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Six Meters

What is the six-meter band you ask? Six Meters (50-54 MHz) is known as "The Magic Band" and is allocated to the Amateur Radio Service. If you like a challenge, this is the band to be on. It is fascinating because just about all types of propagation pop up on six meters at one time or another: Sporadic E (Es), Tropospheric Ducting, Aurora, Meteors, even F2 skip like an HF band! Its popularity is on the rise thanks to several new all-mode six-meter rigs on the market.

In the northern hemisphere, activity peaks from May through early August, and regular sporadic E propagation enables long-distance contacts via single-hop propagation or multiple-hop propagation at distances of up to 10,000kilometres (6,200mi). In the southern hemisphere, sporadic E propagation is most common from November through early February.

Six meter antennas are quite easy to Homebrew as they are much smaller and take up less space than HF antennas. A dipole for six meters is only a bit over nine feet long, and a wire dipole or rotatable dipole, in a good location and as high as possible, will perform well when the band is open. Of course a 5 element beam will always outperform a dipole or vertical. Many commercial antennas for six Meters are available on the Market.
M-Squared - CushCraft - Hy-Gain - Diamond   -- to name a few.

On six meters, you can earn WAS, WAC and DXCC. Six meters can sound like a contest weekend on 20, filled with signals and pileups galore when it is wide open. The difference between Six Meters and the HF bands is that you never know when it will open up. These openings just appear out of the blue and can last from hours to a few minutes. In other words the band could be dead - no signals - and all of a sudden you can be copying S9 signals and vice-versa.

However, if you enjoy a band that changes from moment to moment, six meters is for you!

Here are some links to more information about 6 Meters :-

UK Six Meter Group - SMIRK - N2KBK - ON4KST - W9DR

Have fun on SIX and good Dxing.

My Six Meter Station
6MX5 Antenna
6MX5 Beam up on Pole pointing towards the U.S.A. for testing. Not in it's final position. Got's to be higher.

My six meter station setup is a very modest one, consisting of an FT-950 Transceiver - which runs 100 Watts output - Antenna is the M-Squared 6MX5 - 5 Element beam - Sponsored by the U.K. Six Meter group to whom I am eternally grateful. Special mention must be made of Kerry - (G0LCS) now G8VR and Peter - G8BCG for their consideration at being selected to receive the Antenna. A big "THANK YOU"

The purchase of an Icom 756 Pro2 in November of 2007 signalled my introduction to the world of SIX meters. I would listen on 6 from time to time with my 10 meter dipole but would not hear anything. Then on 7 th June, 2008 , after I had completed cutting the lawn, I decided to try 6 meters to see if anything was happening. At around 17.30z, I tuned up my 10 meter dipole for operation on 6 and sent out a CQ. I was promptly answered by N3DB , my first ever 6 meter QSO. Of course, others qso's followed in quick succession until band went dead. The E's season of 2008 ended prematurely for me on July 13th when a lightning storm damaged the Icom 756 Pro2. By that time, with my 10 meter dipole, I made a total of 89 QSO's, mainly with the U.S.A and Canada. During this period I hung out on 50.097 CW , calling endless CQ's and I regularly connected to the ON4KST chatroom. After seeing spots made on the cluster, I was contacted by G0LCS of the UK Six meter Group and it was decided that they would sponsor an antenna for six meters.


View to Europe
This is what my Beam see's when pointing to Europe. Oh No!!! Mountains!
View to U.S.A
This is what my Beam see's when pointing to the U.S.A.

I had the Pro2 repaired in the U.S. and got it back, but then on 3rd Feb 2009 it went dead on transmit again and the antenna had arrived by this time. So now was left without a radio and E's season coming up. I used a loaned ICOM 706 MK2G until a new Yaesu FT-950 , which I had ordered, arrived and it is in use up to the present time.

