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 6m setup 
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Post 6m setup
Seeing as getting onto 2m ssb/cw has not proved to be an easy option, that are no vhf/uhf multimode transceivers made now (only HF/VHF/UHF), and 28-144 transverters are in kit form only, or expensive Elcraft, I'm going to see what, if anything, is happening on 6m.

My FT-450D of course covers 6m, so no outlay there, and for what its worth, I have PSK31 capability.

How my 6.5m vertical will work on 6m remains to be seen, but I'm also probably going to make a 'squalo' to provide omni-directional horizontal polarisation. Albeit this will be in the loft, so not in the best location.

No money to be spent, so if its all a disappointment, then nothing lost.

I should add that I have never operated on 6m before, so it will be new territory to explore.

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Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:56 pm
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 6m setup 
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Post Re: 6m setup
I had an Alinco which covered 6m, and I was curious because (apart from one EI) we didn't even have 6m when I was first on. I put up a horizontal dipole (a cut-down CB one) and listened.

Great disappointment. No 'traffic', just monotonous 'five and nine' during the odd lift.

Sorry, but 5/9 just doesn't do it for me any more, no matter how distant. That's why I stick to 80/60/40/30m.

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Chris


Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:20 pm
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 6m setup 
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Post Re: 6m setup
Well, I have just made a start Chris, not 5 mins after posting this 'thread'

Switched on the 450D, had a look on the band, at the moment using the 6.5m vertical, fed with over 100ft of UR43, so hardly low-loss at VHF, and also via an auto tuner at the base of the vertical, when up popped IZ5EME at 5/7 ssb.

I called him with 90W, and he came straight back with a 5/9, so my less than ideal antenna appears to work well on 6m. Would have been nice to have had the 'squalo' to compare with, but hopefully I'll get that opportunity once I have constructed it.

I think I am going to find it as you suggest, and that is no conversation, and just a report, and an exchange of 'locator', as that is all this guy was doing, so it could prove quite boring, but we will see.

Hopefully, I might find some CW ops on the band, who might be a little more entertaining.

However, 50 years licensed, and a first ever contact on 6m, even if it was less than 'rubber stamp' (lol)

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Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:39 pm
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 6m setup 
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Post Re: 6m setup
Same as you Dave. I'd just love it if there was an Inter-G CW 'community' on 6m, like there was on 2m once, but with even better range.

Sadly, if I want to work the populated parts of the UK on VHF, I have a choice of Skiddaw, Helvellyn, Grasmoor and Scafell Pike to beam at. So it's NVIS or nowt here :)

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Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:53 pm
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 6m setup 
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Post Re: 6m setup
6m has been good to Italy this afternoon.

Sometimes stations strong on a vertical can'e be heard on the beam and vice versa. At this moment IZ5ILA is as strong on a 10 vertical as he is on the 6m beam.

10m is also open to that part of Europe this afternoon.

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Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:23 pm
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 6m setup 
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Post Re: 6m setup
An interesting antenna to antenna comparison.

As I said it will interesting to switch between the vertical, and a 'squalo' in the loft once I've built one.

Its ironic that I have had the 450D for almost a year now, and often listened on 6m, and never heard a thing, not even a beacon, then today I decide give 6m a 'whirl', and it happens to coincide with an opening down into Italy.

He worked several G stations, and a DL, non of which I could hear, so the 'footprint' must have been quite wide, especially as you were hearing them in the West Midlands too.

Its deadly quiet now.

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Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:59 pm
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 6m setup 
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Post Re: 6m setup
G6CSL wrote:
Sadly, if I want to work the populated parts of the UK on VHF, I have a choice of Skiddaw, Helvellyn, Grasmoor and Scafell Pike to beam at. So it's NVIS or nowt here :)


We don't have any mountains down here in Suffolk, in fact I am at around 150' asl, and that is a mountain down here ;)

I do have direct line of site with the east coast, which as the RF flies is around 10 miles.

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Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:03 pm
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 6m setup 
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Post Re: 6m setup
yes, it has gone quiet here too.

Straight after I made the last post, I worked IZ5ILA very strong both ways.

