In reply to G0IBE:
Don’t be put off 6m due to lack of contacts today, as already stated, the band can be far from “magic” when it’s flat, or there isn’t a contest on. I suffer from tremendous electrical noise at my home QTH on both 6m & 4m, & have had to compromise on antenna’s for those bands because of it.
I built a Delta loop to Steve GW7AAV’s design & it worked very well, but after much experimentation I found a dipole worked better for me in my situation.
I had fixed my first dipole in the attic where I found the least noise so needed another for taking out portable. I made it from 2 telescopic whips, available from Maplin, & a piece of plastic as a supporting middle section.
I built it so that when fully extended it gives the best match at 50.150MHz but by sliding in the relevant number of the end sections it also works on 4m & 2m.
During a very leisurely activation of G/SP-008 Boulsworth Hill - Lad Law with Scott 2E0RCS this April, I put a call out on 50.150 SSB under flat conditions & was very pleased with the 4 contacts I got, the first of whom was John G4MBN in Sheffield, who along with Kevin M0XLT who was next to call are both 6m aficionado’s. A local chat with Mick M0PVA, way over on the other side of Pendle Hill was followed by a another very nice QSO with Doug G1KLZ. None of those QSO’s was hurried & I was talking with John in Sheffield for a good 12 minutes according to my log. Very pleasant
When the band is open you do not need much power, or indeed much of an antenna to get surprising distances, so I would echo the comments already made to those with HF/6m radio’s, to take a listen on 6m & maybe try out your HF antenna on that band as sometimes, they can work without any modification.
I also had a go on 6m SSB from G/SP-011 Freeholds Top on the 3rd May using my 80m / 60m linked dipole & managed 4 contacts again, including a summit to summit with Tony 2E0LAE/P on GW/NW-012 which was his first S2S on 6m & also the first time Freeholds top had been activated on that band.
Steve’s delta loop design does work very well, & if he doesn’t mind me linking from here, it can be found at:
I uploaded a couple of photos of the telescopic dipole I made to my Flickr site, there’s not much on it yet, but it is quite new
Incidentally, there are a few 6m contests this coming weekend (20th/21st June) so there should be plenty of UK activity on the band even if it is flat. The RSGB 50MHz Trophy contest runs from 1400z on Saturday to 1400z on Sunday, & the RSGB 50MHz Backpackers contest runs from 1000z to 1400z on Sunday.
I would really like to take part in the backpackers contest as I now have an offer of a FT817 to use, as the rules for this contest are very restrictive (3 Watts maximum output & at least 100m from your transportation vehicle) but I would be very short of time after having other commitments on the Sunday morning. I may enter the 6 hour open section of the Trophy contest on Saturday instead, which would give me much more time & I could use my FT897 with 20 Watts from somewhere nice, or 100 Watts from somewhere near my bike.
I still haven’t decided yet, but at least I, and many others will be active on 6m this weekend & will gladly work any activators who chose to use the band. It would probably be helpful if you know the locator of any summit you activate, or point them to the database,where they can find it. Also be prepared to give any contest stations their serial (QSO) number.
In any case, 6m is a great band when it is open, which chances are, it will be at some point this weekend.