I think I only ever achieved one 6m contact with that antenna.
The late lamented Maplin used to stock a telescopic whip that was a quarter wave on 6m. This terminates with a PL259, I use a right angle adapter to fit the rear socket of the 817 and a counterpoise wire with a croc clip to the rear earth terminal. This works well in an opening. The whip would be more convenient with a BNC adapter to the front socket but after trying it I abandoned it, too much leverage giving too much strain on the socket.
Actually I prefer a more cheap and cheerful approach. I have a folding dipole for 2m (I think ex Moonraker), so I made up a couple of stiff wire extenders with crock clips to go on the ends of the dipole, they droop a little but it does not seem to affect the working of the antenna, the last time I used it at a campsite I worked about a dozen continental stations with it on SSB, such is the magic of 6m my 817 was getting 5/9 reports!
This works well in an opening. The whip would be more convenient with a BNC adapter to the front socket but after trying it I abandoned it, too much leverage giving too much strain on the socket.
Hi , I agree the weight on the socket is a factor, hence I was hoping to find a Helical whip, similar to the 818 Antenna in height but single band 50MHz???
The reason for the question is that I have replaced my 818 with an KX3 that has no 2m module at present (Plans to get one are being laid) so I was thinking of using 6m Portable and use it like a Handy? The KX3 has a 13foot counterpoise with it, which helps with the three band AX1 and I could use the same wire for a 6m whip if needed along with the AXT1 antenna support???
Plus if my memory serves me right a 5/8 wave whip for 2m is close enough to 1/4wave on 6m??
For obvious reasons I definitely don’t want to strain any socket on this expensive Radio.
As the saying goes, close enough for jazz! I think I am correct in saying that on 6m a quarter wave whip needs a countepoise. The rig and mike (or key) lead acts to some extent as the counterpoise but this may be inadequate on 6m, where you need about 1.5m of counterpoise. However if you use a wire counterpoise I think you could adjust its length to bring a 2m 5/8 whip to resonance. This would be worth playing with if you already have the 5/8 whip.
Moonraker do stock a very reasonably priced helical whip for 6m, but it terminates in a 3/8 thread for a mobile mount and is probably designed to use the body of the car as a counterpoise. If you want to follow this up the whip is £19.50 and a 3/8 to PL259 adapter is £4.50.
I modified it according to the suggestion from Andy @MM0FMF with two guy ropes.
It works well for data and using it this morning with 100W I had FT8 QSOs with Algeria and Bahrain. But it’s performance on CW was disappointing. RBN was showing some 6m CW activity in Europe but I could only just hear it and when I transmitted no one on RBN heard me.
I’m hoping this was just because my home QTH was not in direct line of sight. For distant stations the skip distance worked but stations closer to me were hidden. It is also possible the few stations monitoring 6m on RBN were using vertical antenna.
I will try 6m again tomorrow (27 June) at about 1400 UTC from G/DC-008. I will start with data then try CW and SSB. I’m not confident of any QSOs except on data but I will give it a go.
If you are working dx via the E layer, there is no need to stick with vertical polarisation. A horizontal dipole works fine, made from wire fed by RG58, no strain on the connector. But also a flowerpot type coaxial dipole only needs a pole length of 3m to hold a half wave dipole, plus whatever height you want the lower end to be above ground, at least a metre and preferably two or more. Roll it up and carry it like a length of coax, well, that’s what it is. So it only takes up a bit of space and weighs a few 00 grams.
Hi John, don’t compare FT8 and other mode on 6m (and other bands too).
Now digital modes are often used and badly used… Too much power are used and you can hear on 50.313 a lot of daily activity but nothing on other part of the band, but that doesn’t mean anything, because the band can be opened, just call
I always check the beacons to see where the band might be open to, there are hundreds of them but you usually only heard those in a restricted area, and that was where the activity would be. I use the G3USF beacon list, School of Social Sciences - Keele University but I notice that it was last updated two years ago so I must look for something more up to date. There sometimes seemed to be a pattern to Es openings, in the morning to Greece and the Balkans, later Italy and Switzerland, and in the afternoon Spain and Portugal, and in multi-hop events W, VE and the Caribbean appeared in the evening, but it changed all the time, often in minutes. One could develop a sort of instinct for openings, somehow the band sounded different just before the DX started to appear! I really must get my son to get down the mast for me so that I can repair my 6m beam.
I’ve been waiting a week or more to test my newly-acquired roll-up (flowerpot) 5/8th end-fed dipole (which fits nicely in a small dry-bag so it’s no problem to go in my crowded rucksack). I’ve been daily checking the MUF and monitoring 6m beacons in southern and eastern Europe but nothing, yet FT8 on 50.313 is always strong - it’s frustrating. No, I don’t want to do FT8 instead of CW, thank you.
There was a big opening a few weeks ago with loads of strong beacons and I worked OE and F stations from home just on my V2000 colinear. I’m trying to be patient. Do they call it the Magic Band because it seems magic if and when it’s open?
Sometimes it happens that after a lively May June goes a bit quiet but everything comes back with a bang in July, I’ve seen it several times, so just have faith and keep checking! The UKSMG DX cluster map shows Es contacts in the last hour between central France and the north of the UK so its worth a look and keeping that map in your favourites.
I also have the two-metre one, which I MUST get around to assembling - I intend to use it with my IC7300 so that I then have 6m 4m and 2m. I intend to build the transverter inside the auto-antenna switch kit from Box-73 that has been sitting on my workbench for the last two weeks - another MUST build action.
Both of these kits I’ve had for 2 years plus - I never seem to find the time!
And as if by magic its open this evening, working stations on CW & SSB 59+ from Poland up through Scandinavia to OY at the moment. Also heard TF earlier on CW from down here in East Anglia. So definitely worth keeping an eye on the band. And thats just with a dipole in the loft!
After [belatedly] reading your message Jonathan I rushed outside to the shack and also worked some strong EU SSB and CW stations on 6m. Too late to get up on the hills this evening – the trick now is to find 6m open during the day – when I’m free - and drive then walk to a SOTA summit before the ionosphere / troposphere goes ‘off the boil’.
BTW: one French CW station was 599+15 on his first over but dropped to 2/1 in the middle of his second over – 6m knows how to do deep QSB in a hurry.
I’m glad you managed to catch some of the action Andy! Yes the QSB was very deep, but strong signals long enough to exchange a bit more than report+locator. Fingers crossed you will be able to catch it from a summit (I find the heatmap at DXHeat | DXCluster & DX Research Tool a useful indicator of activity).
Yes, and it works both ways, I’ve heard stations pop out of the noise in the middle of a sentence and be 9+ in a couple of words. The effect is even more startling on 2m SSB where I have heard the calling channel go from silence to a horrendous babble in a couple of seconds.