5MHz (60m and all that…)

Many years ago, when I was a keen shortwave listener, 60m was one of, if not *the* favourite band of mine.

That’s because there was always something to listen to, day or night. For sure, the more exotic ‘DX’ was to be had during darkness, fond memories indeed of listening to Radio Sutatenza just above the 5MHz time signal. But as dusk approached, lots coming in from the farthermost points of the the USSR, Radio Tashkent springs to mind as a station that could always be heard! Also, although harder to pick out against all the QRN were stations from Africa. These were usually all domestic services since due to the distances to be covered, medium wave was a none starter.

So, to the present. I decided to turn my FT-817 on last night, hooked it up to a D2T aerial (granted not my best ever purchase) and took a listen. All those years ago, a copy of WRTH (World Radio and TV Handbook) was essential, I guess a copy would still be just as useful, but here are so many wonderful online resources now all you have to do is type in the frequency of where you’re listening and up comes a list of possibilities. If your luck is in, you can then stream the stations output on the Internet to check its the same as what you’re listening too! Makes the process of station identifying so much easier!

I managed to log several PBS outlets from China, Voice of America and this morning Radio Rebelde from Cuba. I even took a recording, available here :- http://youtu.be/gxzAwKi9xig

Not bad for starters.

So much for the commercial side, I’ll keep up with that since I find it fascinating, but it got me thinking of the amateur allocation. After a quick read up, I’ve now applied for my NOV from Ofcom, hopefully it shouldn’t take long. All the spot frequencies are now plumbed in, and this morning I’ve heard several QSO (all G stations) and two of the three UK beacons, GB3RAL and GB3WES, hopefully should get the Orkney one before too long.

Now to start planning some NVIS aerials 🙂 All great fun!


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