6m season

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by KE8KMX, Mar 9, 2021.

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  1. KE8KMX

    KE8KMX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    This past summer was the first time I started playing with 6m. Had a bunch of fun chasing DXCC's and grid squares via FT8, 30 and around 270.

    If I remember correctly things started to get going around last April. Is that normal? My plan for this summer is to put up a 5 element yagi. Just wondering if I should go ahead and order one now since spring is around the corner. Cushcraft makes one in my price range.

  2. KI8DJ

    KI8DJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Go ahead and buy it 6 m can open any time. With the yagi you should be able to reach out a long way even without enhanced propagation. There also may be some ssb nets out there too.
    K0UO and WA9SVD like this.
  3. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    6 Meters is called the "Magic Band" for a reason. Sporadic E (Es) can occur any time, but is most common from about late April to at least September, with a minor peak in activity around January. (At least, here in the Northern Hemisphere.) It's the challenge of "weak signal" work that makes the band so intriguing. While 6 Meters is NOT a daily DX band, when there IS an opening (such as Es) the band can get as crowded as 20 Meters in a contest! If there is a decent sunspot number associated with the upcoming Cycle 25, there is even the possibility (probability?) of F2 Layer propagation, with DX extending far beyond single, or even double hop Es propagation. I don't think you will regret working 6 Meters, and putting up a decent antenna, 6 Meters CAN be quite addictive! Good luck, and most of all, have FUN!

    ADDED: I'd also like to hear how the Es season(s) occur in the SOUTHERN Hemisphere! How is the propagation in, say So. America, Australia, South Pacific, etc?
    K0UO and AD7DB like this.
  4. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The opportunity for Es always exists, but in my experience usually peaks in June; might start in May and run through July, but the "peak" every year I've been around (on 6m since 1966 or so, back in the AM days) has always been in June.

    If we're lucky, Es will be working and widespread during the June VHF QSO Party, and then later in June during Field Day...but that doesn't always happen. It's just if it does happen, there will be thousands of people occupying the band anyway, so it will be noticed very quickly.

    Sad thing about 6m and Es (and really 10m and Es also) is that during times of "flat" propagation when nothing ionospheric is available, the band(s) can be quite dead with hardly anyone using them, so there can be an hour or two of amazing Sporadic-E propagation available and nobody notices.

    "We" used to have an old-fashioned telephone alert system that was pretty widespread and used by lots of 6m enthusiasts: If the band opened, phone calls started and the word spread fairly quickly. Real enthusiasts would get out of bed at 2 AM if they received such a call.:)
    K0UO likes this.
  5. G8FXC

    G8FXC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    April is a fraction early for the northern hemisphere - don't be too disappointed if it does not really open up before May. If you are set up for FT-8, it's worth just pinging a couple of CQs out each day and taking a look at the PSKReporter map - that will show you if you are being received anywhere and it will suddenly light up when an Es opening kicks off.

    K0UO likes this.
  6. WA4SIX

    WA4SIX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would put it up as soon as possible to feel the magic.

    K0UO likes this.
  7. KD9VV

    KD9VV Ham Member QRZ Page

    6M is a blast.
    Definitely get a Yagi up, I highly recommend a LFA as they do a great job rejecting noise.
    Personally I opted for a direct feed LFA 5 ele. See pic on my QRZ page.

    Even when there is no decent Es, there is always meteor scatter; lots of ppl on in the a.m.

    Es, Tropo will support ssb, especially June/July...I've made many qso's to Japan and Europe on ssb, and FT8.

    Warning: 6M can be addictive and lead to RF amplification syndrome. :)
    K0UO likes this.
  8. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yep. Since MOST of the time, propagation in Alaska looks like this:
    ......we need all the sporadic E we can get. :(
    K0UO likes this.
  9. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Notice the lovely MUF down at 0 Hz. :(
  10. WA4SIX

    WA4SIX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I cured that with Larcan....

    KD9VV likes this.

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