Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1] 2 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Need help with mobile 6m fm  (Read 1519 times)
KD5WLH
Member

Posts: 13




Ignore
« on: January 13, 2004, 08:33:28 PM »

Ok, I'm a new gordo hammy and the force is not strong with me.  Please help.

I just bought a Yaesu 8900r and got the comet uhv-4 antenna on a tri-mag mount on my ford ranger.  It's a site to behold.  2m and 70cm work great.  But I can't get anything on 6m fm except static.  Someone please tell me what I can do or give suggestions?  Do I need a better antenna? (a loop maybe?)   Comet says you can adjust the 6m and 10m elements on the antenna but when I do that it doesn't seem to be doing anything.  Today for instance, on 6m, I found a frequency that seemed to be doing something from time to time, but all I got was static even though the graph was up pretty high.  I went outside and adjusted the 6m portion of the element and nothing.  I guess I just don't know anything about this stuff.  6m is real important to me because I plan on yackin with my Dad on 6m.  He just bought a 6m fm alinco unit.  I may have to make a base out of mine so I'm open to that too.

Thanks in advance for any help at all!

kd5wlh
Logged
K0BG
Member

Posts: 9845


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2004, 09:35:07 PM »

Unless 6 meters is open, you won't hear much. Local FM perhaps, but certainly not SSB. Well, unless you're in a large metro area. As an example, the LA area has a lot of SSB activity at night, as do several other large cities. However, if you live in Terrell, TX, or perhaps North Springs, you're in trouble on 6.

The antenna you have for mobile operation is minimal for FM, and all but useless on SSB. For all practical purposes, SSB is horizonal polarization which is especially important for local work.

If your operation is SSB, buy a good halo (or squalo) for 6, like the M2 unit. If it is FM, use what you've got, but move into an area which has a lot of 6 meter FM activity, which is slim to none.

Alan, KØBG
Logged

AA4PB
Member

Posts: 12696




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2004, 10:27:47 PM »

Alan is correct - there is not much activity on 6M unless the band is open. The first thing I'd do is get hold of an SWR meter and adjust the antenna for minimum SWR on your favorite frequency. Then make a schedule with your dad and give it a try.

If signals are weak, you'll have better luck using SSB rather than FM. If signals are good then FM will sound better. You *might* also be able to find a 6M FM repeater within range.

If your primary interest is in working your dad then the vertical will be okay on either FM or SSB as long as you are both using vertical antennas. Most other SSB stations will be using horizontal polarization which will reduce their signal strength considerably if you are using a vertical - especially on local ground wave contacts.
Logged
AA4PB
Member

Posts: 12696




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2004, 10:34:52 PM »

By the way, the "tradition" of horizontal antennas for 6M SSB (and AM years ago) was based on horizontal antennas picking up less man-made noise. Because FM is less succeptable to noise and vertical antennas are generally easier to install at repeater sites and on mobiles, verticals are used for FM.

As long as both stations use the same polarization, it doesn't normally matter any if you use horizontal or vertical polarization.
Logged
KD5WLH
Member

Posts: 13




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2004, 12:44:24 AM »

Thanks a lot for the info!
Logged
KD5WLH
Member

Posts: 13




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2004, 12:49:51 AM »

What does "unless 6m is open, you won't hear much" mean?  I don't know what you mean by "open"?  Also, my radio is FM only as far as I know.  It's the yaesu ft8900r and I've never found a way to switch to ssb.  Are you guys saying that's what I really need?  If so, maybe I can sell this crazy radio and get the right one.  Like I said, I'm pretty green at all this and I sure appreciate the help.

I'm hoping since my dad's alinco will be 6m fm and mine is 6m fm, we can talk, but if not, what do you guys suggest?  Getting radio's with ssb?  Just go to 2m only?

We are separated by about 60 miles or so and quite a few hills in between, but i've talked to him hitting a 2m repeater that's on Mount Magazine in my state and he said he can hear me, but I can't hear him.  He has a base 2m that has only 12watts out.

With his new 6m alinco he's yet to get (it's on it's way) he thought we could talk easy on 6m fm.  I hope he's right.  Any more ideas would be appreciated!

kd5wlh
Logged
K0BG
Member

Posts: 9845


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2004, 10:58:01 AM »

Sixty miles line-of-sight is a little to far for ground wave communications on 6 meters, especially with just a vertical with no gain. If you were using a beam with about 5 or 6 db gain and 2 or 3 hundred watts out, you could do it most of the time as long as these hills you speak of are not too deep.

When the band is "open" sky wave propagation occurs off of at least one and sometimes two different layers of the atmosphere (at least on 6). First hop distances are typically several hundred miles.

Conclusion? You're too far for ground wave, and too close for sky wave. Buy a beam and an amplifier.

Alan, KØBG
Logged

K7VO
Member

Posts: 1010




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2004, 12:09:15 PM »

95% of activity on 6m is SSB.  6m SSB is active all the time where I live (North Carolina) but the few FM repeaters we do have are dead.  I suspect that is the problem you've run into.

Does your area even have a 6m repeater?  Can your radio key up the repeater at all?

73,
Caity
K7VO
Logged
KD5WLH
Member

Posts: 13




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2004, 12:46:35 PM »

Hi,

I've tried keying up some but have never gotten the tones that I get when using 2m and 70cm bands.  They work great.

I live in the little rock area of Arkansas (conway) and Paris AR has a repeater I found on the net that says:

51.410 inp
53.110 out
autopatch/pl: 131.8

what does all this mean?

I've never been able to key anything up unless it's the couple of times when I keyed up I got a lot of background noise.  I've never gotten a tone returned back after keying up.

