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Author Topic: 6 meter FM activity  (Read 4097 times)
K0YHV
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Posts: 179




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« on: June 09, 2012, 08:16:19 PM »

How much activity is there on 52.525 simplex during a band opening?  I am wondering whether getting a FT8900 to do crossband repeat with 6m FM would be worth it for those times I am out of the shack. Or would I probably only make 2 or 3 QSOs with it during the summer Es season?

John AF5CC
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KJ4OBR
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Posts: 103




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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2012, 10:45:08 PM »

I have an 8900.. Like the radio a lot, 10 m is fun whent sol is on board. Have made exactly one contact on 6m fm in the 2 years I've had the radio. It was a 6 meter net on one of the 2 6m repeaters in the area. It was me and the net control op all alone.

Ymmv, but I've not heard anyone on the call frequency ever here in Raleigh even though it is on my scan list.

73
Dave



How much activity is there on 52.525 simplex during a band opening?  I am wondering whether getting a FT8900 to do crossband repeat with 6m FM would be worth it for those times I am out of the shack. Or would I probably only make 2 or 3 QSOs with it during the summer Es season?

John AF5CC
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N4CR
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Posts: 1650




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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2012, 08:04:05 AM »

How often do you call CQ?

I made a couple of dozen contacts on 6 meters yesterday.
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73 de N4CR, Phil

We are Coulomb of Borg. Resistance is futile. Voltage, on the other hand, has potential.
N4CR
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Posts: 1650




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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2012, 08:46:43 AM »

How much activity is there on 52.525 simplex during a band opening?  I am wondering whether getting a FT8900 to do crossband repeat with 6m FM would be worth it for those times I am out of the shack. Or would I probably only make 2 or 3 QSOs with it during the summer Es season?

John AF5CC

I have an FT-8900 and would not have spent extra money in retrospect. I make 99% of my 10 and 6 meter contacts on SSB which is not part of the FT-8900. The FT-8800 is a much better dual band radio due to it's much better memory management.
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73 de N4CR, Phil

We are Coulomb of Borg. Resistance is futile. Voltage, on the other hand, has potential.
K0YHV
Member

Posts: 179




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« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2012, 11:47:45 AM »

What is wrong with the memories on the FT8900?  I have had a couple (not during 6m season) and the memories seemed to work just fine on it.

73 John AF5CC
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N4CR
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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2012, 10:46:48 PM »

The memory management on the 8800 is 20 chunks of 50 frequencies and you can switch the active scanning chunk(s) differently for the left and right receivers.

The memory management on the 8900 is 1 big chunk and you have to scan all of them and can't differentiate between the scanning bank on the left receiver vs the right receiver.
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73 de N4CR, Phil

We are Coulomb of Borg. Resistance is futile. Voltage, on the other hand, has potential.
W4VR
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« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2012, 12:05:45 PM »

I don't operate FM on 6 but last night the 6 meter band was wide open.  I worked a few stations on the west coast and points in between on SSB.  I live in northern Maine.  I run 1 kilowatt with a ground mounted vertical, and when the band is open I can work anything I can hear.  . 
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KB1TXK
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« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2012, 01:26:22 PM »

I'm in central/downeast Maine running a dipole @20' and 100w and actually made a contact w/ some guy outside of Toronto on 6m SSB this weekend.  Was inspiring enough that I built a 3 element 6m quad on Sunday...


...and then realized its huge and I have nowhere to put it :/
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VE3FMC
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« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2012, 03:31:45 PM »

How often do you call CQ?

I made a couple of dozen contacts on 6 meters yesterday.

Contests will do that, the band magically opens up  Grin

I made some contacts after supper last night. But today I heard one weak CW signal and now I am not hearing any activity on the band.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 03:38:21 PM by VE3FMC » Logged
W5DQ
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« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2012, 03:53:47 PM »

I don't operate FM on 6 but last night the 6 meter band was wide open.  I worked a few stations on the west coast and points in between on SSB.  I live in northern Maine.  I run 1 kilowatt with a ground mounted vertical, and when the band is open I can work anything I can hear.  . 

"ground mounted vertical" ..... no wonder you need a KW on 6M  Shocked
"when the band is open I can work anything I can hear" ..... with a MUCH better 6M antenna system, you could do the same with 100 watts or less.

