6m Beam

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by KA5SDC, Jul 18, 2020.

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  1. KA5SDC

    KA5SDC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am going to give 6m a try. I currently do not have a 6m antenna. My plan is to get a 6m vertical (there are many to choose from) and a 6m beam. I am in Oklahoma and we get strong winds and often have ice storms. Because of that I want to keep the beam relatively small. My target is for a 15 feet or shorter boom.

    I don't mind buying, or building, a beam. Building might be a fun experience. I found this one (http://www.hamuniverse.com/6meterssbyagi.html ) which is a little longer boom than I had hoped for but I could probably live with it.

    So want say you...any suggestions for a beam to meet my requirements? By the way, I will only operate voice, no digital modes for me.

    Thanks for all constructive replies!

    Dee
    KA5SDC
     
  2. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    soooo many yagis to choose from, good luck with that!

    menwhile, a 1/4 wave ground plane vertical made of wire is $cheap and easy. Start with an SO-239 UHF female. Cut five 1/4 wave lengths of wire. Solder one, the radiator wire, to the center conductor. The other n4, I crimpled ring terminals and screwed the wires down to the SO-239.

    Now, hang the antenna up 10' or more. Tie each of the rqdials to the ground, maybe a length 0f string, so they all make a 45 degree angle. Voila, that's what makes 50 ohms.

    oh yeah, attach the coax before hauling it up. Ask me how I know this.

    Enjoy!
     
    AC0GT likes this.
  3. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    How do you know that?:confused::D

    The fellow wants two antennas (antennaae?) The 1/4 wave GP is good for FM, (and is omnidirectional,) if there is FM activity in his area. Given a 15' maximum boom length, a 4-5 element Yagi is the most appropriate, and boom length is more important than actual element number. I have a modified 6 Meter beam (nee Hy-Gain) and with a 12' boom, the actual gain would be about the same with four or five elements; I chose four, since it is simpler to assemble. (I got the extra parts to add the elements from Hy-Gain, as they STILL use the same general design and construction, even after 50+ years!) The most important thing to remember, is that a beam is directional, so it will normally also require a rotator. (either electrical/mechanical, or "Arm-strong" method.)
    I wish the op much luck, as 6 Meter (esp. weak signal work) can be VERY satisfying.
     
    KN4TCK likes this.
  4. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

  5. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    After being on six meters for 53 years now, I'd say "skip the vertical" unless you have local FM repeaters you want to work. If you don't, the vertical won't do anything for you that the beam won't do much better.
     
    WA8ZYT likes this.
  6. KJ4TX

    KJ4TX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have 3 6 meter yagi antennas. They are the Arrow 4 element, a M2 3 element and a M2 5 element. The Arrow 4 element is relatively cheap (about $150), has a short boom, so it is very broad on it's send and receive angle (I like this most of the time as I don't have to move it as much) and is light enough to work on a light duty Channel Master rotator.

    The M2 3 element yagi, 6M-3SS, I've never taken out of the box, so I can't say much about it. The M2 5 element yagi, MSQ-6M5XHP is a long boom (20') antenna and works very well with a very narrow angle on rx/tx. I do not use this one very much because of the 20' boom. You don't realize how long 20' is until you put it together and stand it on it. It almost reaches the top of my 2 story house and is more antenna than I want to put on my chimney mast and the Channel Master rotator probably is not enough for it so I bought a Yaesu G-800dxa rotator for it (and a small ti-band HF yagi antenna) but adding the weight of it, the antanna and a two meter antenna would be too much for my chimney mast. So I put it up on another mast that is more secure but not as high and I can't put the rotator on because it's my dipole center mast. It would work circles around the Arrow and other M2 antenna if I could get it up as high as my Arrow (27') and on a rotator.

    I've had the Arrow up for years and it has a very low wind profile and though we don't get very many ice storms anymore (due to global warming) it has not had any problems in heavy wet snow or ice up to about 1/4" thick. During good propagation, I've talked and done digital to both Asia and Europe with it. With current conditions (summer E skip) I'm hitting all over the US and have hit Japan a couple of times and the Ireland area a couple of times with FT8.

    If you want a short boom antenna that is cheaper than the M2 antennas (although I would put M2 at the top of the list if you can. It's hard to beat them), but is still well made, you might check out the Arrow 6 meter.

    As others have said, forget the vertical if you want to talk any distance (although when the band is open, even a dummy load will get you a WAS ;)). A 6 meter dipole is a bit better than a vertical if you can get it up high enough. I know a number of hams using dipoles on 6 meters for meteor scatter and they are able to do fairly well considering it's only a dipole. What ever you get, you had better hurry, E skip will probably only be around for another couple of months, although the band still opens up through out the fall and winter. A lot of hams seem to think it is dead after Labor Day and do not monitor it any more, but I've made contacts year round on 6 meters. Sometimes they just aren't as distant contacts as during the summer and a good yagi up high sure helps.

    Mike
     
  7. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The M2 6M5 isn't big nor terribly "sharp" to aim. Its boom is one wavelength long. That cannot create a sharp pattern that's difficult to steer.

    I've had one installed for years and find it very easy to use and aim. Get it within 15-20 degrees, you're close enough.:)

    It doesn't look big when it's high enough. Mine is up about 60' above ground and looks small:
    [​IMG]
     
  8. WA8UEG

    WA8UEG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Having been on 6 about the same amount of time I am in 100% agreement. Even if there is a active 6 meter repeater (doubtful but possible) I still wouldn't put up a ground plane or vertical. The beam will reach out to it even if it is cross polarized in all likely hood.
     
  9. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you want something simple, (but not necessarily permanent) try "Googling" on "CHEAP YAGI's." Probably most parts are already at hand, and construction will probably take a couple hours (with a long coffee break in between) at most. The antenna details are available from 6 Meters on up to at least 70 cm, including a satellite version.
     
  10. WA8UEG

    WA8UEG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have detailed instructions on a cheap but durable 6 meter quad on E-Ham, just search my call under articles. It’s for a 4 element but several with 2 & 3 elements have been built with great success. It’s easy, extremely durable and most important cheap.
     

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