It sounds like I made a big mistake and should have gotten an all mode radio so I could do 6m on ssb.  Figures!  *kicks dirt*
Logged
K5LXP
Member

Posts: 4450


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2004, 01:00:14 PM »


> 51.410 inp
> 53.110 out
> autopatch/pl: 131.8

> what does all this mean?

51.41 is the repeater's receive frequency.  This is where you should be transmitting.

53.110 is the repeater's transmit frequency.  This is where you should be listening.

Not sure by your info if the PL is just for autopatch or all the time, but that's the sub audible tone frequency.  Not sure how to set it on your particular radio, but it is the same as using PL on 2M or 440.

It might be worthwhile to look up the repeater's owner on QRZ and give him a call to make sure the repeater's on the air.  Just cause it's listed doesn't mean it's really there.


> should have gotten an all mode radio

Depends a lot on what you want to do.  Yes, SSB is the mode to work during openings for DX, but if all you're interested in is a "family channel" to talk to your Dad, 6M FM will work great for that as long as you're within simplex range.  It's actually ideal as there is little competition for frequencies, you'll likely have the whole band to yourself.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
k5lxp@arrl.net

Logged
KD5WLH
Member

Posts: 13




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2004, 01:18:58 PM »

> 51.41 is the repeater's receive frequency. This is where you should be transmitting.

> 53.110 is the repeater's transmit frequency. This is where you should be listening.

So, how do you listen and send on different freq's?  does my yaesu take care of this for me you think?

> It might be worthwhile to look up the repeater's owner on QRZ and give him a call to make sure the repeater's on the air. Just cause it's listed doesn't mean it's really there.

I'll do that, thanks!

> Depends a lot on what you want to do. Yes, SSB is the mode to work during openings for DX, but if all you're interested in is a "family channel" to talk to your Dad, 6M FM will work great for that as long as you're within simplex range. It's actually ideal as there is little competition for frequencies, you'll likely have the whole band to yourself.

That sounds good.  That's exactly why I got my license was because he got into it and we wanted to be able to talk to each other.  It's just that i've already shelled out a lot of money on this setup and i'm hoping this 6m fm will work ok.  I guess I'll just have to wait and see when Dad gets his 6m radio in.  Should be today or tomorrow according to inital estimates.

Thanks Mark and thanks to everyone else.  I've read every post and taken it in.  :-)
Logged
VA3WXM
Member

Posts: 277




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2004, 02:57:26 PM »

> So, how do you listen and send on different freq's? does my yaesu take care of this for me you think?

Yes.  The standard offset for 6m is 1 MHz.  But in your case that particular 6m repeater uses an "odd split".  Page 33 in the FT-8900 owner's manual describes how to program in odd splits.

> That sounds good. That's exactly why I got my license was because he got into it and we wanted to be able to talk to each other. It's just that i've already shelled out a lot of money on this setup and i'm hoping this 6m fm will work ok. I guess I'll just have to wait and see when Dad gets his 6m radio in. Should be today or tomorrow according to inital estimates.

The best thing to do is give it a shot.  Make sure your antenna is tuned properly, use the high RF power setting and go for it.  I agree 60 miles is quite a distance for FM simplex but it's not impossible, especially on 6m which tends to exhibit less line-of-sight character than 2m or (definitely) 70cm.  Why do you think some highway patrols/state police use the 42 MHz band?

Good luck!
Logged
KD5WLH
Member

Posts: 13




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2004, 03:32:29 PM »

Thanks for the info wxm and thanks to all in general.

May the blessings of GORDO rest upon you all!  ;-)

kd5wlh
Logged
K4FAU
Member

Posts: 1




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2004, 02:47:47 PM »

Dude -- thats a great radio -- I own one and it works great -- problem is that that radio is not designed for beginners .. and no offense .. but if you don't even understand things like autopatch and PL then you are going to have problems with this radio -- it is a FM mode radio not SSB .. I use 6m all the time ... and 99% of the people that use 6m are on SSB .. 6m FM is normlly dead .... your radio puts out 50 watts on 6 meters and 50 on 10 (of course you realize that you can't use 10 meters at all until you upgrade your license)...

was this radio a gift or something -- I mean its hard to beleive that you would go and pay allot of money for a 4 band radio and not know how to use it -- especially when one of the bands is outside of your license class..

anyway.. good luck

Brian
Logged
KD5WLH
Member

Posts: 13




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2004, 03:06:02 PM »

Like, Dude, thanks for the post but like, I understand it's an FM only radio.  When I first bought it, I didn't understand the difference between an all-mode radio and one like mine, but now I do.

Dude, that's why we have these forums so people can learn.  I'm just starting out in this hobby and have NO others hams to talk to or learn from so I'm learning a lot from this and other ham resources on the net.

Present?  No, I actually bought it dude.  Trying to look to the future a bit.  I didn't want to be stuck on 1 band.  My post is about the 6m band that I don't understand a lot about.  2m and 70cm I've been having a blast on.  I know what I'm doing on those bands.  Look at the post title, it's about 6m fm.  I can't do 10m and I knew that, but I plan on getting the code down to upgrade my license to T2 or whatever, maybe even General.

Why don't you just stick to helping people out instead of trying to 2nd guess newbies like myself.  If you can tell I don't understand something, put me in the know, but don't act like you're all tripping out and all over a NEW hammer not knowing as much as an OLDER hammer.  It's common sense dude!

Like I said, I'm learning a lot.  What I knew 6 days ago is not near what I know now.  The power of Gordo is filling my veins.  Mwah ha ha ha ha ha!!!  Or something like that.

73's,

kd5wlh
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!