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Author Topic: Nothing to hear on 6M?  (Read 1225 times)
KY4FOX
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Posts: 7




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« on: June 24, 2006, 01:51:37 AM »

I recently aquired a Yaesu FT8900R quad bander. While I'm aware it can't do SSB I'm suprised that there is nothing I can hear on it. Transmissions that break squelch are just full scale noise. Is there really no FM on 6m and if so why the heck even bother having quad band to begin with then?

Thanks,
  KY4FOX
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W3LK
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Posts: 5639




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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2006, 12:10:18 PM »

<< Is there really no FM on 6m >>

The vast majority of 6m FM is on repeaters and if there are no 6m repeaters in your area, there won't be anything to hear.

<<and if so why the heck even bother having quad band to begin with then? >>

Because (1) there are lots of areas that do have 6m repeaters and (2) hams have asked for the capability. As for your own purchase, I think that's a case of not doing one's homework on what one really needs before plunking down money.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland
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KY4FOX
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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2006, 01:33:40 PM »

Thank you for your reply, however snide it may have been.

From everything I've heard and read I should have no problems hearing FM on 6m outside my "local" area. While we do not have any 6m machines around here yet I've been led to belive the propragation on 6m is far better than 2m and thus should have somewhere in the negiborhood of 50-100 miles easy; if not better.

As for having "plunked my money down"; I dident. I was a gift from my Elmer. I'm just dissapointed that 6 and 10 seemes to be predominatly SSB.

KY4FOX
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W3LK
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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2006, 03:10:18 PM »

<< Thank you for your reply, however snide it may have been. >>

It was not meant to be snide; it was meant to be truthful.

<<From everything I've heard and read I should have no problems hearing FM on 6m outside my "local" area. While we do not have any 6m machines around here yet I've been led to belive the propragation on 6m is far better than 2m and thus should have somewhere in the negiborhood of 50-100 miles easy; if not better. >>

Those figures presume antennas taller then four feet off the ground. That's not snide, it's factual. And that presumes 6mFM activity in the first place, as well. Instead of just listening, ask around, there's bound to be some locals on 6m in the Harrisonburg area.

<<As for having "plunked my money down"; I dident. I was a gift from my Elmer.>>

I'm glad for you. That was a nice thing for your elmer to do.

<< I'm just dissapointed that 6 and 10 seemes to be predominatly SSB. >>

I understand your disappointment, but there has never been much 10m FM simplex activity anyway and we are at the bottom of the solar cycle and 10m is pretty much dead right now - especially to FM mobiles. The same for 6m - not much simples FM anywhere.

The vast majority of 6m and 10m (outside repeaters) has always been SSB and CW.

BTW, what are you using for an antenna?

73,

Lon - W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland
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N3JBH
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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2006, 04:20:03 PM »

Mike the 6 meter band has been open very well last few weeks. but like Lon said your station may not be up to the task. asfar as ten meters good luck there. but if you really honestly want to have some fun on 6 get a good antenna and go ssb or cw. thats where all the fun is.

as far as that goes get a good antenna no matter what band. it just makes for more fun. jeff
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N3JBH
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Posts: 2358




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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2006, 04:31:37 PM »

also mike look at this web page and see what repeater's
our near you:

www.ham-shack.com/repeater_va.html
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N4LI
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Posts: 397




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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2006, 05:07:42 AM »

I have an Yaesu 8900 -- in fact, I have three of them -- and make 6m and 10m contacts all Summer while mobile.

I bought the '8900 to use mobile specifically because it does not do CW/SSB.  That's just more than I want to do while in traffic.  Switching between presets is no harder than using a repeater.

Since we are in Summer, 10m and 6m are quite active.  But, the openings are sporadic (hence the name "sporadic-E"), and not quite daily.  But, when there is a larger opening, the FM portions of the bands do get activity.

You may want to have the left side of the radio scan the most popular frequencies:

29.620  (10m Repeater Out)
29.640  (10m Repeater Out)
29.660  (10m Repeater Out)
29.680  (10m Repeater Out)

29.600  (10m FM Call channel)
52.525  (6m FM Call channel)

When the band pops open, you'll probably hear one of the repeater outs first.  Repeaters in NY and Boston on .620 are especially common here -- they were full-scale yesterday.

Now, once the Summer season ends, the 6m and 10m portions of that radio will get very, very quiet.

GL with it.

