Hi everyone, I thought it was about time I told you the story about the first OD station on 6m. My interest in 6m started when I met Neil G0JHC on the 10m band back in 1987. During our many QSOs I was told all about the fantastic DX one could work on 6m. This soon made me very attracted to "The Magic Band". At the time I had a very big problem, it was impossible to find a 6m rig, here in the Lebanon, as no one is QRV. By that time Germany decided to give a 6m allocation to its amateurs, among them was my friend Andreas, DL2EAD, who started his activity on 6m with a dipole and 2w. He also kept me informed about the DX he was making on the band.
A few months later Andreas had the idea to send me a home made transverter for 6m which my uncle could bring when he visited Lebanon in December 1992. Being a student at the University, I only had a little free time during the week, therefore it took me a month to make a home made GP and connect the transverter to the 10m mono-bander. By this time many friends including Neil G0JHC and Geoff GJ4ICD were waiting for me on 6m (along with a few more thousand!).
By 30th January 1992 I had everything ready. I went to the roof and installed the antenna with the help of my brother. It was raining very heavy, but we finished the job. The antenna is a GP and located about 160ft above ground level. I went into the shack and in a hurry connected the coax to the transverter and fired up the station. I immediately called CQ DX on 50.110 and got an answer at once from GI0OTC at 1218z. I thought perhaps things were not working correctly as signals were so strong. Was I still really on 10m!? GI0OTC confirmed the frequency and that was the first ever 6m DX QSO from Lebanon. It was a very exciting moment that I will never forget. In spite of the fact I have worked GI a thousand times on HF, that QSO was as if it was the first time I had ever been on the radio. Well I do not want to bore you with my feelings Hi!
Let us talk about DX. As I have said GI0OTC was my first DX on 6m. The very next day saw my first opening to England. I worked a lot of Gs with just 4w. The first being Neil G0JHC. The African stations were also very strong from about 15z.
The best opening for me, on 6m was not on F2 but Sporadic E on 3rd June 1992. On that day I worked 11 new countries in a two hour session. My best DX was with LU2DEK on 9th May 1992 at 1627z, he was 54. While we are talking about DX, I would like to talk about something which disturbs me during many openings on 6m. During the summer 50.110, the intercontinental calling frequency, was kept busy with Europeans running pile-ups and having run of the mill QSOs. I could not call on this frequency, which most DXers prefer to monitor, due to the QRM. A move HF brought few responses. Is there a solution to this problem? Lets all make an effort to keep the DX window for DX! So Please give me and the other DX stations a chance to be heard when we call on .110 during the summer.
(The UKSMG has been trying to persuade European operators to leave at least 50.110 free for intercontinental DX openings during the Es season but the few always spoil it for the majority. Being realistic the battle has been lost because of the shear number of casual operators who frequent the band during the Es season and do not know any better.
Lets work together and at least try to discourage these operators from running their ego trip pile-ups on .110 they are destroying our band!).
Back to activity... Neil, G0JHC, proposed that we put a beacon on 6m in OD5, in order to check for propagation while I was at university. I would like to send special thanks to all who helped with this project especially Geoff GJ4ICD and Lawrence GJ3RAX. It is thanks to their technical ability that the beacon has been running without any problems for about 6 months now. It is on 50.078 and runs 24 hours a day.Finally I would like to thank everybody who has supported my activities, my radio society PKRS and my local club OD5RAK, as well as my many friends in the UKSMG. Also KB5RA my QSL manager who is working very hard on sending cards to everybody, now he has my logs on computer. I would like to thank very much JA1VOK for his donation of a 160w amplifier and Tom DL7AV for the 5 element Yagi, which I shall install very soon.
Keep monitoring 50.110 during the weekends, who knows, with the next sporadic E, you might just hear OD5SK calling.
Best 73 Samir OD5SK.
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