630m Crossband Summary

Friday evening's 630m crossband activity was 'interesting' in many respects. Propagation, which had been improving slowly, chose to follow Murphy's Law. The K-index, holding at a quiet '1', rose to level '3' by the time our event had concluded, as the geomagnetic activity ramped up. Additionally, lightning pocketed various areas of the continent, making listening noisy for many.

From here on Mayne Island (CN88iu), good two-way CW crossband contacts were made with the stations in the following order:
  • N7IO (Seattle, Washington)
  • VE7CA (North Vancouver, BC)
  • KK7UV (Missoula, Montana)
  • NW7E (Bend, Oregon)
  • KU7Z (Ogden, Utah)
  • VA5LF (Saskatoon, Sakatchewan)
  • K7SF (Portland, Oregon)
  • VE7BKX (North Vancouver, BC)
  • K6TOP (Los Gatos, California)
  • ABØCW (Westminster, Colorado)
  • NO3M (Saegerton, Pennsylvania)
  • KB5NJD (Duncanville, Texas)
  • W7MTL (Independence, Oregon)
'Heard' reports were received from:
  • KØSBV (Tucson, Arizona)
  • WB6DCE (Seaside, California)
  • KO6BB (Merced, California)
  • K6CLS (Palo Alto, California)
  • WY3B (Kaneohe, Hawaii)
  • AA7U (La Grande, Oregon)
More than one of the DX contacts mentioned using just their HF dipole for listening to my signals on 630m and simply 'A-B' switching their transceiver's frequency while two of those sending 'heard' reports were using 100' longwires. Mike Tuggle (WY3B) in Hawaii was using his amazing 1-MOSFET regen and small inverted 'L' !

I was also more than excited to exchange signal reports with Pennsylvania and Texas. Considering conditions, this distance was far beyond my expectation but both of these stations have very efficient, dedicated 630m antenna systems.

John, VE7BDQ, worked the following stations on crossband:

  • VE7CA (North Vancouver, BC)
  • W7DRA (Seattle, Washington)
  • N7IO (Seattle, Washington)
  • NW7E (Bend, Oregon)
  • KK7UV (Missoula, Montana)
  • KU7Z (Ogden, Utah)
  • VA7JWS (Delta, BC)
  • VA5LF (Saskatoon, Sakatchewan)
  • WB6W (Oysterville, Washington)
'Heard'  reports were received from:
  • K5HK (Reno, Nevada)
  • KØSBV (Tucson, Arizona)
  • WY3B (Kaneohe, Hawaii)

It was gratifying to see all of these fellows making the effort to listen for our signals or to attempt the QSO.

This exercise taught me a few things about our new band.
  • It is not necessary to have huge antennas and acreage to make this band work. Good solid contacts can be easily made with small backyard antenna systems.
  • With good systems on both ends, transcontinental QSO's can be made.
  • There really should be more interest by Canadian amateurs in their newest band as so much work has been put into securing this portion of the spectrum as a ham band. It was very disappointing not to work any stations in VE6, VE4 or VE3 land.
  • There is already much interest in this band by U.S. amateurs, many of them anxiously awaiting the day that they can also call it a ham band.

I would like very much to continue this type of crossband activity to try and generate more interest in our new band. I'm presently considering a weekly, one-night crossband operation, similar to Friday's event, perhaps running for one hour per week. The main difficulty will be in getting the word out to those that might wish to participate.
Steve McDonald, VE7SL, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

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