A quick E-mail from Phil, M0PBZ on Thursday 1st June re setting up a station for the club activity evening prompted Jonathan, M0ZGB, to suggest dusting off his seldom used Homebrew 6m antenna and giving the ‘Magic Band’ a try.
On arrival at the club, the antenna, a 6m HB9CV of DK7ZB design, was setup on the Pine Trees balcony and the club’s TS-590s connected to it via a length of low loss Heliax coax. The switch on and tune into the calling area of the SSB portion of the band revealed a number of strong signals emanating from central & eastern Europe.
Taking the Microphone first, Jonathan began to call one of the stations, OE3DIA in Austria. After a couple of attempts, Ivan answered our G8SRC call and we were given the locator of JN88HL and a 59 report. Aided by Dom, 2E0WHQ, another 7 stations were worked before Vivian, M0IEP took up the microphone whilst Jonathan went for a coffee.
Our resident CW fan, Phil – M0PBZ arrived shortly after but had been unable to find his paddle key at home. However, remembering there was a Junkers straight key in the cupboard, Phil quickly grabbed the key, connected up and hammered away to make three CW contacts with HA3HX, HG2DX and IV3SKB.
Back on SSB and a few CQ calls were put out, bringing in another two contacts before Vivian took to the microphone again to work IS0BSR/P in Sardinia.
An added bonus was Matthew, 2E0WLF flying his impressive drone from the balcony and providing some excellent footage of the amateur radio proceedings going on below on the 6m band.
By 20:15 UTC, the signals were beginning to fade and the band was closing down so the decision was made to switch off and pack away.
So, how did we do in the end?
Well, quite nicely thank you! We made 15 QSOs on SSB and 3 on CW, working into Austria, the Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia and Sardinia. Several stations commented on us giving a very strong signal, which is always nice to hear.
A very enjoyable evening and great to get the club call on the air during one of our club evenings.