A few years ago I worked all round Europe on a snake oil multiband vertical, when the band is open, doesn't really matter what the antenna is.

I enjoy it, you don't get people moaning too much :)
Lots of people having fun with minimal antenna systems.

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Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:14 pm
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 6m setup 
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Post Re: 6m setup
I think its very much a case of 'watch that space', as I think openings can be very brief, but I think it could be an interesting band, and as I said, new territory for me.

With the MUF's being pretty dire, and likely to be that way for quite few years yet, maybe VHF/UHF is they way to go, and ignoring the 2m FM band, sensible operating I would hope.

I would have liked to get back into 2M CW operating, as back in the 70's, I really enjoyed that using my home-brew transverter (solid state receive, valve transmit), but then I had an 8 Element Beam (also home-brew) at 45ft.

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Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:47 pm
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 6m setup 
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Post Re: 6m setup
Sadly you're coming onto 6m right at the end of the Sporadic E season. Each year I put my big 6m aerial up in early May and take it down late Aug. Sure there will be some propagation into Sept and even through the winter, with a small Es season in Nov/Dec, but generally it'll be dead apart for activity contests until next May.

There used to be a group of us quite active inter-G but most of them have gone QRT with some SK.

Many people (me included) are on 6m because it's a DX band and we like pushing the limits of propagation, so you won't find that many rag chewers.


Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:35 am
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 6m setup 
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Ah well, there is always next year, and in the meantime, I'll take it as it comes. No money yet spent, and no effort expended, as the gear was already here.

I have done the DX thing many times over, so don't go chasing it anymore,. but I understand that unlike HF, VHF and above is more about achieving distance. But it would be nice if was more than just swapping grid squares. A bit like stamp collecting.

Apart from those that went SK, I have to wonder why those G stations that once frequented the band, deserted it.

In my case, I had never really ventured into 6m, concentrating mainly on 160 and 40m dxing, as I then had a garden that could accommodate effective antennas for those bands.

For reasons of advancing years, and health issues, I moved to a smaller property, where I don't have room for my 'antenna farms' of old. Hence now just having a 6.5m vertical, albeit, quite a few buried radials.

I will continue to spend time on 6m, and see what surprises it throws up.

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Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:25 am
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Post Re: 6m setup
It's funny how we are all different.

I'd prefer a good CW ragchew with a bloke in Blackburn to a '5NN 73 QRZ' from the Cocos Keelings any day.

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Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:33 am
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 6m setup 
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I'm probably much the same Chris. As I said I've done enough dxing, and collecting awards to more than satisfy needs.

Top band used to be great for local chats, but it's very quiet around hear. Albeit with a 6.5m vertical, which I have to base load, it's only good for contacts.

2m FM, don't even go there (lol).

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Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:09 pm
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Post Re: 6m setup
G3XSA wrote:
I'm probably much the same Chris. As I said I've done enough dxing, and collecting awards to more than satisfy needs.

Top band used to be great for local chats, but it's very quiet around hear. Albeit with a 6.5m vertical, which I have to base load, it's only good for contacts.

2m FM, don't even go there (lol).


The dark nights will return; so will top band.
I'm way too small for 'top' here, but I might be able to put out 'something' on 80m by bending a 5MHz dipole down with the ATU.

OK on the Dx. Yes ... once you've worked ZL, then what?

I think that Morse people have a different attitude to Dx. If you use SSB, then anybody and his dog can talk into a microphone, so any 'achievement' has to be in terms of distance and/or rarity.
But Morse is a 'knack' in itself, so your achievement is being able to hold a Morse QSO in the first place. If you happen to bag a distant/rare one, then that's just a bonus. That's why I can't understand why people use computerized Morse. Bashing away on the old brass and ear-reading is 90% of the fun to me. :)

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Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:05 pm
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Post Re: 6m setup
DX... ends when you have worked VK on 50mhz.

Then you have to explore other bands, also too small for 160, shame really only ever went on 160 under supervision
from a G4.
May have to spend the next few months looking at compact aerials. Although I am not currently active, apart
from the soldering iron and the kettle.

Phil


Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:54 pm
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