6 meter antenna options?

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by KK4JW, Oct 17, 2019.

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  1. KK4JW

    KK4JW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm interested in playing around with 6 meters. I've heard it's a trip..

    I have a couple ideas in mind, and I'd like the advice of the antenna nerds here as what would be best for me. I'd strongly prefer omnidirectional, so I've not mentioned anything about a moxon here, though that may end up being an option, I don't know. I'd also prefer to keep costs and simplicity to a minimum (don't we all?) even though I don't mind building an antenna at all (I actually enjoy it somewhat)..

    As far as to what audience I want to appeal to, I'm not picky. Basically I just want to get a signal on 6 meters. If I can get lucky and make a DX contact or two, that's great. At the very least, I'd like to be able to ragchew with some locals that are within about a 30 mile radius (most are within a 120* span to my NE, actually.. So perhaps a moxon in a fixed direction could be an option?)

    Option 1: I already have installed a dedicated 10 meter dipole that's about 12' off the ground. I'm considering simply adding a set of legs to this dipole that are cut for 6, thus transforming into a 6/10 meter fan dipole. I like this idea because I already have a feedline ran, supports in place, basically I just need to add some wire and spacers, and boom - done. Cost and time would be minimal.

    Option 2: I've found a few articles online about building a 6 meter halo antenna out of 1/4" copper tubing. I'd probably and up mounting this antenna to a vent pipe on top of my roof to get it up high (VHF, elevation). I like this idea because I can maintain my dedicated 10 meter dipole, I can have a dedicated 6 meter antenna, and I wouldn't have to fool with coax switches or anything in the shack. Cost would be more expensive, time to build, I'd have to run another length of feedline, etc.

    Option 3: I have a 5/8 wave 2 meter ground plane antenna that's collecting dust. I understand some slight adjustments (if even that) will yield a usable antenna for 6 meters. I'd likely clamp this to my vent pipe also, however, I'd be restricted to vertical polarization which might be good for local ragchewing, but might not be optimal for sporadic E (or perhaps it wouldn't matter as polarization is erratic and random anyway in this situation..). Cost would be minimal, basically, just some coax feedline.

    Option 4: I've recently been toying with 2 meter "slim jim" antennas built out of 450 ohm feedline. I've seen that building a 6 meter version is possible, although it would be rather large - but that's okay, because there are a good assortment of trees behind my house in which I can install such an antenna. I like this idea because it's easy, I wouldn't have to climb up on my roof and secure anything to a vent pipe, and I'd get to build something. :)

    Gimme advice please!
  2. K2EDM

    K2EDM Ham Member QRZ Page

    go with fan dipole...
    AK5B and KK4JW like this.
  3. WA7ARK

    WA7ARK Ham Member QRZ Page

    How about a Marconi vertical with four drooping radials, i.e. a scaled up 2m coat-hanger wire ground plane?

    according to EzNec, a #14 awg vertical driven element of 50.86 inches, with four 71.7 inch radials depressed 30degrees below the horizon yields a feedpoint Z = 52-j3 (swr50=1.07) @ 51.0MHz.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
  4. KK4JW

    KK4JW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Basically, option 3?
  5. K7TRF

    K7TRF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    How about best of both worlds, a simple ground plane vertical as Mike suggests above and a 6 meter Moxon which is a pretty small antenna and easy to build. That allows you to tune around the band and listen for stations in all directions but then gives you the directional gain and F/B to work weaker stations once you find them.
  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you mean 6m SSB-CW-digital, polarization matters a whole lot for local contacts (direct wave and tropo); it matters a whole lot less, and maybe not at all, for sporadic-E or any kind of ionospheric propagation.

    "Everybody" on the weak-signal modes on 6m uses horizontal polarization, and there are a couple of reasons for that but a big one is most use beam antennas and vertically polarized beams for a frequency as low as 50 MHz are problematic. Way easier to install a horizontally polarized beam.:)

    FM normally uses vertical polarization for good reasons, also: Mostly that repeaters want omnidirectional coverage and mobile "whip" antennas are easy, so vertical it is.

    A 6m dipole at 12' above ground might let you work the locals at 30 miles, especially if they use horizontally polarized beams aimed at you. But unless you happen to live on a mountaintop, range will be pretty limited under normal conditions (non-ionospheric).

    A Moxon on a rotator, above the roof of the house, would be a way better option if you can do that. A 6m Hexbeam could also be a choice.
    AK5B likes this.
  7. KK4JW

    KK4JW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't expect to do any SSB-CW-digital work on 6. FM only.

    I AM up on a bit of a ridge. I do fairly well there with two meter coverage. I understand 6 is a slightly different colored horse though.

    A rotator is getting a little too involved for my liking. I mainly want something quick, cheap, with low effort that will yield fair results and maybe even a quick DX contact if the propo-gods smile down on me for a moment. :)
  8. WA4SIX

    WA4SIX Ham Member QRZ Page

    SSB/AM A full wave loop with a 1/4 wave matching line (Just scale down from 80 meter skyloop). Get it as high as possible.

    FM (Not much in many areas) a simple 1/4 wave vertical. Get it as high as possible.

    Stealth SSB Up to VHF/UHF is the big Channelmaster TV antenna with short extensions on the longest elements, to go down to 50 MHz on a cheap TV rotor (100% legal in HOAs). Again, get it as high as possible.

    A 3 element yagi will still work on a cheap TV rotor.
    AK5B and KK4JW like this.
  9. WA4SIX

    WA4SIX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sorry, missed your FM only statement.
    Simple 1/4 wave groundplane. Find an old CB antenna on a roof. Knock on the door & offer to remove it for them. Cut it down to (I think) 54" & off you go.

    AK5B and KK4JW like this.
  10. KK4JW

    KK4JW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Option 3 then.

    5/8 2 meter antenna will work on 6 meters with some tweaking.

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