ZL 60m trial extension

ZL Hams have today received advice that the ZL 60m Trial has been extended for another 3 months, the new licence will expire on October 24th.

We are hopeful that a conclusion regarding a permanent allocation can be reached inside this period.

ZL Hams are currently assisting propagation Guru Henk PA2S and other EU stations unravel the many mysteries relating to 60m DX operation. Henk intends to publish a paper on his findings in due course.

LP contacts ZL –  EU using digital modes are achievable most days with power levels of 10 watts EIRP.

60m is an interesting band, within ZL it opens at differing times daily (normally Midday onwards) with contacts up down the length of ZL very common.

Edit – some more updates from John:

In ZL there are so few of us 60m DX digital fanatics  that we space ourselves out 5362.8 to 5363.5 but we move depending on the EU QRM at their end.  

(I monitor the EU qrm via one of the many SDR sites available) Our vfos are locked to 5362 of course the moving occurs within the software. 

The majority of 60m WW DX occurs on 5357 but we don’t have access to that freq in ZL. 

Our ZL slot for SSB is 5353 usb  and this works very well for both ZL and when the bands open into EU.

For successful 60m dx operation spotting is a must for local and DX contacts. 

In ZL I must say that we have been surprised at what  is achievable using  QRP; I’m sure VK Hams will be as well. We have generally found that if you have a path between two stations then low power is fine, EU Hams found that increasing power was largely counter productive.

The 60m band behaves quite differently to either 80m or 40m.

The trial period has been good for hams in ZL, it has taught us a lot about propagation and antennas, it also taught us that we have a lot more to learn. 

If I was to share one thing with VK Hams regarding successful 60m operation it would be:

A good stand alone properly tuned 60m antenna is a must – forget using your 80m dipole and tuner, it simply won’t return good results. 

On 60m, a well tuned antenna without a tuner is a much better option. 

Suggestion, VK Hams may wish to consider using PSK Reporter to monitor 60m until such time that an allocation becomes available. In ZL we often leave our rigs on 5357 with WSJT-X running, what our stations receive gets reported for the benefit of all 60m Hams Worldwide.

This provides information on band opening and closing times which can be quite different to the Grayline. As a result we often get emails from DX stations requesting future Skeds. 

ZL Hams would be very receptive to receive reception reports from VK Hams monitoring 5353 and/or 5362 this would be beneficial to both parties I’m sure.  Our contact details are on QRZ. COM. 

60m DX stations currently active daily in ZL: (North to South) 

ZL2CC Mike

ZL2JO Neil

ZL2BH John

ZL4OL Mike

Other casual operators pop up from time to time. 

Graeme ZL3OCT and others monitor 5353 usb on a daily basis,  Mike ZL4OL, and Grant ZL2GD regularly use 60m CW below 5362.5.

In ZL we are restricted to narrow digital modes and normally use Ft8 with some Jt9 & CW if conditions are poor. 

ON 60m in ZL we operate using the ODD PERIOD this is quite important, VK Hams may wish to note this and follow our lead. This is quite important when dealing with QRP or weak signals. EU stations operate on the even period. 

We look forward to working VK Stations on 60m in the near future. 

Exciting times ahead  for both VK and ZL hams I’m sure. 

Regards, 

John

ZL2BH & Others.