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Author Topic: 6 Meters  (Read 2382 times)
W4JJA
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Posts: 23




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« on: July 23, 2012, 05:17:32 PM »

Last time I worked the 6 meter band it was a long time ago.  It was all AM.
What is used now?   FM?  SSB?
Thanks,
Jack
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12836




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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2012, 05:57:39 PM »

Some FM repeaters but mostly SSB. Lots of dead air time in most areas when the band is not open. It's not like AM in the 1960's when 6M was the local hang out when the band was closed.
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W4OP
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Posts: 422


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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2012, 07:16:49 PM »

There's also a fair amount of CW. I worked piles of Europeans this summer on CW and the CW beacons make great propagation indicators.

Dale W4OP
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W5DQ
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« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2012, 10:55:21 AM »

Last time I worked the 6 meter band it was a long time ago.  It was all AM.
What is used now?   FM?  SSB?
Thanks,
Jack

SSB, CW, JT65, EME, FM.

When the band is dead, main mode is static Smiley

W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
K0OD
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Posts: 2557




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« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2012, 10:40:05 PM »

Quote
SSB, CW, JT65, EME, FM.

Now you use all those modes, all that tech... to exchange grid squares even if you've worked that grid 100 times before. 

Great band... years ago.
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W5DQ
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Posts: 1209


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« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2012, 11:34:35 PM »

Quote
SSB, CW, JT65, EME, FM.

Now you use all those modes, all that tech... to exchange grid squares even if you've worked that grid 100 times before. 

Great band... years ago.

What kind of moronic reply is that. The OP asked what modes were used on 6M. I answered him!!!

And NO, I don't repeat contacts on all of them but I do use all of them (except EME) to MAKE contacts. I also like to ragchew if I feel like it rather than '59 grid' exchanges providing the other station want to ragchew. I work many grids numerous times not for my own use but to pass out DM15 to those that might want it. Even if it isn't an ultra rare grid, I get many 'Tnx for a new grid' for DM15 especially from the East Coast stations when there is a BIG opening across the US from coast to coast.

And what "ALL THAT TECH" are you referring to? I use a simple homebrew interface with a stock PC and JT-65HF software for JT65, a microphone for SSB / FM and a Vibrokeyer for CW. Not too much tech there unless a stock PC is high tech for you?

Gene W5DQ
DM15 SoCAL

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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
K0OD
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Posts: 2557




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« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2012, 05:27:11 AM »

Gene that wasn't meant as criticism of YOUR 6 meter operation which I know zilch about. It was criticism of almighty grid square collecting which has turned VHF operating into one unending contest. I live in the most common grid square in about the most common state in the zero district. Yet some VHF long-time big guns still demand to know my grid square even when I tell them I'm in the St Louis area, with 2.2 million people.

Years ago it was a great ragchew band. That was when many of us ran 5 watts from regen Heath Sixers.
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W5DQ
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« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2012, 07:36:29 AM »

Very well. Sorry I took it incorrectly. I'd suggest adding a smiley to the text to indicate that you are poking fun at the topic and not anything derogatory.

73


Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
K0OD
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Posts: 2557




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« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2012, 09:12:44 AM »

I should add that I love contests and think they're very important on VHF. But not every minute of the year. No one gets into ham radio to collect grid squares or the equally stupid 10-10 numbers.

One of the most famous 6 meter ops in the country lamented to me recently: "no one ragchews [on six] anymore!"  That's truly a shame because the band and antennas for it are so interesting to talk about.   
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AC4RD
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Posts: 1235




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« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2012, 09:18:23 AM »

There's also a fair amount of CW. I worked piles of Europeans this summer on CW

I sure am glad I saw this discussion.  Smiley  I just got another little HF/6 radio, one I'm planning to use for portable ops if the weather ever cools off a bit.   And just the other day I was wondering about homebrewing a simple quad for 6m and trying a little CW there, from my back yard.  I'm not familiar with 6m beacons--which ones do you listen for, when you're checking the band? 
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W5DQ
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« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2012, 09:39:49 AM »

