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6 meters in the Pacific Northwest.

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by W0MUD, Dec 23, 2017.

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  1. W0MUD

    W0MUD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Just curious if there are any hams that use 6 meters all year rather than just "6 meter season". I always scan 6m repeaters and the SSB/FM calling frequencies when in the shack and when mobile. This link will give you linked 6 meter repeaters in the area. Hope to hear you on 6 meters.
    KJ7BPN and K3RW like this.
  2. KC6RCM

    KC6RCM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Other than a weekly net, there is not much activity here (CM89) on 50 MHz. Perhaps we just need to use the band more and not wait for the occasional VHF contest. When I do operate on 6 meters, it's weak signal and not FM.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
    K3RW likes this.
  3. VE7PJR

    VE7PJR Ham Member QRZ Page

    When I lived in region 7 I used to burn up the airwaves on 6 AM with an old Gonset Communicator. Several of us resurrected some old Civil Defense sets that were being tossed from an old bomb shelter.

    I'm just north of region 7 (VE7 land, CO90) and would be happy to crank up and try to hit anybody in WA or neighbouring states if there was a net.

    Antenna rather limited (short wire vertical) until spring when I can get some help, but like I say I'd give 'er a shot and see what happened.

    Chuck VE7PJR
    K3RW likes this.
  4. KJ4TX

    KJ4TX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm in the Portland, OR area and when I turn my radios on, one of them is on 6 meters. It's usually on 50.260 for MSK144 but I watch the scope to see if there are any signals elsewhere in the band, like 50.125. There are actually a number of people local and not far from me that are on 6 meters. I see their balloons pop up on PSKReporter.

    Unfortunately, PSKReporter isn't as useful as it once was because it's updating has been bogged down by all of the FT-8 reports on the HF bands. Sometimes it's backed up for hours and even days in updating when there is a lot of FT-8 on 20 and 40 meters. The owner of PSKReporter has been trying to speed up the process and make the database more efficient in doing the processing, but it seems like a losing battle as more people jump on FT-8. But PSKReporter is still a good place to look to see how many stations and where are monitoring on 6 meters. Just set it for All Modes and you will see any station that has received a signal from someone.

    K3RW likes this.
  5. W7DCM

    W7DCM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here in Tucson there is a six meter net that meets local Saturday evenings at 8:00 PM, 50.400 in the AM mode.

    I spot check 50.125 every time I'm on, but haven't heard anything there since the season closed.
    K3RW likes this.
  6. K3RW

    K3RW Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    At least for me in the Portland area, I have never heard anyone on the 6m repeaters, ever, though not that I check much.

    We have a weekly net but I haven't put up my stacked M2s just yet. I check-in on the 2m and 70cm SSB nets occasionally. The 6m net is between them bit not many takers.

    I did run a homebrew Moxon for about 5 months this year. I only heard SSB during contests, FM... never, JT9 a few times (and I worked Mexico!), CW only during contests. Meteorscatter was a neat treat. I usually was decoding Vancouver Island BC with ease, and random ones, but I've never gotten a MSK contact yet.

    But then FT8 came on scene. Oh brother.

    And then somehow the typical calling frequency for MSK changed, JT modes shifted, FT8 jumped in, etc. So now people are calling MSK in several places, and some still use FSK.

    I love 6m but the recent mixups on it have hampered it. It was my first true homebrew antenna, and I worked Mexico with it. The other end, he had a HUGE array (like Big EME). Humbling.

    Hope to catch you all soon. I understand some places there are aome 6m AM fans. I've never worked AM but would love to.
    W7DCM likes this.
  7. W7DCM

    W7DCM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I wish I could speak to Tucson's 6m repeater scene, but I'm still relatively new on that playground. When I was rig shopping I deliberately chose HF+6 since I knew I wanted to try 6m someday. I built a dipole antenna and on my second day of operation I stumbled into my first sporadic E opening and was hooked.

    I get the sense that 50.400 is some sort of calling frequency for AM; is this correct? I'd like to give this mode a try during the next sporadic E opening. I'm not observing any down here lately, so I'm on my other new playground of 30m (and I had the pleasure of working the gentleman from British Columbia over the weekend!)
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  8. VE7PJR

    VE7PJR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Dave,

    I'm occasionally monitoring around 50.100, our CW calling frequency in Canada. My setup is marginal enough right now that I figure CW is going to make it through where AM might not. Though if there's Es I might be tempted to dig out the mic and crank up on AM just for giggles. Obviously I need to start watching the predictions and spotter sites a little more closely!

