Is there really a 6-meter band for radio amateurs?

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by WA7DU, Aug 23, 2014.

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  1. WA8ZYT

    WA8ZYT Ham Member QRZ Page

    A good yagi is a MUST on 6 meters. You are really cheating yourself on this band without one.

    As far as activity, there is some every single day, here in the south east. Sit on .125 and you may hear nothing, but tune around, and you will hear activity, especially early morning from 7AM on.

    I can hear the K8MMM/B beacon up in north eastern Ohio EVERY DAY here in Florida! Park the radio on it's frequency, and let it sit, and within 5 minutes or less, I will hear a few pings from it!
  2. WA8UEG

    WA8UEG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I see we worked on 6, May of 2013.
  3. KG6UTS

    KG6UTS Ham Member QRZ Page


    At our desert QTH I leave the six meter antenna port on a 756 Pro connected to a rotatable delta loop when I'm down there. It isn't fancy or the best antenna set up but it does work when six opens. I just watch the band scope and listen on the calling freq when working I'm in the garage. The 756 does fine. At home I'm using a Yaesu 736R with a six meter module and after burner amp/preamp to either a home brew 4 element yagi, stacked squalos, or a 5/8 over 5/8 vertical. My toy radio, 857D gets used on 6 too. Feedline is 50 ohm Andrews 1/4 semi rigid.

    EdZ KG6UTS
    Ocean Beach/Borrego Springs
  4. KG6UTS

    KG6UTS Ham Member QRZ Page

    sigs on 6

    When I'm monitoring 50.125 I have the band scope set +/- 100 KHz to watch for sigs and also make several calls every few minutes. The lobe on the delta loop is wide enough that I move it North to East which from DM13tf covers a lot of ground.

    EdZ KG6UTS
    Ocean Beach/Borrego Springs
  5. K5GHS

    K5GHS Ham Member QRZ Page

    The FT857 (which I have) and FT897 will do 6m and 2m SSB as well (as well as FM, but if you want to do that, you'll need an antenna switch to go from horizontal to vertical). In fact, up until I got my General a few weeks ago, I never had anything hooked to the HF port, except a coax running to a long wire for listening only purposes.

    But until my last move, I had 2m and 6m loops in the air. I need to get them back up and working again, just with the General ticket I've worked on getting a dipole up for now for 20, and am saving for a tuner for same. I should scrounge around and see if I have enough coax to get the 2m/6m loops back up though. I had a 4 way switch on that output-one for 6/2m loops, one for 6m vertical, and one for a 2m vertical, though I tended to use the FT8800 next to it on the desk for 2m/440 repeater work. I believe that it can do 440 SSB as well, though I could be wrong because I never toyed with that at all.

    I also want to echo what STH said. Listen for a few minutes and call CQ! I think I've made two contacts over the years just by hearing something suddenly going on. I used to listen for 5 minutes then call a few times, then call every hour or so. You'll be surprised when suddenly someone is coming back to you, because all they have been doing is listening!
  6. W9ALD

    W9ALD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Lots of good advice on here.

    I think an all mode squelch is very important on six meters and it would be on my won't buy without category if I really was going to be serious about the band!

    Power level really isn't all that important. The mere fact that a signal exists is more important than it's magnitude and 10 watts is all you need to work all 50 states.

    The antenna can be about anything that loads properly and presents a decent SWR for your finals. A dpole will get you all fifty states. Steerable antennas can help your weak signal work.

    As much fun as it might be running a Swan 250C or some other tube rig and leaving it on 50.125 and running all day in the dead of winter when it's heat would feel pretty darn good, when all is said and done a solid state rig would be my first choice.

    As for specific radios, with all the CW QRM on six of late with HF radios having six on them now, some filtering would be nice if CW is your thing. It can be added with the likes of almost any of the popular audio filters on the market. The Icoms, Kenwoods, & Yaesus are decent designs and many of the later models have some IF filtering available. Additionally, Elecraft has some nice stuff! There are also some transverters out there that would serve your purposes.

    I would not get hung up on the high power aspect as more power can be added later if you really feel you need it.

    The big thing to remember about six meters is that there are many modes of propagation and knowing when to look for them is important and how to work the various modes of propagation will set you apart from others.

    Good luck and have fun on the most addicting band on the spectum!
  7. AD5CL

    AD5CL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I skimmed this thread and really think I want to go back and carefully read it. Until then,,,,,,

    I got rid of a 746 Pro. Do not regret it at all. Too busy for my liking. ONE time I had it on 6 with a half decent wire dipole trimmed about right. I heard stations !

    I briefly considered Ranger's 6 m offering. I still am tempted to buy MFJ's little simple transceiver. Besides the hate MFJ rule, why not ? Seems a way to simplistically try the band out with no view to be a serious "contender".

    Thoughts ? Flames ?
  8. WA8UEG

    WA8UEG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    What I have found is that since most of today's rigs have six meters and with all the band openings lately the activity has greatly increased in the past few years, at least on the east coast. The "magic" band is not as magic as it use to be and when there is an opening there is much more competition then in the past. The result is that a 10 watt rig and dipole or ground plane can get very frustrating very quick. Back in the day when a lot 6 meter activity was with HE45's, Sixers, Gonset rigs, SR46's, etc you could easily compete with a modest set up but when the band opens today you are competing with 100 watt plus rigs and 3 + element beams. I ran a 10 watt Yaesu rig and a dipole at 80' and while I made some contacts I upgraded very quickly.
  9. AD5CL

    AD5CL Ham Member QRZ Page

    From that, 'UEG, and what I have gathered over the years, there is little to any casual 6m operating. Most all is fast paced exchanges. Not much benefit to a 10 watt set up and a rotable dipole in that case.
  10. N9DG

    N9DG Ham Member QRZ Page

    You will certainly work some stuff with 10W and dipole. But 6M really starts to "play" when running 100+ watts and a beam with a 15 foot or longer boom.

    And while most contacts are DX like exchanges, I do have around 4 or so 1/2 hour or longer rag chews during the 6M Es season each year.
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