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Author Topic: 6 Meter Radio Choices  (Read 27792 times)

Posts: 19

« on: January 10, 2001, 10:33:16 AM »

I am looking for information regarding 6M radio options.  I have seen several reasonably priced FM units, but would like an SSB or all mode rig.  The major manufacturers seem to have bundled 6M with their HF rigs so that I cannot afford them.

Any ideas about new or older rigs, which can run 6M SSB for a reasonable price?



Posts: 75

« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2001, 02:32:34 PM »

I have a similar frustration. As far as new stuff goes, there does not seem to be any all-mode VHF radios available for sale as of this morning. One interesting possibility is the Ten-Tec model 526, which is a 6m/2m FM, CW, USB, LSB rig. Unfortunately, Ten-Tec has an internal problem holding up production on this rig. Looks interesting, although it's a little short on power (20w, all bands). Projected price is < $800 bucks.

Icom also has an all-mode 2m/70cm/23cm rig in the works (910H), but nothing in 6m that isn't integrated with their HF equipment.

You might want to check out

Posts: 426


« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2001, 10:46:28 PM »

Hi Jim:
I have to agree that staight 6 meter rigs are hard to find for the "Magic Band"...and with few openings one might not want to pay the big prices these single band rigs are gonig for.  My thought on this issue is this, since I know you love Ham Radio as all of us do...then you will surely upgrade in the next year or two..would you not think?  So for the money bar none I would go with a ICOM 706 (original) as I have seen them go for $435 to $500 and that is not much more than you may pay for a straight band 6 meter rig that you could never use but on 6 meters....with the 706 you will have it all (160-10MTR HF, 6 MTRS, AND 2 MTRS)!!! And will be ready when you upgrade!!  Now if you just dont want to put the money out there are some rigs out there you just have to search them out...look on the EHAM, EBAY, and QTH websites for starters and they are there.  Also some ot the older rigs are fine rigs but they are aged and buyer beware stuff but I would say that 10 to 20 watts ssb power on 6 meters when the band is open will get you where you want to go!   So below should get you a start....happy radio hunting de KB9UMT Don

These below taken from QTH.COM website:

RADIOVHF - For Sale kenwood ts 660
Kenwood ts 660 in good condition mic& manual full output
about 20 watts covers 6,10,12,& 15 meters ssb,am,fm
will work split for 10 or 6 meter repeaters i worked lots of dx on 29.600 fm with low power $ 275.00 Don Lodi Ca.209 365 1784
Listing #89201 - Submitted on 01/10/01 by, Callsign: K7RFI, Web Site:

I have an MFJ-6-meter SSB-Transceiver model MFJ-9406 in good working order. I would like $175.00. Please reply by e-mail.( Thanks. Fred
Listing #87712 - Submitted on 12/25/00 by FDR@GIS.NET, Callsign: K1FDR, Web Site:

Try EBAY (WWW.EBAY.COM)Radio Ham Equipment..these taken from EBAY website:

MFJ 9406X 6 meter SSB/CW transceiver
Item #1205801513

Yaesu FT-620b 6 meter rig beautiful condition
Item #1206237070

MFJ 9406X 6 meter Rig
Item #1206421956



Posts: 5

« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2001, 04:30:54 PM »

I just sold my TS-60 since I felt I had to much money tied up in it for just a single band unit. Dealers even told me they were over-priced. Also, told they were not very well accepted by the Ham community($).
I hope to come up with the moola to buy a clean used TS-570SG or FT-100 with both offering portability to go between the shack and the car.  
I have a six meter board for my FT-736 but that too
IS UP FOR SALE since the FT-736 only runs about 10 or 25 watts and NO AM on six meters. If one does not need portability or mobile, consider the FT-920, IC-746, IC-751, or IC-736 (value).  Lower cost, modern six meter Japanese options include the FT-690, TS-680, TS-690, FT-817, and if you can tolerate white noise hiss-s-s-s in the audio, with high frequency roll-off, consider the IC-726 and IC-729. Stay away from the IC-551(D), I had one, and the toggle switch shafts are notorious for breaking and then your s.o.l. since Icom no longer supports the parts for this model.