    Many years ago I had a wonderful Es opening while set up on Mary's Peak near Corvallis, Oregon (about 5000 feet). I had to use a genset to run the old Gonset but we had a five element beam on 6 and a guy in Hawaii said we were making the lightbulbs light up in his shack. We ended up chasing him up the bands, working him on 2m CW and then hooking up the varactor tripler to try 432. Pretty iffy when all your UHF gear is hollow-state, however.

    I think that old varactor was putting out pretty good on 144 and on 288 because we sure didn't get much out at 432!


    W7DCM likes this.
  9. W7DCM

    W7DCM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Chuck!

    I'll check 50.100 in addition to 50.125. I also check for beacons. I've worked Idaho on six before, but so far the openings here seem to favor east Texas. However, I didn't get into the six meter game until right after Field Day this year, when I finished building my dipole, so I don't have a full season's experience. Yet.

    BTW, I got a card off to you in the mail yesterday. Let me know when it arrives! You were my second BC station on 30.
  10. W0AAT

    W0AAT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Don't forget winter E Skip season, couple more weeks of possible openings! And meteor scatter can be done even with marginal antennas as long as the other station can provide the gain! I have done it with a 6m loop at 10 feet off the ground!
  11. KE8AKW

    KE8AKW Ham Member QRZ Page

    6 meters is open all the time, and it has Small to Medium sized opening off E-Skip Season... Use to see when the band is open. Just yesterday it was open all over the East coast and worked a few guys 1000+ miles away on SSB and a bunch on FT-8, even worked Mexico 1400 miles away. Dxmaps is a excellent tool to use as it essentially tells you the how big/where the band opening is and where all the ducts/paths are going to and from. Not to mention Meteor Scatter on MSK144 is good all year round with the guys at PingJockey central, usually working 500-1500 miles when the band is not "open" with E Skip. I also get email alerts from Dxmaps when the band starts to open. If you interested in working all the small 6 meter band openings and not missing them, check Dxmaps several times a day and sign up for the email alerts. The activity on 50.313 on FT-8 is insane, there is usually more people on FT8 then SSB easily, not to mention is usually easier to make Qsos with people on FT8. If your interested in my setup here im running a FT-847, driving a Commander Vhf-1200 putting out 1200W into a 6 element LFA-3 with a 27' boom at 70 feet. Recently just upgraded to this LFA, before i had a 5 element Cushcraft, and i worked Venezuela with the 5 element and 100W easily (this was a year before i had my LFA and Amp). Hope to hear you on 6 meters soon!
  12. WA4SIX

    WA4SIX Ham Member QRZ Page

    With a gain antenna & limit, 6M is almost always open to a 300ish mile distance (Terrain dependant). If you are set up right, you can work E & have a blast.
    Here's the deal.... TRANSMIT, rotate 20*, TRANSMIT. Rinse, Lather, Repeat (My laptop doesn't have a Copyright symbol).

    W0MUD likes this.
  13. W0AAT

    W0AAT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    6 was open today while I was serving supper. Had company so all I could do is listen. East coast, western Canada, SW USA...
  14. WE4E

    WE4E Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The PNW was flying late yesterday afternoon.
  15. N7WR

    N7WR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I live in NE Oregon and in the past have monitored 50.125 whenever I am in the shack. Don't hear anything in the way of "local" (out to 300 miles or so) activity. When there is an opening I do, of course, hear stations---enough to have qualified for VUCC + running 100 watts into a 5 ele yagi only up about 22 feet. I have not tried to hit any 6 meter repeaters which, I "assume" have vertically polarized antennas. Maybe I will start listening again. Next Spring, since I have enough aluminum to do it, I may build a vertically polarized GP and give some of the repeaters in western Oregon a shot....although I have a big mountain range just to the west of me. I am in DN 14 and when the band is "open" I use my mobile (TS 480 SAT) and drive 225 yards up the hill to the west, use a small 3 ele breakdown beam, and work from the much rarer DN 04

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