I'm getting a little interested in 6 metres
The time is approaching when 6 metres appears spasmodically. I was lucky yesterday I tuned up 50.something and heard a station in Hungary having chats, I've done this for years on and off, but more off, because there's never been a sound utttered regularly from the 746.
So what do I need to do to "get the action" when it appears. As you are aware I'm in the UK so it needs a local to advise me. They used to say about TV's picking up Radio Timbuctoo, and when a voice is heard run into the shack and start yelling CQ.
Seriously, is there a way of finding out when the ions are pulsating or is there a 6 meter site which lets its members know when its Roger Roger time ?
Try using a dxcluster.. various ways of seeing one but try this one : http://dxcluster.ham-radio.ch/
"Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to receive."
-Otto Watt Sept. 5 1925
OK, thanks for those two sites, I've put them into favorites. I've found solarcycle24.org which gives forecasts. I looked though some cuttings I've had for years and I recalled something in Radcom, about the time when Henry VIII got married again, which involved a marmalade jar and a magnet which indicated something. Anyway I found it and this home made devise indicated when there were likely to be openings on 2 metres, a bit Heath Robinson I suppose.
I'm wondering, how do these 6 metre groups know when there's likely to be an opening.? Is it that avid operators are tuned in to 6 metres all day and when someone pops up out of the ether they get on the computer and let the other users know.
Somewhat like those twitchers who find out there's a Siberian spotted twitterbird which lost its way from Alaska and is sitting on a branch in Exeter. A hundred blokes with cameras and binoculars arrive in the street from all over the UK to take photographs and when they get there the bird decided to fly to Aberystwyth !
The guy who runs the cycle 24 site is an avid 6 meter op. You might get on his message board and ask him about it. But I do know that they look for aurora events, and geomagnetic activity to give them an idea of when 6 is open.
Look for signs in the sun, grasshopper....
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At the rise and peak of the last 2 cycles I was very active on 6 (still am). The old fashoned way before internet was too popular,guys would hang-out on 28.885. I don't know how well this frequency is known today, but I assure you it was well used in the past. I imagine that will be the place for me again very soon. I managed to make many European,African and South American contacts on 6 meters when things were maybe marginal on 6m but good on 10 meters. I think thats is still a good way to co-ordinate contacts if you can do both bands at once or even swtich between the two bands quickly.
Last edited by AA3RE; 04-19-2011 at 06:16 AM.
I recommend the UK 6-metre Group website, there is a 6-metre DX cluster and other useful info on http://uksmg.org/e107_plugins/wrap/wrap.php?1 or go to the home page and click on desktop.
As sporadic E developes it becomes effective at progressively higher frequencies so if you occasionally check 10-metres you will know by the level of activity if there is the potential for six to open, and when six is really hopping then it is worth checking 4-metres if you have it available as about 20 European countries have it now. The openings stretch up to 2-metres roughly a dozen times a year, and though I personally have never experienced this, it has been known to get to 70 cms. A good indicator for VHF Es is when the skip on six gets really short, and northern France and the Low Countries start to appear. Also as I mentioned in an earlier thread the six metre band [I]sounds [I]different just before it opens, and when it does open it is like an avalanche - there's nothing quite like it!
"Only in silence the word, only in dark the light, only in dying life: bright the hawk's flight on the empty sky."
I have an older 6m FM LM radio that scans 100 channels repeaters distant and simplex calling freq I have on during the daylight hours with a 6m vertical at 75'. When I detect any activity I go to my main rig HF/6m and a 1k amp using a 24' 6m yagi.
Be careful before starting down this road it becomes very addictive almost like a drug. Last year (my best) so far I worked many EU stations, Middle East, Africa and many in South America.
73 de Fred N0AZZ
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MVDX/CC of SW MO., DX Hogs, OARS, NARC, NCDXF
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Working six M weak signal (SSB/CW) with any serious expectations requires at least a 3 element Yagi and preferably a 5 elememt or bigger antenna up well above your local tree top / building roof level.
Otherwise you just get frustrated and quit.
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I tend to agree with that, unless you have a great deal of patience or live on a mountaintop.
Originally Posted by K8JD
Here at home I have a 7L yagi up 60 feet and also a "Ringo" (vertical) which I use for FM. 99% of what I can hear on the beam, when it comes to SSB DX, I cannot hear on the Ringo. Although the Ringo works far better for the local FM repeaters, and beats the beam by more than 20 dB for that.
If I listen for beacons, the closest of which is 60 miles away, and the farthest I can "normally" hear (no band opening or ionospheric propagation at all) is about 400 miles away, I can copy five of them all the time on the beam and ZERO of them on the vertical.
A decent beam, elevated above the local surroundings, helps a great deal.