main runway of Belize airport with a massive dipole system and over a period of weeks we had some great contacts with other military establishments all over the States. 

We actually had some success with Europe contacting the base at Bruggen on a number of occasions and I specifically remember using 5 MHz for a few attempts and managing some reasonable contacts!

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