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Author Topic: 6 meter band  (Read 967 times)
VY1JON
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Posts: 47




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« on: September 27, 2006, 10:09:34 AM »

Hi. I have been an ham operator for about 6 or 7 years now. I only have my basic qualifications wich allows me to operate over 30Mhz only. Anyways, i was thinking about getting on the 6 meter band. I dont know if there is any local activity in my region and to be honest, i have spent more time on 11 meter band than anything else. Even though an "unlocked" clarifier on SSB is illegal, most people have it in the 11 meter band. I personally run a stock rig and i think it's fine. My question is, Is it the same deal on 6 meter? Do people run "unlocked" clarifier on SSB or is there just no such thing in the 50Mhz? I would really like to learn more about the magic band and i would appreciate any comments about this question.
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WA9SVD
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Posts: 2198




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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2006, 10:29:27 AM »

I'm not sure what you mean by "clarifier" as I've never been an 11 Meter afficianado, or user, but Amateur Radio bands are NOT "channelized" by rule or regulation (except for 60 Meters in the U.S.) so the VFO, or "variable frequency oscillator" is the normal tuning mechanism.  You would pick a clear frequency (not a "channel" that is within the band and frequency allocation for your license, and operate there.  Now, most H-T's and mobile radios for 2 M are channelized by convention, in those portions of the band where their operation is permitted, to prevent interference to other stations, and to allow coordination of operarions, such as repeaters.  But for example, within the FM simplex portions of the bandplan for 2 M, you can use any frequency within thay segment.
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N6AJR
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Posts: 9908




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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2006, 12:58:08 PM »

especially if you use 6 m ssb or cw.  My best dx this year is from notrthern california, to jamica. I leave an old ranger 5054 on all the time with the squelch just closed and when 6 opens I hear it there, ( I listen to 50.125, the "cq ing frequency, then if yoummake a contact youmove up from there to keep the freq open for others.

I usually run 6m ssb on a halo antenna ( M2) or you could use a vert to monitor, but I use a beam for ssb when the band opens up. most activity is horizontal for 6, but the omnidirectional lets you hear all around.

it can be a fun band, there are some 6 m repeaters here and there, and quite a bit of activity when the band opens, and during vhf contests too. lots of grid hunters.

you can go days with out hearing a signal then all of the sudden you can talk to folks for out to a thousand miles, then it stops again.  6 meters is truley the magis band.  I have one friend who worked japan on 6 from san francisco
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N3JBH
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Posts: 2358




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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2006, 01:41:06 PM »

Please explain what a "unlocked clarifier" is please
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K3WACKY
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Posts: 59




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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2006, 01:47:18 PM »

Hi Jonathan!

Like the other gentleman said, there are no channels on 6 meters. But there is a bandplan where certain modes occupy certain parts of the band.

In the US most morse code is below 50.100 (includes beacons) just in case you don't know what a beacon is, it's a low power station that runs automatically most times and sends out a morse code callsign. Beacons can be used to test antennas, radios (on receive) and see if the band is open. A list of beacons can be found by doing a web search for 6 meter beacons.

SSB activity is mostly in the 50.100 to 50.250 with some exceptions. The AM calling frequency here in the US is 50.400. 6 meter FM repeaters are in the 52-54Mhz region. If you search for 6 meter bandplan on the web, you'll see all of the band's plan. The international calling frequency is 50.110. I do the same thing as the other OM, I listen to 50.125 most of the time because I never know when someone might be calling CQ.

6 Meters is a great band to get started on. Antennas are easy to build, and even a dipole works well. There are many sites that tell you how to build an antenna to suit your interest and property space. My favorite antenna that I have built is a two element quad. Only 3 feet (about 1 meter) long boom, light, easy to turn with a TV rotor, and can be built rather cheaply. Omni-directional antennas work great on 6 meters too if you don't want to use (or buy) a rotor right away.

here is a great site if you would like to build your own antenna  http://www.cebik.com/radio.html

Scroll down to the VHF antennas. PAR makes some great antennas if you don't want to build your own, or I've gotten some great deals on Cushcraft antennas at hamfests.

If you are on a budget, transverters are a good way to get on 6 meters. If you can afford more, try  getting a multiband radio, like a 706 series or FT-857 or FT-897. That way, when 6 is dead, you can use the radio on 2meters or 440Mhz also, or listen to HF. Some of the above radios can be had used at decent prices, just make sure you buy from someone you trust. Some radio stores may have those radios used from trade-ins, and might offer a warranty. Going with the used radio with a 30 day warranty from a reputable store is the safest and good value way to go.

Also, read read read and ask for help like you have here. You'll find lots of people willing to help you have fun on 6 meters. I've found local 6 meters nets are very helpful to listen to if you have questions. Tune around or do a search to see if you have any 6 meter radio nets in your area. (Nets are regularly scheduled meetings of Hams on a particular frequency at a certain time each week.)

have fun and enjoy!
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2006, 02:03:10 PM »

Jeff, an unlocked clarifier allows both the receive and the transmit to be tunned at the same time. When it is locked, just the receive can be adjusted.  Bill
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K3WACKY
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Posts: 59




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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2006, 02:04:49 PM »

an unlocked clarifier is a a receive only frequency tune control (sometimes called delta tune or clarifier) that is modified to work on transmit also.

