6m All-Mode - Is it worth it?

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by KE2SJ, May 8, 2018.

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  1. KE2SJ

    KE2SJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm looking at a 6m all-mode for sale from a friend. Six meters has always fascinated me, but I don't want to spend $275 for a radio if there's no activity on the band. I might want to use it mobile, but probably more so at home and I know that antennas count. But given all that, and other than the occasional net, is there enough traffic on the band to warrant the expenditure? There's a 6m FM repeater near me but it doesn't get much use. All opinions appreciated!

    KC0BIN likes this.
  2. KC0BIN

    KC0BIN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  3. KC0BIN

    KC0BIN Ham Member QRZ Page

    What make and model is the radio? I may have important info for you.

    And yes, the FM 6m band is pretty dead most of the time........Which is a criminal waste, since 6m FM is the most reliable comms you can get when you want to do simplex in heavy forest terrain. It won't get you over mountains, but most of my State MN is dead flat.

    Please respond when you have time-TNX
  4. KE2SJ

    KE2SJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's a Yaesu FT690RII.
  5. KC0BIN

    KC0BIN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Exactly the same as mine, except I lucked out and found one against all the odds that was New-In-Box.......It even had that peculiar smell.

    I put mine up for sale here on the Zed and on EBay for $275 and that figure was what flagged me that you just might be looking at mine.

    I'm not dead set on the sale price, I mainly want the rig to have a good home, someone who will appreciate what a fantastic rarity it is. In the 20 years since I got my Ticket, I have never even heard a rumor that such a Yaesu like that still existed. All the ones I've owned over the years have been beaten to snot.......which is proof that these rigs will take a pounding and still be reliable!

    Ken Neubeck, WB2AMU, wrote a great book (https://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/2591) on the 6m band that sucked me into the Magic Band and I never looked back! He praises the Yaesu FT690RII as being very reliable and extremely rugged.

    Anyway, I put my Yaesu up for sale out of desperation (what else?!); I have a huge cost coming moving to my new QTH and such money will not appear under my pillow, I'm quite sure o_O

    I'll PM my regular email address.
  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page



    I wouldn't pay that much for such a small, low-powered and very old rig.

    Find an Icom IC-551D at minimum, or an IC-575H which is much better.

    "Most" new HF rigs are actually "HF+6m" and are far better.

    And yes, I've owned the FT-690RII as well as the 2m version, the FT-290R. They're mostly for portable operation (small and can be easily battery powered) and are not great performers by any stretch.
    KD5RJZ likes this.
  7. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well, it doesn't "still" exist, but 30+ years ago it was a popular item, and it's not the slightest bit rare.
    VA7UO likes this.
  8. KC0BIN

    KC0BIN Ham Member QRZ Page

    What I meant is that a New-In-Box is rare.
  9. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    25 watts on 6M with a small Yagi should be enough for a skilled awards chaser to have a summer or two of fun chasing E skip openings. But, I think you would want more power for ragchewing or seriously going after DXCC on 6M.

    There is also an award for working the 488 grids squares in the contiguous 48 states on 6M with any mode.

    Zak W1VT
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
    KC0BIN likes this.
  10. KF6A

    KF6A Ham Member QRZ Page

    There is quite a bit of traffic on the band, but the majority of it is limited to the summertime during the sporadic-E season. Openings can be quite fun, especially during a contest when the band is open. I'm not into repeaters so have no opinion on that.

    It is a band that is on/off & we do get crappy Es seasons. It's not like 20m.
    KC0BIN likes this.

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