Welcome to 6 metres, the magic band.
I’m now active on the 6 metre amateur band with my new Icom IC-7300 and a V2000 6 – 2 – 70cms tri-band aerial. I’m hoping to have some CW contacts so I’ll be lurking between 50.00 and 50.10MHz when conditions are good. However, I’ll be monitoring 51.51kHz FM most of the time.
6 metre FM frequencies.
I’ve listed the FM frequencies from the RSGB band plan below.
I’ve just found this information on the RSGB web site… “Most Europe-wide CW and SSB activity will be conducted between 50.130 – 50.300MHz although you should be aware that some countries (such as France) do not have the same band allocations as in the UK.”
Update: 11th February 2020
The V2000 aerial is now on the 20 foot pole at the end of the garden. The SWR is 1.05:1 which is unbelievable. I’ve already had a couple of local contacts with good signal reports both ways. The long radial for 6 metres is pointing east to protect it from the westerly winds. Look at that clear blue sky! Sunny but cold. There’s another photo below, with a cloud.
Apparently, the aerial is a half wave on 6 metres. As the length of the pole is only about 2.5 metres, it’s not a half wave. However, the long radial is included in equation so I suppose it is a half wave. Other adverts say that it’s a quarter wave on 6 metres. What the hell… it works!
Here are the published specifications for the aerial…
- Type: Fibreglass vertical colinear
- Transmit frequency: 50-52 144-146 430-440MHz
- Receive frequency: 25-2000MHz
- Gain: 6M 3.0dBi 2M 6.2dBdi 70cm 8.4dBdi
- Length: 250cm
- VSWR: 1.5:1 or better
- Power: 200 Watts
- Connection: SO239 socket
- Radials: 2 X 39cm 1 X 150cm
- MK2 Version with wideband receive !!
Update: 5th April 2020.
There haven’t been any openings as yet on 6 metres but it’s still early days. We’re keeping the band alive locally with impromptu chats on 51.51MHz.
Update: 16th May 2020.
An opening today! Heard a couple of beacons in Portugal, both about RST 339. At 1400UTC.
CS5BLA – 50.076MHz
CS5BALG – 50.036MHz
Update: 20th May 2020.
Worked Mark, EA5IYK in Alicante, Spain on 51.51MHz FM at 1400 GMT. My report 5 and 5 with QSB. I was receiving him at 5 and 9 + 20dB with QSB which took his signal down to S3 at times. I was running 10 Watts into a vertical tri-band antenna at 20 feet AGL. A great day for sporadic E propagation!
Update: 22nd May 2022 – 1730 GMT.
Using my new Icom IC-7300, I’ve just worked Sergio, IW7DHC, on 6metres SSB. My report 5 and 7. I was receiving him at 5 and 5. I was running 50 Watts into the vertical tri-band antenna at 20 feet AGL. Sporadic E propagation producing some fairly good results at the moment. Hopefully, sporadic E propagation will continue over the next few days.
The Icom IC-7300 shown below, tuned to 60 metres when I took the photo.
6 metre Beacons.
I love tuning around the 6 metre band hunting for beacons. Suddenly, propagation changes and the beacons can be heard. Or, monitor a known beacon frequency and wait for the band to open.
Update: 3rd June 2022.
I’ve just heard IQ0AM/B beacon transmitting its CW ident on 50.449MHz.