Operating 6 Meters

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by WB0MPB, Mar 3, 2016.

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  1. WB0MPB

    WB0MPB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    After 42 years of operating I am trying 6 meters. Please give me the "Dumbies" version of how to use it. Do I call CQ like I do on HF? Do I make a contact on the calling frequency (50.125?) and then tell the ham that calls me to wait and I find an open frequency then tell him to go there? What else do I need to know so I don't look like an idiot?
    Thanks for any help you all can give me.
    John, WB0MPB
  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    If the band isn't open, you can just stay on the calling frequency as many do, but leave breaks (a few seconds before you pick it up when a station turns it over to you) so if someone else wants to use it, they can insert their call and say so -- or join your QSO if they can hear you both.

    When the band is open and getting crowded, then .125 is a place to call CQ but then move the contact to a different (higher) frequency.

    We're in a lull (doldrums) for 6m DX right now, so the odds of the band being "open" aren't very good. Sporadic-E can occur almost any time, but occurs most often late May to late June when it can happen almost every day at some point. Serious DX via F2 is very unlikely right now and usually occurs when the SFI is high, and will be reported as an elevated m.u.f. by all the solar conditions websites.

    I remember the m.u.f. being around 70 MHz for an entire weekend back in late November 2001! 6m was open around the clock. But that sure doesn't happen often -- in fact, I'm not sure it's ever happened since that particular weekend.

    For most success when the band is not open, you want a good beam on a rotator up as high above ground as you can get it.
  3. WB0MPB

    WB0MPB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thank you very much for the info. I appreciate your time.
    John, WB0MPB
  4. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Remember too there are a fair number of CW beacons on 6m (http://www.k9mu.com/map/). Even if you don't copy CW, just tune that segment (50.050 region) and if you hear a bunch of beacons, the band may be open. I do copy CW, and I've used the beacons to my advantage to pick up a number of new states.

    But all I have is a 5-element beam about 45 feet or so - about the only time I ever really work much on 6-meters is during contests. With only 100 watts and a pretty meager antenna, I'm far from "being a contender". I did work Mexico once though - that was pretty cool :)

  5. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page


    Since he has been operating for over 42-years, I strongly suspect that he can copy the International Morse code! :rolleyes:

    Glen, K9STH
  6. WB0MPB

    WB0MPB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    You be very correct. I was one of those old guys that had to pass code to get my license and I can even still do code.
    John, WB0MPB
    KC1BOO likes this.
  7. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page


    You are just a youngster with only 42-years of operating.

    I have you beat by 15-years! Passed my Novice Class exam on my 15th birthday, 13 February 1959. However, the license wasn't "issued" until 15 May 1959 and didn't arrive, in the mail, for another almost 2-weeks!

    Glen, K9STH
  8. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    50 years and counting for me...it will be 51 years next month. But I don't count.

    The six meter calling frequency has been 50.125 since 1970.

    The DX calling frequency is 50.110, but that's for 'real' DX, meaning outside NA for those of us here.

    There's a lot of CW activity on six, between 50.080 and 50.100. When the band opens, there's sometimes more there than there is on SSB above 50.100. I have 124 DX entities confirmed on six, and that took 48 years, and at least 30 of those were worked only on CW and never on SSB.

    Below .080 is 'beacon country,' and the band is loaded with beacons. I know there's more sporadic-E than we usually think there is because I hear beacons from 1000 miles away and more very, very often even when there's no activity above .100...and I mean 'none.' The N0LL beacon in KS comes in here probably 250 days a year if I just let the rig park on his frequency.

    That's why it pays to call CQ...a lot...with varying beam headings. I worked the Philippines on six several years ago when absolutely nobody was on the band that I could otherwise hear, just by calling CQ a lot. I do have some local 'pointers,' though. If the band cracks open to any DX at all, there are some local stalwarts who seem to have ears on all sides of their heads, like K7JA who will miraculously be there...and on CW, much more than on SSB. When I hear them working stuff, I know the band's open to somewhere.
  9. W6RZ

    W6RZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's not how I remember it. When I first got on 6-meters in the summer of 1988, 50.110 was still being used as a domestic calling frequency. 50.125 was just starting to gain acceptance. When the band started opening up for F2 that fall, 50.125 became de facto.

    Bill Tynan W3XO had been suggesting 50.200 for years, but it never really happened. If you look at the September 1986 issue of QST, W3XO lists 50.200 as the SSB National Calling Frequency in the World Above 50 MHz column.
  10. W0AAT

    W0AAT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Not in MN, .125 has been the calling frequency for as long as I can remember and if you are stateside calling CQ on .110 during a minor e-skip opening will get you hollered at! Now if there is some multi hop going on then yes I will call CQ DX on .110 and I WILL ignore stateside stations calling me back. If you still need EN24 catch me up the band I am on all the time!

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