6m and 4m activation

Hi Ed,

That’s the trouble with sporadic E, it’s too sporadic!

You may often see cluster spots for 50MHz & 70MHz but can’t hear anything yourself. This may be due to stations running some of the modern weak signal modes that cope with signals that to the human ear may well be buried in the noise. Those stations tend to be the first to benefit from any openings.

Currently there is a nice E opening on 50MHz in Europe with plenty of SSB / CW activity. I don’t have my 70MHz antenna up today but looking at the cluster there is also some E on that band with SSB & CW QSO’s listed so maybe today would be a good opportunity to have a dabble on 70MHz.

Thanks & best 73,

Mark G0VOF

Hi mark,
It appears to me that a lot of the early spots for 50 & 70MHz are using weak signal modes such as JT65 or MFK133 (?) I think that one is for meter scatter? So conditions need to get a lot better before CW or SSB can make the distance that the digital modes are achieving.

Off to take a look on 50MHz but all I usually get is carriers about every 20 KHz which I am pretty sure are spurious signals from high power transmitters at the relatively nearby German air force base.They’re closing down and leaving in a couple of years, so that will go away.

73 Ed.


Tattoo used say “Ze plane! Ze plane!” but he could have said “Ze Beacons! Ze Beacons!”

Or Obi-wan could have said “Use the beacons, Ed” instead of “Use the Force, Luke”.

The beacons are excellent and it doesn’t matter if you can read the Morse (but it helps). You can spot a signal from a beacon and distinguish it from a sprog. Program up a selection of beacons for 10m, 6m & 4m that are a good single hop distance from you and start monitoring. Start on 10m and work your way up. Remember as the skip gets shorter in each band the MUF is rising and it time to move up in frequency.

The 50MHz beacon frequency list is here in front of me on my desk. Some of them hit the spurious signals of course - others I simply cannot hear currently - I have heard them on a few occasions though - so I know that when the band opens I can hear the beacons. There are no DL beacons on 4m as far as I know (as we only have a temporary allocation).

Just need the good tropospheric or Sporadic-E conditions - I’m actually most interested with 4m at present, but your comment of start at 10m and move up via 6m to 4m as conditions improve makes good sense of course.

I also watch WSPR - no one can transmit from Germany on 4m as the WSPR frequency is out of the DL temporary band, but there are DL stations receiving WSPR and relaying to the net.

73 Ed.

Hi Ed,

I agree entirely with Andy’s advice, we are currently very unlikely to see a good F2 opening on 28MHz & even less so on 50MHz.If you do hear strong “non-local” signals on 28MHz they are quite likely to be via sporadic E. If you hear plenty of activity on 10m, have a listen on 6m, if there is plenty of activity there, try 4m.

Of course, any of those bands may be wide open but if nobody is transmitting it may not appear so, but beacons can be a very good indicator. Be sure to put out a few calls yourself if all indications are that a band is open but you don’t hear anybody.

Thanks & best 73,

Mark G0VOF

Don’t forget 6m is the magic band. You spend a lifetime listening to noise and hash and nothing in particular. Then you pop out for a cup of tea and when you get back in the shack in 20min time, all your mates tell you of the brief opening and the DX you missed and how magic it was .


Yep, I was on 6m in Australia for a couple of years mostly nothing. Once a local (20 miles away) contact then one evening a 5-7 both ways into New Caledonia Island and the next night into Japan!! Then the following day - dead … I suspect 70MHz is going to be similar (not in distances but in nothing there 90% of the time and then some longer contacts). Just have to be there at the right time!

73 Ed.

Sorry for the delay Ed! Been rather busy over the last few days.

The DK7ZB is excellent IMHO - I have the 50 Ohm version, so less gain for better bandwidth, although I wish I had gone for the 28 Ohm version.

At home I have a reduced size 4 ele OWL by Innovantennas - it is a bit of a compromise for neigbourly relations, but then again after 4.5 years of living at my current loaction, the neighbours have been great and have never complained - Maybe now that I have the 7300 a bigger 4m antenna might be prudent, however I live 6 miles from Titterstone Clee Hill G/WB-004 with lots of places for cars to operate from, so no matter what I try at home, it will never beat the effects of operating from many metres ASL!


Matt G8XYJ

Hi Matt,
Thanks for the report on the DK7ZB. For size and capability, I think it can’t be beat! I bought the commercially built one, which is 50 Ohms from the Guy in Poland. It took a long time to get the antenna (and several people have suggested the guy is a crook - he’s not, he’s simply got a nasty disease which lays him up for weeks and limits his ability to produce the antennas in a reasonable time). The quality of work is first class and it’s a very good price, however if I were to buy again, even though a little more expensive, I would buy through his Dutch agent who keeps stock.

As you say there’s no beating more metres ASL on VHF/UHF but then again if the band (6 or 4m) opens any reasonable antenna will work well and when the band’s closed it doesn’t matter what antenna you have, you won’t work anyone at any distance.

73 Ed.

Hi Ed, in the good old days I used to get sick of the VK6 beacon pounding in on 6m for hours on end, but no hams within hundreds of miles on the band. Most of my contacts were to VK4 area. Japan used to be good fun on LP as well. A few years until those conditions return - if at all!

I was playing with developing routines for automating awards checking and one requirement is “am I an MG on say 2m CW only”. That’s not a function the DB offers users at present. Anyway running a test procedure for your call and 4m gives the following.

OwnCallsign	summitcode	totals	qsocount
G4OIG/P		G/NP-015	7	6
G4OIG/P		G/LD-038	1	4
G4OIG/P		G/SP-003	5	5
G4OIG/P		G/NP-029	1	4
G4OIG/P		G/LD-027	7	4
G4OIG/P		G/SP-004	5	6
GW4OIG/P	GW/NW-002	10	6

So there are all the summits were you have qualified a summit on 4m.


Hmm, yes 4m always was the poor cousin - the band that got left in the backpack and indeed not even taken on many occasions, especially to Wales. I don’t actually recall ever having tried in Scotland, probably on account of a perceived lack of activity. I’m afraid initially it fell victim to 23cm, then fell off the radar altogether. I must try to remember to give it a go next time I am up north of the border - at least with squelch I won’t have to listen to white noise. ;-).

[quote=“G4OIG, post:32, topic:15255”]
Hmm, yes 4m always was the poor cousin
[/quote]…and, I guess, the same goes for the 222MHz band over in NA…