The reason it's done is this......first, most only tume 1Khz, so it's modified to tune more like 10khz (if possible) Then it's modified to work on transmit and receive. Then it's used to talk on the frequencys that are between channels on the CB band, giving you and your friends a more private frequency to talk on.
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N9XTF
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Posts: 227




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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2006, 03:11:30 PM »

Most of the "Export" CBs have a 10KHz button to allow the user to go in between channels.  For example, there is a so called "channel" between 19 and 20 and there is one somewhere else in the band.

Some radios have a coarse and a fine clarifier to adjust the receive signal for clarity, as we would with a VFO.  One "unlocks" the clarifier so that the receive and transmit frequency track together.  In the locked position, the transmit frequency stays put, while the receive frequency is slightly adjusted.  This, as another poster mentioned, allows one to transmit and receive on say 27.400 or anywhere in between the channelized frequencies.  These same "export" radios will run the gammet from almost the 12 meter band through the 10 meter band.

The amusing part of the whole "export" radio thing is they are crap and cost almost as much or more than a good IC-706MKIIG or equivalent.  They are sold at every CB shop, truck stop, and on the internet.  I am told that Ranger Communications ( the Ranger that makes the 6 and 10 meter ham rigs ) makes the Galaxy and a number of other "export" 10 meter rigs.

73 - Doug N9xTF
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KE4DRN
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Posts: 3722




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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2006, 03:14:09 PM »

hi jonathan,

here is a link for a 6m antenna you can build
with pvc pipe and some copper wire to get you
on the air fast.

http://www.cebik.com/moxon/6m.html

I just pulled a google map of your qth,
I see you are close an airport just like my qth.

73 james
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W5ONV
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2006, 03:19:35 PM »

Also note: A clarifier is the same as a BFO control on an older rig. 73, Jim
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K2FIX
Member

Posts: 12




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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2006, 05:48:52 PM »

Clarifiers:

The FCC, when they went to 40 channels, tightened up the type acceptance rules for CB's to quell the horrible TVI issues.  One other thing they did was to lock the transmitter side of the clarifier so you could not make easy changes and get 10 kc out of it, allowing all those "extra channels".  Indeed, many years ago, I stared at my (23 channel) Cobra 139 schematic, and figured out which circut adjusted "range", and it magically opened up the  "a" channels and Channel 22b.  We spent a lot of time on "0" when all the other channels were hetrodyne hell.

What this did was to kill SSB use in any legal way.  Station A talks to Station B, but what if Station C or D want to join ?  If everyone has locked TX with slightly different frequency, you get real tired real fast readjusting the clarifier for each speaker.

As to 6m, it is either dead or hopping, no in between.  The ionosphere is either on or off-I'm setting up a loop to play on 6 soon.
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K2FIX
Member

Posts: 12




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« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2006, 05:49:23 PM »

Clarifiers:

The FCC, when they went to 40 channels, tightened up the type acceptance rules for CB's to quell the horrible TVI issues.  One other thing they did was to lock the transmitter side of the clarifier so you could not make easy changes and get 10 kc out of it, allowing all those "extra channels".  Indeed, many years ago, I stared at my (23 channel) Cobra 139 schematic, and figured out which circut adjusted "range", and it magically opened up the  "a" channels and Channel 22b.  We spent a lot of time on "0" when all the other channels were hetrodyne hell.

What this did was to kill SSB use in any legal way.  Station A talks to Station B, but what if Station C or D want to join ?  If everyone has locked TX with slightly different frequency, you get real tired real fast readjusting the clarifier for each speaker.

As to 6m, it is either dead or hopping, no in between.  The ionosphere is either on or off-I'm setting up a loop to play on 6 soon.
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VA2AEQ
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Posts: 21




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« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2006, 09:43:18 AM »

Hey Jon,
    I would check with Industry Canada.  I checked your profile on qrz.com, you have the (+) symbol behind your name.  This normally means that you have HF priveleges as a result of the code requirement changes.  You might also the check the RAC.ca site, they should have all the IC documents to clarify the situation.

See on HF......Dave.....
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N1XBP
Member

Posts: 80




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« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2006, 01:18:58 PM »

It seems people are hung up on your clarifier!

6 Meters will be different than 11 for you because for the most part it is "closed" these days, with sporadic openings of good propagation. You will probably spend a lot of time just listening or with the squelch on.. but when its open, its a heck of a lot of fun, and long distance communications are common place.

When it's closed, use FM and vertical polarization and it's pretty much like 2 meters. When its open, go to horizontal polarization and SSB, it's a lot like 11 meters *should* be.

You may want to look into your HF privs and see what it would take to get on 10M. You'll find the conditions there very familiar (without all the yokel speak).

We will then, of course, entice you on to 20, 40, 80, 160.. Smiley
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W9OY
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Posts: 1303


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« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2006, 10:49:24 AM »

I just bought a Ten Tec 20M to 6M transverter.  It works fine.  For an antenna I'm tuning up my 80M open wire fed dipole.  I built a link coupled antenna tuner strictly for 6.  Made some contacts in the recent VHF contest.  I think I got about 75 bux invested in the whole shootin match.  
i like the design of the TT transverter.

73  W9OY    
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