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Author Topic: Getting on 6 meter. Your suggestions.  (Read 6174 times)
KD6OJG
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Posts: 38




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« on: October 24, 2013, 09:24:59 AM »

I have a great little Yaesu HF rig but unfortunately it only covers 160-10 meters.  I'd really like to start monitoring and working 6 meters and would like your suggestions for a rig.  I figure most of you have already spent lots of money on different radios so you might be able to give me some insight.

Should I buy a stand alone 6 meter transceiver like the MFJ 9406 or Ranger 5054 or should I just invest in a newer rig that includes 6 meter?  If I were to buy the Ranger 5054 I'd be spending nearly half for the cost of a Yaesu FT-817 that includes 6 meter, although it's a QRP rig.

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K1WJ
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Posts: 451




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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2013, 09:29:21 AM »

Get a rig like the IC-7200, fair price point & will have HF & 6m.
73 David K1WJ
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20547




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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2013, 09:32:54 AM »

I'd avoid the Ranger, but there are many single-band 6m transceivers on the used market (not new), some go back to the 1960s and are SSB/CW/AM only, and then beginning several years later they started including FM also.

Most important thing on 6m, if you really want to hear stuff and make contacts, is the antenna system.  I'd rate that as "much" more important than the radio equipment, and I've been on 6m since 1966.

Kenwood, Yaesu and Icom all made single-band 6m multi-mode transceivers from the 70s through the 90s.  They don't any longer.  For "older" stuff that works the other modes but not FM, there's a plethora of American-made gear that was actually very good at the time and still works; some may not be stable enough for digital modes (PSK, JT etc) but are definitely stable enough for SSB work: These are from Clegg, Heathkit, Swan and Drake.  The Heath SB-110/110A and Drake TR-6 are very stable, the others may drift a bit but suitable for SSB work.
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W4KYR
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Posts: 478




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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2013, 10:40:11 AM »

I would go with a newer more modern HF radio that includes six meters. I did see on E-bay the other day  two "BUY IT NOW" IC-706 MKII for $550 and the other one was $525 I don't think they were the G versions. Or go with the IC-7200, it is highly rated, but it doesn't have FM.

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W4KVW
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Posts: 476




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« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2013, 05:20:30 PM »

Well generally speaking I'm an ICOM guy but I have also owned the RANGER 5054DX(25 watt)& was VERY happy with it.I used it with a 160 watt brick amplifier & a PAR-OA-50 in my pickup truck.I worked all over the USA,MEXICO,CANADA,& more with no issues.It did not have the tone board but I worked FM as well & it did a great job as well.Unless you just want more bands the 5054DX & 5054DX-100 do a great job as a mono-band rig for 6 meter use.I hear lots of both during band openings & they sound REALLY really good when used with a Turner or Astatic desk microphone!  Smiley

Clayton
W4KVW
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K9ZF
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Posts: 76


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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2013, 06:51:29 PM »

I was basically in the same situation a few years ago.  What I done was sell off almost all of the equipment I had, and bought a new Icom 746.

Now days, on the used market, the 746 is very reasonably priced. It does an excellent job on HF and 6m with a great built in tuner, and even gives you a full 100 watts out on 2m as well.  I've been very happy with it's performance over the years.

Good luck,
73
Dan

 
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K9ZF
Amateur Radio Emergency Service, Clark County Indiana. EM78el
former K9ZF /R no budget Rover ***QRP-l #1269
Check out the Rover Resource Page at:
<http://www.qsl.net/n9rla>
List Administrator for: InHam+grid-loc+ham-books
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K9ZF
Amateur Radio Emergency Service, Clark County Indiana. EM78el
The once and future K9ZF /R no budget Rover
 ***QRP-l #1269
Check out the Rover Resource Page at:
<http://www.qsl.net/n9rla>
List Administrator for: InHam+grid-loc+ham-books
Ask me how to join the Indiana Ham Maili
ONAIR
Member

Posts: 1735




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« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2013, 08:05:40 PM »

I'd agree that the 5054 is a great little rig for very little money!  With a good antenna you could have loads of with it on 6.
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AD4U
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Posts: 2153




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« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2013, 06:32:10 AM »

6 meters can be a "fun" band.  During the 1959 and 1970 sun spot maximums which were the highest on record, 6 meters was open to some distant DX location just about all the time.  Back then only a relatively few HAMs were on 6M but those of us who were had a ball.

As someone who has had 6M experrience for almost 50 years be prepared to do a lot of listening.  Reminds me a while back I heard HC8GI a Galapagos (sp) Island DXpedition calling CQ on 6M with a S9+20 signal with NO takers but me.  Today given the sun spot minimums 6M DX is 99.9% atmospheric noise punctuated by 0.1% of pure bedlam when the band opens.   Grin

Have fun!

Dick  AD4U

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N5INP
Member

Posts: 754




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« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2013, 04:42:40 PM »

I just got on 6 m yesterday with my new (used) FT-450. I built a dipole and was able to hear and get into the local 6m repeater on 53.15. I made transmissions to it for two days, but I neither got anyone to respond, nor did I ever even hear another soul use the machine.  Huh

As far as the rest of the band, I know it depends on the propagation so I plan on being patient and hanging in there.
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AD9DX
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Posts: 1472




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« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2013, 08:15:09 PM »

The Icom 7200 would be an excellent choice for a 160m-6m rig. If you are in to Digi, it accepts USB directly so you can save $100 on a Signalink USB and go directly from your computer to the rig. If other rigs are chosen the aforementioned Signalink us an excellent choice.

Take a look at this antenna http://www.m2inc.com/pdf_manuals/6M%20HO%20Loop.pdf

It will give you an acceptable signal when the band is open. You have to spend a lot of money to make your own openings.
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EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
N3AWS
Member

Posts: 94




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« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2013, 05:28:15 AM »

I'd suggest looking at: Icom 706 MKIIG, Icom 7000, Yaesu FT-857/897/817 models.  These offer additional bands of 6, 2, and 0.7 meters.  Also, all mode, portable/mobile capability that is QUITE EASY, and back-up capability for HF for your main rig.  If portable/mobile is not of interest, add the FT-847 and Kenwood TS-2000 models to your search.

73

Jim N3AWS
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AD9DX
Member

Posts: 1472




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« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2013, 07:29:34 PM »

I'd suggest looking at: Icom 706 MKIIG, Icom 7000, Yaesu FT-857/897/817 models.  These offer additional bands of 6, 2, and 0.7 meters.  Also, all mode, portable/mobile capability that is QUITE EASY, and back-up capability for HF for your main rig.  If portable/mobile is not of interest, add the FT-847 and Kenwood TS-2000 models to your search.

73

Jim N3AWS

While having 2m and 70cm on a rig is nice the 7000 has a wide open receiver. If you care about CW at all it is not a great choice.
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EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
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