Why yes, I can afford to operate on 60 meters

Well I’ve been taught a bit of a lesson tonight: I reckon I should check my gear more thoroughly.

Wait a sec. Read my previous post regarding the 60 meter band plan.

Just for fun tonight, I manually entered one of the 60 meter channel frequencies on my FT-847. Now keep in mind, this rig was made before the 60 meter allocation. I was amused to learn I could get on the channels using direct entry — then I was SHOCKED to learn I could transmit on them.

I thought for sure the LDG autotuner would glitch out when I attempted to tune up my dipole on 60. I got a high SWR warning initially but the LDG chattered away, eventually settling in with a 2:1 SWR. Not great, but seemingly usable. I turned my RF power down to about 50 watts.

I heard two strong stations on 5371.5 and transmitted my call after they broke. Silence. Then very loudly, KD8NLL, Chuck, out of St. Augustine came back to me. He told me I was 10 db over 9.

Mind blown: 50 watts on a non-resonant antenna with a wonky SWR, on a band I’ve never worked, on a rig that wasn’t made to work on 60 meters. And I get one of the best signal reports I’ve ever had.

This all coming just hours after I decided 60 meters wasn’t worth messing with.

I’m still scratching my head about my FT-847. Obviously one of the previous owners modified the rig. When I bought it, I was told it hadn’t been modified. I can’t switch to 60 meters using the “band up and down” buttons like I can 160, 80, 40, etc. I can only get to 60 meters with direct keypad entry. But I’ll take that one-off quirk any day over buying a new rig.

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