Remember the Golden Rule: If it dont have A.M., it's not an "all-mode", but rather a "multi-mode" !

Posts: 57

« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2001, 11:40:11 PM »

I think MFJ has an inexpensive 6 mtr SSB rig. It's a low power unit, but when the band is open that's all you need. There is very little 6M FM activity around here, so the lack of FM would not bother me much - I have a 6M FM rig and have had about 6 QSO's with it - nearly all when travelling.

Posts: 57

« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2001, 11:40:26 PM »

I think MFJ has an inexpensive 6 mtr SSB rig. It's a low power unit, but when the band is open that's all you need. There is very little 6M FM activity around here, so the lack of FM would not bother me much - I have a 6M FM rig and have had about 6 QSO's with it - nearly all when travelling.

Posts: 57

« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2001, 11:44:40 PM »

I have an IC-706MKII and it is great.  I think MFJ has a monoband 6M SSB rig for under $300.  A lot depends on your locality - you need to talk to the locals and find out what they recommend. I have two FM rigs for 6M and I think I've had only about 6 QSO's on that mode, mostly while travelling. There are several good 6M repeaters in a neighboring state (WI), but only two in MN, and none within 80 miles of me.

Posts: 21757

« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2001, 02:23:53 PM »

Since nobody else mentioned these alternatives, I thought I might:
Back in the 60's and 70's there were many excellent 6m SSB/CW rigs on the market that in many ways will outperform current technology (except with regard to frequency stability and memory options) because they were monobanders specifically designed to excel on just 50 MHz.  These can still be found, inexpensively, and if you find one in good condition you can get quite a bargain.  Problem is, none of them operate FM at all, so you'd need something separate for that.  These radios run real power, have great transmit and receive audio and receivers just as sensitive as anything on the market today...with, in most cases, actually better IF filtering and image rejection, because, again, these are mono-band radios specifically designed for 50 MHz.
Here's the short list:
Clegg Venus (Circa 1964+, 85W PEP)SSB, CW, AM
Swan 250 (Circa 1965+, 180W PEP)SSB, CW, AM
Swan 250C (Circa 1969+, 180W PEP, improved tuning and stability)SSB, CW, AM
Heath SB-110 (Circa 1967+, 180W PEP, same LMO and features as the rest of the Heath "SB" line for HF)SSB, CW only
These rigs use tubes and all require an accessory, mating AC-input power supply.  They are large and power hungry, not advisable for mobile work.
But I've seen all of them in the $150-$200 range at Swap Meets, and they sure sound good on the air.
Good luck & see you on six!


Posts: 21757

« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2001, 02:25:35 PM »

Oops!  One notable addition required to my list of "oldies but goodies" just posted:
Drake TR-6 (Circa 1968+, 300W PEP)SSB, CW, AM
This was actually the "premier 50 MHz monobander" of the late 60's-early 70's, don't know how I could have forgotten!

Posts: 735

« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2001, 12:15:55 PM »

Is this Steve Katz?
This is Ron (ex N4KCM).......
Yes, the TR-6 is STILL the 'standard' against which I judge all of the 6 Meter radios that come through here. I have a 756PRO and 706g and while they are packed with more feature / function than one will ever need, the 'ole TR-6 will still hear very, very well.
Do you still have the property in PA?


Posts: 25


« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2001, 10:12:09 AM »

The day of mono-band 6 meter all mode radios has pretty much passed. Those that were made that were
solid state were mostly 10 watt units. The next
power level was 25 watts. Today's offering of HF+6m
at 100w ismuch better in my opinion, especially for
keying 1Kw or greater HF amps that can be converted
to 6 meters. Today I have the FT-847 and FT-817 as the newest radio in my collection to have 6 meters. The FT-847 and it's 100w is great to have. It and an old SB-200 or SB-220 and you are QRO on 6m cheap.

