The final 73kHz weekend was busy and a bit emotional for those of us that
have stayed the course for several years. I believe that seven stations were
transmitting: G3XDV, G3LDO, G3AQC, G3YXM, M0BMU, G4JNT and MI0AYZ. In
addition, G3NYK was monitoring and posting Spectran screens on his web site
(thanks, Alan) and DK0KW and CT1DRP were listening. QRN was very bad, except
early morning, and the SMPSUs proved a big problem to most.
Over the weekend, I worked four stations, but could not be heard by MI0AYZ
and did not hear G4JNT. Peter, G3LDO, and I had the very last QSO, ending
just as my LF-locked clock changed to 0000 UTC, which was fitting as we made
the very first two-way on LF - over an amazing 400m (that's metres, not
Anyone who managed to radiate on 73kHz over the band's seven year life
achieved something because it was a difficult band to use. Personal
achievements were: the first ever LF QSO (with G3LDO); the first ever QRSS
two-way (with G4JNT), the only station to operate from GW; the only GW-GU
QSO. I worked 13 different stations, two-way, with a record 5 countries. I
was also heard/seen by several others, including those in PA, DL, HB and I.
A gotaway was the transatlantic.
Other 73kHz highlights were working the expeditions to GD, GW and GM by
G0MRF, G3XTZ and G3YXM, and being part of the expedition to the Puckeridge
Decca site. The most amazing weekend was when I put my station in the car,
drove 450km to west Wales, operated from GW4HXO's QTH in gale-force winds to
work GU0MRF, then drove back home to rebuild the station just in time to be
the last 73kHz QSO of the GU expedition.
Lowlights were waiting over a year before I had my second QSO, and several
I am sure others will have similar stories to tell, especially those who
made it across the 'pond'.
It was great seven years and I am pleased to have been close to a part of
amateur radio history.
I have already written a short piece for next Sunday's RSGB news bulletin
and am preparing an article for RadCom over the next couple of weeks. I am
keen to hear from anyone who tried 73kHz, even as a listener. Stories,
spectrograms and photographs would be most welcome, as will URLs of 73kHz
info. Also, does anyone have the statistics of the number of NoV's issued?