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Author Topic: Working 6M for FD and the June VHF Test....antennas, sites, ht?  (Read 3620 times)
W3HKK
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Posts: 596




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« on: March 18, 2011, 04:31:06 PM »

What do you use and how high do you mount it for the above two contests.  What are your results.

This year Im planning to bring my 5 el yagi and a 10' mast to  the June VHF test.  The site is a fairly high camp site but surrounded by trees, whil e the terrain slopes down substantially beyond the trees.

Im curious what kind of success others  have had with their portable set ups for similar events.  And  what height is feasible?
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KD8GKR
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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2011, 06:13:42 PM »

Higher is always better, but if 10' is all higher you can go with portable setup then go for it. Your results will vary depending on band conditions.... Most of all HAVE FUN!!!
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2011, 07:22:13 PM »

If the band's open and there's Sporadic-E, anything you do will work, since propagation is doing almost all the work.

If the band isn't open and there's no Sporadic-E, what you described is a really minimal  setup for six meters.

The year my club (CVARC, K6CAB/6) won FD with the highest score ever recorded in FD up to that time (first station to ever break 30,000 points, ever), I was FD Chairman.  We made a LOT of points on six meters: We used a 7 element beam at 75' on a rotator, but always ran QRP (5W output) and found we were working a lot of stations other local clubs weren't even hearing because they didn't have 7 element beams at 75 feet.  It helped a lot.

Our rotators were battery powered, as were all our stations.
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WB6BYU
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2011, 08:10:41 PM »

If the ground in the camping area is fairly flat, put the antenna near the edge where the ground
starts sloping down.  That makes sure that your low angle radiation isn't canceled out by the
ground reflections from the top of the hill.  Think of the downwards angle from the antenna that
clears the edge of the hill - I'd suggest aiming for at least 30 or 45 degrees, meaning that with
a 10' mast you would need to be within roughly 20' of the edge, and closer may be better.

With a constant cross-slope there is an optimum height for maximum radiation at the horizon
that depends on the angle, and it can be fairly low in some cases.  But on a flat spot some
of the benefit of the height is lost if the antenna is too far back from the edge.
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KB1GMX
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« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2011, 08:00:51 PM »

For the June QSO, 4 element on the tower for 6 (also 2 and 432).  Radio and amps.

For Field Day up to 40ft for aluminum mil mast, 3 element for 6, 6 element for 2, DC powered rotator.
depending on location it may be lower power (battery, 20W) or high power.

I've done this in various forms since 2001.  Ht, not much use save for local coms but I always have
it and the 6/2M radio has FM.  generally all the VHF I've heard was SSB, CW, the occasional FM.

Your region may vary but I covered Eastern MA.


Allison
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2011, 05:34:10 PM »

hi

our club vhf station W4DW, FD 2010 used a M2 6M5 yagi
on 40' of military mast with a rotor on the bottom plate.

http://www.m2inc.com/products/6m/6m5xyag.html

Kenwood TS-600 into a Teletec 6M amplifier.

73 james
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WY3X
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Posts: 768




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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2011, 12:29:18 PM »

I used a 5 element (old) Cushcraft A5 Yagi to take 2nd place SOLP last June, almost exclusively on 6M. The band was extremely nice to everyone last year. Band conditions are more important than amps or antennas, but if the band conditions are bad, you'll want the best you can put up, and the higher the better. An old ham once told me to mount my antenna as close to 87 feet as possible- something about ground reflections. He claimed lower is worse and higher is worse. Mine is exactly 82 feet, but it was the best I could do. (My 2M and 432 multi-Yagi arrays are above it and my HF cubical quad is below it on the tower.) I don't believe in voodoo or magic antenna heights, but on the other hand I can't argue with success! If you have amps, make sure you stay under 200 watts PEP in keeping with the spirit of low-power operations (unless you enter the high-power category).

73, -WY3X
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W3HKK
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2011, 09:42:19 PM »

Thanks guys.  Our club has found an old barn that  was converted into a dwelling and is now used for tentless camping trips.
SO its electrified, heated, has a WC, and is rural, on high ground.  I believe there are  sleeping accomodations on the top floor, with a deck of some sorts.  Going out soon to  evaluate it in  detail.  Might go with a mast on the deck up at a reported 35-45 ft. for starters.  Picking up a military mast or two sounds  appealing for the future.

This could be a neat spot not only for VHF but for the 160m tests in Dec Jan and Feb.  The club  needs as many operating events as possible.  Right now we do FD, the Ohio QSO Party, and The Ohio State Parks on the Air ( a great new one).  So theres a large gap between Sep and late June I want to fill with some contesting.
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W5DQ
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« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2011, 01:55:45 PM »

What do you use and how high do you mount it for the above two contests.  What are your results.

Like was mentioned, if band is open, the Es prop is the key element. I usually use a KU4AB square loop on a push up mast about 20-25' up. Didn't get out last year but in 2009 worked 39 grids and several states in a line from SoCAL across the US to New England. In 2006, I was back east at a old forest fire lookout tower site in SW Arkansas (appx 3500 above avg terrain in the clear) and mounted the loop on 16' of PVC piping. Had a decent opening on FD and I worked 108 grids, 28 states and 4 DX entities from that location with 100W.

I've also worked the June VHF from home with 7 elements at 40' with 100W and worked one station 20 miles away and barely could hear him. Heard nothing else all that weekend.

It all depends on the band openings. Put up the best you can and most of have fun. If the band is open, you'll make contacts, guarenteed.
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
W3HKK
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Posts: 596




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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2011, 08:06:34 AM »

I enjoy reading about your "adventures."
Yep, it can be hit or miss thats for sure.  But when it hits, it an really spark things, esp. on FD.

Wish we had a fire tower around here.  Let me ask at the next club meeting.
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2011, 08:33:15 AM »

Definitely worth the effort.  For Field Day, I have used a PAR Stressed Moxon antenna on 15' of mast, hand rotated.
http://www.parelectronics.com/stress-moxon.php  If the band opens it is Feast - otherwise - Famine!
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K9GTJ
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Posts: 12




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« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2011, 05:38:11 PM »

We have a 40' crank up mast and use just a simple dipole made out of electrical conduit.  Works great with band openings.  Without, we cannot hit the next county over even with a very low noise floor at our site.
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W5DQ
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2011, 10:54:16 AM »

Definitely worth the effort.  For Field Day, I have used a PAR Stressed Moxon antenna on 15' of mast, hand rotated.
http://www.parelectronics.com/stress-moxon.php  If the band opens it is Feast - otherwise - Famine!

A got a deal on a PAR 6M antenna a while back in a radio/ant trade I did and didn't need it so we installed it a friend's QTH at about 25' high. Over the last two Es season with 100W from a FT-100D, he has worked 128 and confirmed 98 grids. The PAR antenna seemed to be a really good loop style antenna for the price if you can find one used like I did.

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
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