Thursday, 27 May 2010
Portugal on 5mhz
I had one of my easiest ever 5 MHz contacts with a new country last night (Wed 26/5/2010). I had seen on the Yahoo 60 metre group that Jose CT1EEB had his licence for the band and had worked all the UK prefixes with the exception of GJ and GW. We exchanged a couple of emails in which I said I would be delighted to set up a scheduled call. At 22:45 (local) last night I sent an email to Jose saying I was listening on 5.4035 and would start to call him at 23:00. At 23:00 on the dot he called me and we had a 59 each way short QSO before he had to go for dinner. I was pretty amazed it was so easy. I have not been that excited by a contact since I picked up Ascension Island on 5 MHz. I had a quick QSO after that with Keith G8HXE who was not hearing Jose. That made it all the more special knowing that it might not have been so easy if I had been in a different location for the propagation. It maybe also says something for the antenna I am using which is a resonant dipole at 30 feet over a reflector. The reflector is 10% bigger than the dipole and is intended to enhance near vertical incidence skywave for inter UK working. There is not much science involved in my set up, but it is based on experience. I found that during portable operations on 60m when I mounted my dipole above a wire fence I got better signals than when I mounted it free standing. A number of other amateurs use a buried radial or radials for the same reason.