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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. W0JMP

    W0JMP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Back in the day (about 1966) I worked 37 states on 6 with a 7.5 watt homebrew (2E26) AM transmitter and homebrew nuvistor converter...all with a 5 element Telrex (not Telex) yagi at 40 feet. Actually, it was a pretty good setup.

    Then and ice storm took down my tower and put 5 holes in the neighbor's roof. My dad locked up my radios till I got the neighbor settled down.

    Dan, W0JMP
     
  2. KJ4TX

    KJ4TX Ham Member QRZ Page

    You might want to try 6 meters for awhile (at least through the winter or summer cycle) before you jump into it with both feet. While there are people that are almost fanatical about 6 meters, I've found that 6 meters is not as exciting to me as it is to others. It may be because our area of the Northwest did not get any where near the openings that even those a couple hundred miles or less around us did, or it may be that a lot of those that use 6 meters only want to use it during the openings and not for local or near distant contacts. Don't get me wrong, the band can be fun when it is open and every one spreads out a bit (I found that on openings under 1000 miles or so, everyone clumps up, but if it's open to most of the country everyone is spread out quite a bit), but it's not as exciting to me as other bands. I'm running a 4 element yagi and there were many times I wish I had 2 more elements at least, but then there are times I'm glad I didn't spend the extra money (and the price really goes up if you buy commercial) to go with 7 or more elements. So I'm mostly glad that I didn't jump into it a lot deeper than I did, although that won't stop me from using what I have during the few times that our part of the Northwest is blessed with an opening or two.

    Mike
     
  3. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    ok I am going to complain a little. 6m sucks here lately, south SF Bay area, Silicon Valley, surrounded on 3 sides by mountains, open to the north but that just points to ocean and Alaska. this year got a couple of locals. tune through the band when supposedly "it's HOT right NOW!" and I can get 2 or 3 beacons. Apparently here is too far south for Aurora, too far north for TEP, and too far west for Es clouds and other interesting things.

    the advice about 10W being enough is true. either 6m is open and it works, with a few watts and a wet noodle, or it doesn't work at all, and 1KW won't even get me across town.

    that said, a couple years ago had fantastic F2 skips across the continental US. And meteor scatter never fails. love that FSK441 sound!!
     
  4. W6RZ

    W6RZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    From Silicon Valley, I'd have to rate the 2014 6m Es season to be the worse I've experienced since 1988.
     
  5. WA8UEG

    WA8UEG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Some but very little, I had a few DX rag chews this summer but it's not the norm. A lot of enjoying 6 depends on where you live and the activity in your area when the band is not open, A small antenna and 10 watts is not going to do much on ground wave, the area of "local" activity greatly increases with a decent antenna and power. With out the power and antenna your stuck waiting for an opening and that can try any ones patience!! I'm fortunate, there is a lot of activity in NY, NJ, CT, MA and Eastern PA within reach of me here in the Pocono's.
     
  6. WA8UEG

    WA8UEG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    As some have said in this thread ya gotta make calls. I have been in ear shot of the radio most of today and not heard a peep. I have not received any opening alerts. I had a few minutes so dropped to 50.090 and called CQ, on the 2nd call DF4 answered.
     
  7. KJ4TX

    KJ4TX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've always felt that you have to make noise to attract noise (or as the saying goes, it takes a crowd to draw a crowd) and when I first got on 6 meters, I followed that line of thought. I'd call CQ on 6 even when I didn't hear anything. Sometimes I'd get another local but most of the time nothing (this was before the band started opening a little in June). I actually had a couple of times when I got another local that was fairly new on 6 meters as well and while we were talking we had someone pop on and said we were making to much noise in case the band opened up. I would have told the guy that that was what we were doing, trying to open the band, but the other local I was talking to said he had to go and signed off. It was actually a number of weeks before the band opened beyond the occasional local user, though and I know we didn't scare it away. 6 meters reminds me of Elmer Fudd and his "Shssss, I'm hunting wabbits" comment. :D


    Mike
     
  8. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I missed 1988 entirely, as I was moving from east coast to west coast, then.

    But...I had 88 countries on 6 from NJ and was hoping to add more when I got here.

    In 1989 I had a leased townhouse in L.A. (while looking for a house to buy) and set up on six with just 100W and a little 3-L beam on the roof of the condo. In two days, worked VK and ZL and added two entities, so now I was up to 90.:eek:

    Spend more years on six without adding much...until November 2001 when 6m became 20m and the band was open to the whole world for 48+ hours. By November 19, 2001 had 111 countries, including lots of new ones. Working HK, the Philippines, Singapore, etc. was great as I never had any of that stuff from NJ. (I did have JA already, but it's a lot stronger here in CA than it was in NJ.)

    From 2001 to 2014 I haven't added much and am now at 118. In all, it took 48 years to go from zero to 118, that's not a very good climb rate. But it is what it is. I'm still missing some EU stuff, and "most" of AF, plus some OC islands. I don't have mainland China on six, but do have HK and Taiwan, so I know it's possible, just never found it. Missed YB also, although I've heard it.

    For a DXer, 6m ain't for the impatient. My first 88 countries took over 20 years.:p But no e.m.e. at all, it's all ionospheric.

    What makes it magic, though, is you really can achieve W.A.S. in one weekend. I did it in the June VHF contest in 1987 as WB2WIK/4 from FM27. The band was open for Es almost all weekend, and we worked all 50 states in 36 hours. And 204 grids. It set a new record for the division at the time.
     
  9. W6RZ

    W6RZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I should have been a little more specific. 1988 wasn't a bad year, it was my first year on the band. In fact, it was a very good year for 6m Es. Just like your experience in 1987, the band was open the entire June contest. I think our little four man contest team almost broke the 100,000 point level that year.
     
  10. WB9UDA

    WB9UDA Ham Member QRZ Page

    About 30 years ago, where I lived in Illinois, we established a 6 meter net, that met every week.

    I picked up a Clegg 66'er at a hamfest for almost nothing and likewise a 6 Meter Four Element beam.
    http://www.casualham.com/?cat=49
    See the 66'er here, but scroll down the page to see it.

    So once a week I'd fire up the old Clegg and join in the net. TV sets all over town went crazy for about a half hour, one night a week. rofl But it was fun.

    I sold that radio and the beam when I moved to Florida in '88.

    Cheers Mates!

    WB9UDA
     
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