Peter, N4LI
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KE6GLW
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Posts: 44




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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2006, 10:56:23 AM »

We had some nice contacts (SSB) from Eastern Massachusetts into Ohio, Indianna and Kentucky between noon to about 3:00pm (EST) on Field Day (Saturday). The antenna was a simple dipole up about 20 feet.

Check out the FT-8900 Yahoo Groups. Some multiband mobile antennas work better than others and they can be a bit finicky depending on placement on a vehicle. Hey Peter (N4LI), what antennas are you using for mobile ops?

For line-of-site communication, I wouldn't say that 6m is wickedly better than 2m.

Regards,
Tim (KA1OS)
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KE6GLW
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Posts: 44




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« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2006, 10:56:48 AM »

We had some nice contacts (SSB) from Eastern Massachusetts into Ohio, Indianna and Kentucky between noon to about 3:00pm (EST) on Field Day (Saturday). The antenna was a simple dipole up about 20 feet.

Check out the FT-8900 Yahoo Groups. Some multiband mobile antennas work better than others and they can be a bit finicky depending on placement on a vehicle. Hey Peter (N4LI), what antennas are you using for mobile ops?

For line-of-site communication, I wouldn't say that 6m is wickedly better than 2m.

Regards,
Tim (KA1OS)
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K7VO
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Posts: 1010




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« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2006, 01:01:34 PM »

The FT-8900 is a wonderful mobile rig.  Yes, 6m is 95% SSB/CW, but when the band opens you really can work half way across the country on 6m FM.  I've had some wonderful QSOs.  Mind you, 6m FM is not about instant gratification.  It is about having a contact every now and again but some of them will be spectacular.  Ditto 10m FM.  Nothing more exciting than working a ham in Spain while driving along on 10m simplex and I've done that.

What antenna are you using?  That makes all the difference in the world.  

The frequencies listed are good ones to program in, as are common 6m repeater pairs.  Get a repeater directory and look up repeaters between 500-1200 miles from your home.  That's single hop E-skip territory, and when then band opens those are the machines you are most likely to work.  The FT-8900R has an insanely large number of memories so program those all in and scan.

73,
Caity
K7VO
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N4LI
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Posts: 397




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« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2006, 06:17:45 PM »

> Peter (N4LI), what antennas are you using for mobile ops?

Usually a Diamond HV7A.  I had little trouble getting it to tune (although, the best I could get on 6m was 1.6:1), and it works as well as one can expect, I guess.

I also have a shorter tri-band antenna (no 10m) that I use when I go into a parking garage.

Peter
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KY4FOX
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Posts: 7




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« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2006, 10:05:08 PM »

Thank you everyone for your honest and factual imput.

To ansawer a few of the questions that were posed...

The antenna is mounted 14' above pavement (this is soon to change once I figure out how to match w/ ladder line).

I have not yet mobiled the rig as I havent gotten an antenna for my car yet.

I admit I am not using a correct antenna.. I have a ringo ranger dual bander that I work local stuff with, as it was already mounted and I havent built a 6m antenna yet I just used it to recive with. I'm sure this a big part of it.

I'll be putting together a J-pole tomorrow and seeing what that does for me.

Thanks,
  KY4FOX
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K7VO
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Posts: 1010




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« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2006, 10:49:47 PM »

Yep, you need an antenna.  Even a j-pole is truly minimal.  At 14' don't expect too much.

Mobile I'd go with a Comet UHV-4 or the Diamond equivalent (I forget the model number), both of which were specifically designed for use with your radio.

73,
Caity
K7VO
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KY4FOX
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Posts: 7




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« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2006, 11:26:36 PM »

Yeah, 14' was all I could manage from our second floor deck and a 5' stick of mast.

I need to bend the landloards ear and get him to ok moving my gear up to the chimney. Once I get it up there I should have about 40 feet or so.

I'm seriously considering doing a a beam and putting it in the attic, though I dont know if I want it to be fixed in place and end up pointing the wrong way.
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N5EAT
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Posts: 175




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« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2006, 05:17:00 AM »

When 6 meters is open, you will hear dozens and perhaps hundreds of FM signals from all over.  Check 52.540 and 52.525 (i think those are national simplex calling freqs for FM).  You'll also hear lots of repeaters.

Like Katy says, program every repeater freq you can into a memory bank and scan those plus the calling freqs.  When the band opens - it will open for all modes, not just ssb.
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