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Author Topic: 6 MTR FM Simplex?  (Read 1991 times)
K1HC
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Posts: 52




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« on: April 22, 2003, 09:13:28 PM »

Does anyone out there use 6 MTR FM simplex?  Please share your experiences. I'm thinking of using it because both of the family cars (two ham family so far!) are equipped for that band and I'm thinking it might give greater simplex range than 2 MTR FM because I can use higher power on 6 with the equipment I have on that band.  I would propose to use a 1/4 wave vertical on the cars (not that high at 5 feet in length) and a Diamond phased vertical at home.

Thanks and 73,

Dick, K1HC
k1hc@arrl.net          
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WA4PTZ
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Posts: 528




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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2003, 05:58:05 AM »

Yes, there are many FM simplexers . They use one of
several frequencies, usually . They are :
52.525  Calling frequency
52.490
52.510
Some use others that are nearby and a few use the
same subs on 51 mhz. Enjoy, it is great fun when
a band opening occurs.
73 - Tim
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K5LXP
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Posts: 4507


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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2003, 09:32:01 AM »

Higher power does not mean you'll get more range.  Basic line-of-sight rules apply, though there will be slight differences due to the longer wavelength.  You will certainly have more privacy, it is largely an unoccupied band.  Pick a frequency other than 52.525 and you will likely never hear another soul.  The same could also be said of 220MHz.  Openings can be a lot of fun when they happen, I've talked into several other states on 6 FM from my mobile.  But since such openings are so infrequent, most of the time you'll have the band to yourself.  I use a Larsen 2M 5/8 wave antenna for 6 FM, I couldn't tell the difference switching between it and a 54" whip.  If you have a 2M rig in the car you could share the same antenna by using a diplexer.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
k5lxp@arrl.net
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KU4QD
Member

Posts: 59




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« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2003, 12:29:32 PM »

I used to run an Azden PCS-4500 in my car and worked quite a few stations on 6m FM simplex, mainly on 52.525, when the band was open.  More often than not, though, there was absolutely no activity.  In my area the 6m repeaters are almost always silent, too.

6m FM simplex is worthwhile if you have a multiband rig and antenna or else have space for an additional rig in the car.  10W is very adequate when the band is open.  I find much more activity on 222MHz and 440MHz in my area, though.

Let's face it:  98% or more of 6m activity is SSB.  You would be much better off with a multimode or SSB rig in the car for 6.

That's my experience over the past 19 years.  YMMV, of course...

73,
Caity
KU4QD
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KG4RUL
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Posts: 2735


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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2003, 04:08:16 PM »

In the Charleston, SC area, I have NEVER heard anyone on any 6M FM frequency!  We have no repeaters' so no one seems interested at all.

Dennis - KG4RUL
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K1HC
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Posts: 52




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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2003, 05:38:23 PM »

Thanks for all the comments!  
I have an IC-706MKII in one car and a TSB-2000 in the other car, so I do have multi-band capability in the cars and at home.  As suggested, low power can do a lot, and I would only use higher power if necessary to maintain communications (hilly areas up here to block line of sight).  I have run 6 MTR SSB mobile and worked Europe and the West Coast during the past cycle, but the simplicity of squelched FM on specific programmed frequencies has an appeal for mobile operation for just chatting around the local area.  

73,

Dick, K1HC  
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VE7SZS
Member

Posts: 2




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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2003, 12:44:05 PM »


I have a 5 watt handheld Yaesu VX-5R.  It xmits 5 watts on the 2m and UHF
bands and has FM 6meters as well.  I'd like to be able to use its 6meter FM
abilities for emergencies in remote locations where I can't count on
line-of-sight, local repeaters or cell phones.  Assuming that the stock
rubber duck is going to be next to useless, I'd be prepared to invest in or
build a suitable antenna if I could have a good chance of raising anyone at
all on 6m FM 100+ miles away.

Is it reasonable to expect any form of propagation on the 6 meter band FM /
Voice for 100 miles or more at only 5 watts?  What portable / backpackable
antenna designs might work?  It would be easy enough to cut a 300 ohm twin
lead J-pole for this purpose.  A yagi would probably be impractical though
it might be worthwhile at the cabin.

Any suggestions or comments?  SSB wouldn't be an option with this radio.  CW / morse would not be practical because the radio won't work Morse and because I haven't yet learned it.
 
Thanks
VE7SZS
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KE4RWS
Member

Posts: 113




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« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2003, 05:37:21 AM »

I live in Tallahassee, FL and use 6-meter FM simplex every morning, and most evenings for mostly local communication. Since many newer amateur rigs include the 6-meter band, I've personally found 6-meter FM to be far more populated than just a couple years ago. Fortunately, my area has a local 6-meter repeater, and a couple not too far away. However, in my experiences with 6-meter FM vs. 2-meter FM I have found that 2-meter FM usually outperforms 6-meter FM in terms of "local" distance. Of course, that's only my observations, and your's may vary.

There's also antenna design to consider between the two bands in question. Generally speaking, a 6-meter 1/4 wave base-loaded antenna is very similar to a 2-meter 5/8 wave antenna. Some, such as the Radio shack 2-meter 5/8 wave mag-mount mobile antenna, even work well on both 6 & 2-meter bands. Using this antenna as a reference though, it offers 3db gain on 2-meters, and 0 db on 6-meters. The point I'm trying to make here is that you have gain on one band with none on the other using the same antenna type. This of course is providing you don't want to use another type antenna. I'm only refering to a commonly available antenna in use today, and not what you may prefer.

Good luck with your 6-meter endeavor, and have fun with it!


Randy Evans
KE4RWS
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