I can't say I agree with your description of grids or 10-10 numbers. While I don't do 10-10 numbers that much anymore, I did do them at one time and still give mine out if requested. On 6M, I find the chase of grid numbers to be a fun and relaxing endavour that exercises my operating skills as well as station capabilities. As to ragchewing on 6M, except for hard core VHF contests where conditions may actually allow for decent (and competitive) scores, I usually add a bit of ragchew to 6M activities, if warranted. Especially on openings where I have the area mostly (if not completely confirmed), I do ALOT of ragchewing. I usually will start off with a short opener to see if the other guy wants to 'chew and if not, that's ok. If they do, great. Also if I have a big pileup of callers from a distant area that doesn't see openings to my area much (such as DM15 is once in a while) I'll 'chew a little but do it in a faster style to be able to get more contacts for those that may just want a '59 grid' exchange.

Myself, I'm slowly working towards the Fred Fish Memorial Award (confirming all grids touching the 48 contigious states) and I'm getting into the 'hard-to-find-anyone- home' grids so I understand the exitement of a new one towards a goal.

Like has been said more than once regarding operting styles and mode, "to each their own". But that is one of the nice things about ham radio. If someone operates on 6M and a grid number is requested, they can choose to give it out or tell the other op that they do not do that and then either sign or continue to ragchew.

To all I say 'Have fun and enjoy 6M while it's here. It will be going back to sleep in a very short while.'

73

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
W5DQ
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« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2012, 09:49:58 AM »

There's also a fair amount of CW. I worked piles of Europeans this summer on CW

I sure am glad I saw this discussion.  Smiley  I just got another little HF/6 radio, one I'm planning to use for portable ops if the weather ever cools off a bit.   And just the other day I was wondering about homebrewing a simple quad for 6m and trying a little CW there, from my back yard.  I'm not familiar with 6m beacons--which ones do you listen for, when you're checking the band? 


All of them. They are just an indicator of where the band is open to. If you hear a beacon, chances are good you should be able to hear an active station from the same area since typically, beacons are lower power (typically 10-30 watts) and less effective antennas while active stations usually (but not always) have higher gain antennas and more power (usually up to 100W). Not sure where you are located, but once you have your quad up and running, listen down between 50.050 and 50.080 to see what you can hear. If you look a listing of beacons, chances are if you don't hear one, picking one from a current list and setting the quad towards it and leaving the rig on, you may hear it come up as the band opens.

Remember, just turning the rig on and doing a spin thru the band is a poor way to hear 6M activity. the band may be dead (lots of static) or it may be suffering from bad QSB (lots of ups and downs where the sigs are in and out alot) or it may not be open to the east but rather to the north. A highly directional antenna can be a double edged sword on 6M. Good gain in the direction of pointing but if opening is off the side, chances are you might miss it. Lots of folks use a loop to monitor with and a beam to operate with. I typically will turn the rig on and monitor the band all the time I'm in the shack. I also monitor the VHFDX.NET DX activity map for 6M openings on the internet. Helps out big time.

Good Luck,

Gene W5DQ
DM15
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
K0OD
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Posts: 2557




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« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2012, 10:03:41 AM »

Plenty of CW on 6 around 50.090. Good for international DX. A few years ago I heard a few very weak Japanese stations on six using my tiny 2-element yagi at 25 feet.  I considered building a little quad. I did enjoy international DXing on 6 but it was just too difficult with my station. I think I'm around ten countries there (and 42 states).

One reason I disliked the grid squares is that they're often used instead of normal location information. I was constantly fiddling with maps and other things to figure out where the guy lived. I know it branded me as a newbie but I was always asking for a geographic location: "What state is that?"

After a month on the band I stopped recording grids I worked, and stopped routinely giving out mine (EM48) unless the other station was clearly new to the band.

 
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