Sunday, September 12, 2010

Worked a few contacts on top band last night

It's not a band that I'm very well set up for to be honest, but when I heard a few signals on 160 metres last night I decided to give it a go. The furthest I'd worked up until last night on 'Top Band' as they call it was the UK. That was all about to change.

Part of the challenge with Top Band relates to the length of a wave, which is approximately 160 metres. It's a band where lots of space at your QTH is a must if you are to realistically give it a go. Hence the reason I don't do much on 160m - my 55m longwire is only a third of the length of a wave on 160m and is not up high enough to seriously expect DX on that band. And my 55m longwire is arranged in a Z-shaped configuration because I don't have a long garden. Another problem of course relates to noise and it's not quite winter time yet - in fact it is only autumn here and 80 and 160 are yet to come alive for winter. So they're still noisy bands, even at night. However, things should improve over the next couple of months.

So without an inverted L or a good vertical for 160m, I have to rely on my little wire to make any contacts that I make. So it was with much delight that I got Spain last night on the first call. EH1SDC was a special callsign and he was strong. He gave me 59 which was respectable considering my working conditions. Then I heard DK7EW on the CW portion of the band and he also heard me on the first call, which was nice. Detlef was based in Dusseldorf and gave me a respectable 559 report. The next and last contact of the night was the furthest I've ever worked on 160m (with the exception of PY0F Fernando de Noronha which I worked from someone else's station).  LY2J in Lithuania also heard my first call and gave me 559. Pranas was his name.

I found with these contacts that listening on the Butternut vertical was better as it was quieter than the wire. So that's how I did it, switching between the two antennae. I hope to do a bit more work on 160m over the winter months, especially on CW, so hopefully I might meet you there!

73 de Tony EI2KC


  1. Good morning Anthony, with ham radio discovering is what it's all about. Good to see you have discovered 160m. I have never done any work up there or listening for what matter.

  2. Hello Anthony, 160m is difficult to setup antennas for. At my previous QTH I built a sloper down from my antennetower with inductive and capacitance loading. I had a perfect SWR but a lot of noise, I made it to most of EU with that antenna. But of course we are all depending on propagation and that's what I had last year. I made a QSO to Canada on 160m with just my AluTape you see even with a small antenna anything is possible. 73, Bas


All comments are moderated - so spam will not get through.