My Location is a very bad one for propagation to Europe as you can see from the inset photo, looking into a mountain which rises to about 1500 ft, but was still able to make it into Europe on the 15 th July 2009 when there was a monster opening which lasted for at least four hours. See chart below for QSO statistics



Countries Confirmed - LOTW
LOTW Countries Confirmed
Chart showing countries confirmed via LOTW on Six meters as of June 17th 2010 !!
QSO STATISTICS 2008/2009
  2008 2009
U.S.A
67
737
Canada
13
42
EU
0
68
DX
9
68
Total
89
915
Countries Wrkd
7
37

Countries worked 2008/2009:-

V2 - P4 - ON - PJ2 - VE - HK - CO - OZ - HI - G - DL - F - TG - 8R - HA - TF - FM - XE - PA - YN - GI - HP - OA - KP4 - FS - HK0/A - GM - EA - FJ - J6 - PJ7 - HB9 - 9Y - W - YV - KP2 - GW

I have truly caught the disease called SIXERS

Here are three audio clips of Six meter QSO's with stations in Europe:-

PF5X <> J39BS - 2009  ======  9A5CW <> J39BS - 2010

S57RR <> J39BS - 2010


And finally here is a clip I found on you tube :-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmilaerKKdw

SIX METERS - 2010

Countries Confirmed - LOTW
LOTW Countries Confirmed
Chart showing countries confirmed via LOTW on
Six meters as of January 29 th 2011 !!

The propagation in 2010 semed to be poorer than in 2009 as evidenced by the fact that there were lesser openings both to U.S.A. and Europe from Grenada in 2010 than in 2009. However there were still some good openings to the U.S.A. and during one of those openings I was able to make my first ever RTTY contacts on 6 meters with AA5AM, NA5Q, W5HNK and W4AS. It was indeed a pleasure to work those guys on RTTY and I do look forward to making as many QSO's on RTTY as I possibly can in 2011.

Also in 2010, because of my poor location at the "HOME QTH", I set up a portable station ( FT-950, the 6MX5 beam and an old laptop computer for logging ) at a different location ( only 5 minutes away but same GridSquare ) which has a better take off to Europe. I would monitor the ON4KST chat room for openings and then head over there if there was one. Indeed that location had a better take off to U.S.A. and Europe than my Home QTH and was able to work some EU stations that I had not previously heard or worked. I should have done that earlier in the season, but by the time I had done so, most of the good openings to EU had already passed. I will do the same for the 2011 E's season. Let's hope for some good openings.

One of the better openings was on July 4 th 2010, when I made 104 QSO's mainly with the U.S.A. My best DX worked was D44TD on 29th June.



QSO STATISTICS 2008/2009/2010
  2008 2009 2010  
U.S.A
67
737
353
 
Canada
13
42
17
 
EU
0
68
19
 
DX
9
68
51
 
Total
89
915
440
 
Countries Wrkd
7
37
52
 
Portable Station
Portable station showing Radio, Computer and accessories set up
at alternate location.


New Countries worked 2010:-

VP5 - S5 - I - CU - V4 - PY - EA8 - TI - D4 - CT - 6Y - PZ - C6 - FY - 9A


Total Countries worked 2008/2009/2010:-

V2 - P4 - ON - PJ2 - VE - HK - CO - OZ - HI - G - DL - F - TG - 8R - HA - TF - FM - XE - PA - YN - GI - HP - OA - KP4 - FS - HK0/A - GM - EA - FJ - J6 - PJ7 - HB9 - 9Y - W - YV - KP2 - GW - VP5 - S5 - I - CU - V4 - PY - EA8 - TI - D4 - CT - 6Y - PZ - C6 - FY - 9A


Here are some audio clips of Six meter QSO's in 2010:-

VE9AA <> J8/W8IF - 2010  ======  N3DB <> Calling CQ - 2010

J39BS <> K4EJQ - 2010  ======  J39BS <> N4KZ - 2010

SEE you on SIX !!

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