Operating 6 Meters

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

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  1. W7UUU

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

    I'd never presume to assume that just because someone got their ticket 42 years ago they still do CW. I know LOTS of hams who got their license same time I did (1974) who only learned it to get to General or Advanced, and never actually used it. Two of my very best radio friends, WB7QNS and WB7QNT both got General in the 1970s and never touched a key since. (Both are SK now).

    I just always assume they DON'T do CW rather than come off as a "CW snob"

    That's what I was suggesting is all

    K3RW likes this.
  2. KJ4TX

    KJ4TX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    We may be in the 7 year lull on 6 meters, but you will still get yelled at. I had been trying to get someone on 6 meters for a couple of weeks with not a peep. Then one day a guy in Portland happened to call be testing his radio so I answered him and we talked for about 10 minutes (mostly about how dead the band was) and sure enough somebody jumps in and yells at both of us that we are talking on the calling frequency and we should move off. I don't know who it was, he didn't identify himself but I'm sure he had been listening 24/7 guarding that calling frequency.

    If there is a reason to move, I will, other wise, I won't.

    WZ7U and N3SGW like this.
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The "national calling frequency" on six moved by "popular vote" in the northeastern U.S. where I was (NJ) in about 1970. No kidding. Even before that "most" were using 50.110 for everything including domestic and DX.

    The Mt. Airy VHF Club (Packrats), the Northeast club, the R.I.T. guys and most all organized VHF groups suggested a separate DX calling frequency that wouldn't be dominated by U.S. stations when the band opened, so we all agreed to use .110 for DXing only and .125 for everything else. It was "never" 50.200. I've been on 6m since 1966 and the only shift a few years later was to split off .110 and .125. But I never used .200 for anything, nor did anyone I can think of.

    However, that was "the northeast." It's entirely possible due to the nature of VHF that different parts of the country did other things, just as the norms for VHF repeater operation varied by location. Even today, some areas use 20 kHz spacing on 2m FM while others use 15 kHz spacing -- been that way for decades.
  4. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    But "assuming" that an operator doesn't do CW is also being a snob! You really can't win the no-code and know-code question. No matter if you assume that the operator knows the code, you can be wrong and, if you assume that the operator doesn't know the code, you can be wrong! The probability that someone licensed before the code knowledge was eliminated for the Technician Class operator is that the operator can still copy code especially when the message is repeated over and over like with beacon is very great. Then, the Advanced Class and Novice Class are the only classes of license that indicate the operator had to copy at least 5 wpm code since the Technician Class, General Class, and Amateur Extra Class licenses are now being issued without any knowledge of the International Morse code.

    It has been my experience that if a person has ever really learned the International Morse code that they will remember it even if they haven't used it for decades. Their code speed will be extremely slow but, when exposed to a CW signal sent relatively slowly, the knowledge will slowly come to the surface. It is like riding a bicycle in that the specific knowledge is never really lost due to not using the skill.

    I use my youngest daughter as an example of this retaining knowledge. In high school, she dated, for a while, the son of another amateur radio operator. They decided that they wanted to get a Novice Class license and Wendy actually learned the code. But, before they actually took their examinations, they broke up and Wendy never went any further. Although that was over 20-years ago, if she happens to hear code (there are advertisements on TV that have some code in them, code in movies or television shows, etc.) she starts to remember and can pick out certain letters. Of course, she cannot copy the entire "message", if there really is one especially in the advertisements. However, that knowledge is still, somewhere, in her memory.

    Glen, K9STH
    K3RW likes this.
  5. WB0MPB

    WB0MPB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Why are we fighting over who knows code and who doesn't know code. Why are we fighting over what the calling frequency is over the last 50 years. I am sorry I ever asked. Please just let it drop! I know everyone thinks I am a Jack a.. I will learn 6 meters on my own. Google will work for me to learn.
    John, WB0MPB
    K3RW likes this.
  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    "Thread drift" occurs on all boards, including this one.

    No reflection on the merit of your question!

    I still like puppies.
    K3RW likes this.
  7. W7UUU

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

    That's really what it comes down to :(

    Either way, no disrespect was meant on my part nor do I believe it was expressed :)

    I was merely suggesting the OP listen for beacons, copy or no copy. Lots of beacons = band is open. No beacons = band closed.

  8. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Made it easier.
    W7UUU likes this.
  9. N9DG

    N9DG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Better yet get a radio with a good spectrum scope and waterfall that can cover from at least 50.050 to 50.200 or so, and then when you see lots of signals anywhere that they may be across that range, then the band is open. If there are just few signals (and often those are not on 50.125 at all), you will still frequently find stations to work, band open or not. More so than using a radio without a good scope or just hanging around the calling frequency, and/or occasionally checking the beacon region, or even watching the DX spotting networks for that matter.

    And also having a radio of some kind that you can leave on 6M dedicated to watching that much spectrum, pretty much continuously, and while you may be doing other things on other bands in the shack is very useful too. Even a lowly cheap dongle would be useful for this kind of monitoring, and something better performing like an SDRPlay RSP even more so.

    And if the band is wide open forget about 50.125, that's old school advice from before the days of widespread spectrum scope use on 6M. Just tune (or look) around and find someone calling CQ. Or call CQ yourself on a clear spot close, but not too close, to where you are hearing or seeing signals. In a big band opening the first clear spot can easily be as high as 50.200, or even higher. Calling CQ on 50.125 during a good sized band opening is a waste of time. And will probably just put you in the middle of a big pile of QRM. And when you try to QSY from there with someone, you will likely land on top of some other already in progress QSO in the process, more QRM.

    Personally I think the notion of a calling frequency on 6M has outlived its usefulness. And may these days may actually be doing more harm than good.
  10. W0AAT

    W0AAT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    If there is some weak e-skip you may not be hearing the other stations but the guy 50 miles over can... that is why to make you contact and move up the band.


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