As for older radios I haved collected over the years I have a (1970's) Kachina 1 10/6m (50w) my first 6m rig, then a (1980) Yaesu FT-680R and a (1990) FT-736R (with 6m installed, 10w). The FT-680R is hard to find used, when I bouth mine new it was hard to find!. Then there are the FT-625R(25w) and FT-690 (10/25w with clip on amp?)and then there is FT-726R and FT-767(when 6m is installed at 10w). There is also the FT-650R at 100w.

Kenwood made the TS-600 (10-25w ?) and TS-660 (10w?) if I rememember correctly, the TS-660 was 40/15/10/6m, looked like a TS-440. Icom made a 10 and 100 watt radio, I forget the model number, IC5xx.

I hope that this has been of soome help.

/s/ Steve, N2CKH


Posts: 21757

« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2001, 06:38:12 PM »

Hi Ron, this is Steve.  Good to hear from you.  No, I sold the property in PA a couple of years after moving to Los Angeles (which occurred in July 1988!) -- but interested a friend so much in the site that he bought property only 1/4 mile or so away and built a house on it for hamming: Phil Anderson, W2HWG lives there.  I have owned the Venus, Sw-250, Sw-250C, SB-110 and TR-6 (all of them I listed!) and they are all really special "radios that glow in the dark."  I have a warm spot for all of them and the TR-6 was most definitely a very fine piece of equipment.  73, Steve WB2WIK/6

Posts: 2

« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2001, 12:53:00 PM »

You forgot one more SSB/AM/CW Heathkit rig.  The HX-30 transmitter.  It only runs about 5-watts output, but I have it going into a Mirage amp so I do pretty good.  The receiver is the Drake R-8B with Vhf converter.  Cheers.  Bob

Posts: 24

« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2015, 02:09:23 PM »

The obvious choice when MONEY is the issue is to buy a GOOD  HF+6 Transciever.

For my money the Alinco DX-70 TH  ( 100 watts on 6m)  is by far the best to be had at a price
around $300 US.

The Plus side is:

Operating Squelch on SSB... a MUST HAVE FOR 6 METERS !

GaasFet Front End.. for true low noise operation on 6m.

All Mode Capability... with multiple filter widths.. SSB wide/narrow, CW wide/narrow  Makes Good AM ( if you care)
                                FM with PL.. but if you are big FM operator.. no PL in memory.. sorry.

QRP-QRO at the touch of a button.

IF Shift, Noise Blanker, RF attenuator.. all do what they should
Good Sensitivity, great stability and dynamic range,  very decent filters.

Stores Freq, Mode, Power to memory, and toggles up/down with mic 

This radio is small, efficient, hyper reliable, and is all mode 160-6m.. with no compromise on 6M.
Separate 6M antenna jack too.

Many of the older HF+6 rigs were crummy on 6M ( kenwood).

Not this one.

Nothing wrong with the DX-70T  if you are ok with 10 watts on 6... which wont be best for marginal openings
but fine for most. 

 A Best BUY !


Posts: 1513

« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2015, 08:55:02 AM »

Two commercial radios I've used on 6..

Tentec 526 (6n2) good radio at 20W, needs a brick(s) for over that. I have two HB amps for 6 and 2M
very good receiver.  It would need a very low noise preamp for EME or really weak stuff, reason for
that is its already sensitive and low noise and a poor preamp would degrade it.  These can be found
used but usually not cheap.

For HF+6 the Eagle with NB and filters, very good on 6.  Unfortunately not a cheap radio new but a
very capable one.

Around here there are a lot of TS2000s, lousy adjacent channel RX, needs a preamp as its only ok.
Another popular radio is the FT857 and the IC746ProII.  FT817 is a good receiver but needs an amp
though I've done a lot of QRP (under 5W) DX and grid chasing on 6M with a decent 3 element beam.

You do not need uber low noise for 6M as like HF there is still enough environmental/glactic noise
but a good beam is a must to take advantage of low noise radios.  Most 6M radios out there are
adequate meaning if you not going to put up a serious scale antenna system (more than
4 elements and high) they will hear what can be heard.   Most do more than 10W and 100W on
6M is a respectable signal, but don't discount what can be done on 6 with a good antenna at 10W.

In general on 6 a good high gain antenna in the clear is more valuable than power.

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