Thanks to Mick, LA5SAA for this information provided to the 60-meter reflector.
In an e-mail I was asked today to give some hints about how to work DX on 60 meters.
Note that I have only a moderate set-up, and that my signal is not very strong in DX.
A computer in the shack is a "must" for me.
To identify who is available in CW I open the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN) for 60 meters and watch it almost continuously:
To find out which SSB stations I can receive, I scan 5403.5, 5371.5, 5366.5, 5346.5 and 5330.5 with my transceiver (USB). 5330.5 is not allowed in the UK.
I switch my computer periodically to the DX Cluster (DX Summit) where people report stations heard/worked:
In addition I watch the DX-Atlas (you can use it for free for 30 days). Here I can see which parts in the world have darkness, greyzone or daylight.
You download the program here:
To my experience, DX conditions are often best when USA has darkness and the country in EU has greyzone. However, very long distance contacts (West Coast to EU)
are mainly only possible when both stations are in the greyzone.
You should also check the Solar-Terrestrial Data before you start up. To my opinion the data from Paul L Herrman are most useful.
You find them for free here:
You may expect the best condx when the K-index ist low (K=1) and the geomagnetic field is very quiet. However, K=2 is still a good value.
Call cq in cw for about 15 minutes from time to time, and watch if you are being received by any of the skimmers on RBN. If so, stay on that
frequency and continue calling (with pauses) for at least another 15 minutes, because others will look for you. Do NOT be afraid to use low speed.
On 60 most people are polite and adjust their speed according to yours.
Unless you have a booming signal, you must take your time and be patient. Conditions often change very much within minutes.
However, there is often time enough to do some paperwork in the shack, while the procedure is going on.
I hope this was of interest for some of you. Any comments or other suggestions are very much appreciated.
73 es hope to meet you soon!