Is it worth trying 6 meters now?

I have strictly no experience on 6 meters, and will take the 2015/2016 challenge as an opportunity to experiment with it.

I am considering giving it a try from a Belgian summit this week-end, weather permitting. Is is worth trying at this time of the year, or am I likely to loose my time ?

Anyone equipped within the range I have a chance to reach, and willing to try ?

I guess I should start in CW with horizontal polarization. Any suggestion/advise ?

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At this time of year you are unlikely to experience any Sporadic E, which leaves you with Troposcatter/ionoscatter (excepting a lucky aurora, or qro to run Meteor scatter). I have worked Es in early May but it tends to be very hit and miss until later in the month.

12th April from 0900 to 1200 UTC you might get something as there is a UK 50mhz contest then, but apart from that I suspect you might hear a lot of white noise. But maybe local 50mhz ssb operation in ON is more popular?

Edit: having just posted that I just received an aurora alert. I see the LA and SM beacons are spotted on 2m, but not far south. Still, there are also active sunspots at the moment :


Give a try.

shows all QSO on 6m.

will show the current MUF. I think MUF is calculated using the spots from ReverseBeacon-, WSPR- and DXCluster-networks.

For Tropo QSO use horizontal polarisation and for Es it doesn’t matter. Best months will be May, June and July.

73 de Dominik, HB9CZF

Hello Christophe,
If you do decide to go onto 6M I will listen out for you.

There is the WPX SSB contest this weekend which is likely to wipe out most qrp operations given the contest max is 1500w. But not on 6M 8)

See what happens. In any event good luck.


Give it a try - according to Spaceweather we are about to be hit by a “Co-rotating interactive region” in the solar wind which should spark polar auroras, there is a small chance of auroral propagation, and on tropo you might meet a few contest refugees!


Thank you all for your replies.

The weather forecast is not encouraging, but if the rain has not arrived yet tomorrow morning, I’ll probably give it a try.

I’ll self spot as I guess very few reverse beacon receivers will hear me…

Hello Christophe I am keeping sweet with about 4 local operators whom are closer to many of the summits I activate and I have made some “local” type ssb and fm qso on 6m for when the challenge is ready to start in vk .
Probably the biggest challenge in vk is the differing parts of 6m that only two of our class of licence can operate in differing parts of the 6m band. Advanced licence holders can operate in all of our allocation and Standard licence holders are stuck above 52 MHz so the SOTA ops in vk have chosen to activate up there too to give everyone a go at chasing on 6m, and increasing the activators chance of a contact as well. I made a link dipole for 6/10m it seems to work ok for what it is I had a couple vk4 and vk6 qso’s on 6m ssb with it and worked some JA’s on 10m cw with it while testing in my back yard. good luck in the challenge
73 de Ian vk5cz …

6 meters should work if you arrange to have a chaser listening at the appointed time.
I learned the hard way (which explains the dull wump wump in the distance … kicked myself for lack of forethought) that going to the trouble of a summit with a ruck full of gear, setting up, getting soaked, chilled, and futilely slinging a signal into the ether, can be immensely frustrating.
Hindsight is 20-20,
I should have arranged a chaser to listen on the specific frequency at the specific hour. Lesson learned.
You should succeed on six meters. Please post your after-action report!

Not much to report… Nothing heard at all ;-(

The antenna was a slim jim around 3 meters above ground, horizontally.

Will probably need something better, and a sked beforehand indeed.

After that, quick activation on 30 meters due to rain.

I had a 6m radio for 7months before I heard anything special. My locals from the radio club came on so we could check the signal was OK. This was 1991 ISTR and there were significantly fewer stations QRV for 6m then. I thought “Pah! Waste of money, no wonder it was for sale.” But every one told me it’s truly magic when propagation appears.

One day I got a call from the Aurora watch guys, on to 2m and a few GMs in Shetland bagged, not much on 6m but one GM station ( I lived down in England then). Then pow! Auroral-E and there was an LA station on from near Tromso who was 59++++++ with the clearest signals. Maybe 6m has potential. Then came the summer Sporadic E season and boy was that a hoot.

The moral is Christophe, you need to arrange skeds when it’s not F2 or SpE time or you think the radio is broken. But when the propagation comes… you need to hold on tight! :slight_smile:


I echo what Andy has just said. I first tried 6M back in the early 80’s and got nothing for months. Then one lunch time heard a faint reply come up out of the noise and my first ever 6m was from Paraguay!! Since then have really enjoyed the mysteries and surprises the band throws at you. Come the summer and you will see what we mean.

73 Glyn

Thank you for your messages. Fortunately the transceiver covers the other bands too, so I was not thinking of getting rid of it :wink:

What kind of antennas do you use at home and portable, and what power level ?

When I worked Paraguay the first time in was using a 3 ele beam and 25 watts. However, since then I have worked E’s and Aurora with 10 - 50 watts and various beams ranging from 3-5 elements. I can however, run up to 400 watts but that is for Meteor Scatter and EME. By the way the Paraguay QSO was from a /P location on the Mull of Kintyre, Western Scotland (non-SOTA). Glyn

Hi Andy, Hi Christophe,
My experience of 6m in Australia was similar to Andy’s nothing for months on end - perhaps by sked a contact with a local 20 kms away but that’s all, then one night worked into New Caledonia in the pacific, followed by Japan the next evening. Unbelievable contrast!

73 Ed.
P.S. for all activators PLEASE PLEASE use horizontal polarisation as we in Germany, are NOT ALLOWED to use vertical polarisation on 6m. Also if you hear a German summit being activated on 6m, it’s either a pirate or someone visiting the country who didn’t read the licence conditions. Portable operation on 6m is banned in Germany.

P.P.S. when I did operate 6m from home or portable my antenna of choice was a Moxon. Small, light and good gain figures over a dipole.

Personally I get on 6m on a summit if you can and crank it out you never know where you will reach.
People do it on 2m, so why not 6m.
I have no personal experience on 6m but people do call it the magic band and have been informed when it opens it opens.

Remember a friend whom was guiding me through 6m had a five El beam and pointed it in one direction and fired it up, we were both surprised when that Japanese station answered him was a funny time of year too if I remember rightly.
Just put peoples on alert for when you expected to be on and they will be listening for you like any other band that,s the wonder of Sota watch.

Have fun on there won’t you.


Hi all

Today I worked 8 6m chasers from VK1/AC-048 using a FT-817 5 watts into a half wave link dipole for 6/10/20/40, supported by a 7 metre squid pole. Link to my post. :wink:

73, Andrew VK1NAM

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Very nice report and photos.
I’ve read you had those 6m QSOs in the morning. I have almost no experience on 6m. I don’t even have that band at home and for some reason I was guessing the band conditions wouldn’t open that early in the morning until noon or the early afternoon. That’s why I was in doubt about being able to work the challenge on 6m in my Sunday morning activations.
That’s good news though. Thanks for sharing.
Best 73 de Guru