I hope the vertical is ground mounted on top of a really TALL bald knob hill, say 1000 ft above the average terrain  Grin Have you considered a small 6M yagi in place of the vertical, if possible Huh

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
W5DQ
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« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2012, 03:55:53 PM »

I'm in central/downeast Maine running a dipole @20' and 100w and actually made a contact w/ some guy outside of Toronto on 6m SSB this weekend.  Was inspiring enough that I built a 3 element 6m quad on Sunday...


...and then realized its huge and I have nowhere to put it :/

You think that is huge, try a 7 el M-Squared 6M7JHZ with a 31 foot boom. It reaches half way across my back yard but MAN DOES IT PERFORM!!!

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
W5DQ
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« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2012, 04:03:09 PM »

How often do you call CQ?

I made a couple of dozen contacts on 6 meters YESTERDAY.


That's why it's called Sporadic-E season ...... you should be able to make lots of Q's everyday the band is open. The trick is to be at the radio when it opens. From here on the left coast (SoCAL), this time of year, 6M usually opens up (if it is going to) during th eday but I'm not home (have to work to buy toys Smiley and also around sunset and will be off and on for a few minutes to a couple of hours, just depending on propagation. This last weekend during the VHF contest, prop wasn't too good but we did have a few good windows of activity. I worked stations from Hawaii to Maine, British Columbia to Virginia with 100W and a 7 el long boom yagi at 40'. Nothing like last year however. That was a remarkable year for me with over 250+ Q's in the VHF contest with the same setup.

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
K0YHV
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Posts: 179




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« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2012, 08:07:21 PM »

The memory management on the 8800 is 20 chunks of 50 frequencies and you can switch the active scanning chunk(s) differently for the left and right receivers.

The memory management on the 8900 is 1 big chunk and you have to scan all of them and can't differentiate between the scanning bank on the left receiver vs the right receiver.
I don't use scanning features so that would be a non issue for me.

John AF5CC
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VE3FMC
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2012, 05:58:31 AM »

I'm in central/downeast Maine running a dipole @20' and 100w and actually made a contact w/ some guy outside of Toronto on 6m SSB this weekend.  Was inspiring enough that I built a 3 element 6m quad on Sunday...


...and then realized its huge and I have nowhere to put it :/

That quad is a baby antenna compared to some of the antennas I have seen on the Big Gun 6 Meter stations. Check this link out and drool http://www.6meterdxgroup.com/

Quads are awesome antennas if you can keep them in the air. I am thinking about building one for 6 meters to replace my 3 element yagi.

What did you use for spreaders and the boom?
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KB1TXK
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« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2012, 07:26:08 AM »

Its all PVC for boom/spreaders and enameled 16ga for wire.  I looked at a lot of plans online, used a calculator for the lengths of everything.  39" of RG-6 that I was going to use to match everything.  Of course...I got it up in the air long enough to put the analyzer on it and its R:196 X:250 so I've done something terribly wrong.  I assume I may have screwed up attaching the PL-259 end to the RG6.  

Its a super hack-job but I'm waiting until I get the numbers right before I "ruggedize" it. Right now to hold the crossmembers on I taped them to the top of the boom, put a leftover length of PVC on top and used big work clamps to push the boom and that top piece together, holding the crosses in place.  I'm going to remove the tape so that I can loosen the clamps a bit if I need to change positioning of the crosses on the boom.

I brought my ARRL book to work so I can read a bit on my break about feeding this thing correctly.  I'm also going to start digging the hole behind the garage so I can (finally) start putting a tower up (25G).  I have an A3 beam sitting around that needs to be put up too...I'm concerned that I can't stack the quad on the A3 without hitting the load-limits of the tower :/

But yeah...hell or high-water I'm going to 1) figure out why the antenna numbers are so far off and 2) get the damned thing put up somewhere .

For now it may end up a whopping 14' off the ground, but I'm 800' above sea-level on top of a peak so maybe that will help a bit.

I'll post better pictures once its stops looking like this:
http://kb1txk.com/images/6mfailquad.jpg

Also for the record, I used this calculator: http://www.qsl.net/yt1vp/CUBICAL%20QUAD%20ANTENNA%20CALCULATOR.htm

One thing I am going to do is put a proper center insulator on the driven element  and connect up an so-239 so I can play w/ direct 50ohm feed vs 75 ohm pigtail, etc etc.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 08:10:18 AM by KB1TXK » Logged

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