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 band plan:
My thanks to Geoff for sending me the list below.
50.100-50.200 SSB and telegraphy.
50.100-50.130: intercontinental centre of activity 50.110.
50.130-50.200: international centre of activity 50.150.
50.200-50.300 SSB and telegraphy general use.
50.300-50.400 narrow band modes. MGM.
50.305 PSK centre of activity.
50.310-50.320 EME centre of activity.
50.320-50.380 MS centre of activity.
50.400-50.500 MGM and telegraphy beacons.
50.500-52.000 all mode.
50.520-50.540 simplex FM internet voice gateways.
50.550 image working frequency.
50.600 RTTY, FSK.
50.620-50.750 digital communications.
50.630 digital voice calling.
50.500-50.700 all mode.
50.540 – 580 simplex FM/DV internet voice gateways.
50.600-50.700 digital communications; including 50.630 DV calling.
50.700-50.900 FM/digital voice.
50.710 – 50.890 FM/DV repeater output channels.
50.900-51.200 all mode for wideband digital experiments.
51.200-51.400 FM/digital voice
51.210 – 51.390 FM/DV repeater Input channels.
51.210-51.390 FM/DV repeater Inputs.
51.400-52.000 all mode.
51.410-51.590 FM/DV simplex.
51.510 FM calling frequency.
51.810-51.990 FM repeaters output channels.
52.000-54.000 all mode.
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.
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.
Update: 3rd June 2022.
I’ve just heard IQ0AM/B beacon transmitting its CW ident on 50.449MHz.
Update: 19th August 2023:
I’m now using my old Alinco DX70 transceiver for monitoring 6 metres and chatting locally. It covers HF and 6 metres, all modes. It’s old and the HF TX has problems but it’s great for pumping out 10 Watts on 50MHz. I’d rather leave the Alinco on all day than the Icom 7300. Also, I use the 7300 for HF so I can’t use it to monitor 6 metres.
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.