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Author Topic: 6 Meter AM Making a Comeback?  (Read 4365 times)
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W9GT
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« on: August 06, 2010, 04:40:03 PM »

FROM QRZ.com:

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 1721 08-06-2010

6 meter AM lives again. This with the announcement that stations in Michigan, North-West Ohio and North-East Illinois are invited to check out the Classic Radio Roundtable which starts every Sunday evening at 7:30 Central time on 50.4 MHz. The net control station is Gary Franklin, K8BKB, who is located in the city of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Most stations are running classic 1960's era vintage gear but all hams with any form of AM capability are invited to tune in and take part. (W9DZ, VHF Reflector)
 
BT
Gee, they forgot northern IN Huh

We also have a 6M net in Fort Wayne, IN on Tuesday nights on 50.580 mHz. at 8:00 p.m. local time.  AM stations are encouraged to check-in.  This net used to be on nightly, but has been reduced now to one night a week.

73,  Jack, W9GT
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Todd, KA1KAQ
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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2010, 10:16:29 PM »

Excellent news, Jack. I'll have to listen and see if I can hear anything down this way. Who knows when the band might decide to cooperate.

If IN isn't actually excluded  Grin and you have luck signing in at some point, please give Gary my regards. He runs Clegg gear, and turned me on to my first Zeus and Interceptor back in '98. He was once a regular on the Clegg mailing list. He's one of the good guys as I recall.
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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2010, 12:06:40 PM »

all the good stuff is up north!!
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w5hro
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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2010, 12:15:24 PM »

all the good stuff is up north!!

Yep, there use to be a group in Indiana that did a lot of 6-meter AM years ago. Most of the activity was always in that region. I had to run a bit of power with a Yagi pointed in that direction when I lived in Tulsa. There wasn't much 6-meter activity anywhere else.
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W9GT
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2010, 09:59:08 AM »

Well 6 M has really been more active since many of the new transceivers include 6 M.  6 AM activity, however, has been pretty low.  I usually make a point to try 50.4 AM during band openings, but I have had very few contacts in that mode.

Yes, 6 M has always been popular around here (Northern Indiana).  We used to have a net nightly on 50.58 and, back in the good old days, even had transmitter hunts on 6 AM of all things.  6 M AM can be a challenge because of the noise that is prevalent on that band, but it is a lot of fun.  Of course when the band opens, you are liable to hear anything.  There have been some good openings this summer, but again....not much on AM.

73,  Jack, W9GT
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Todd, KA1KAQ
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2010, 09:03:14 PM »

There were regular nets around the Boston area and Schenectady NY for years. At times I could hear them, but never succeeded in getting heard (with a dipole, no surprise). It's always nice to have another tool in the tool box, 6m AM can be a fun local spot and more when the band opens up.
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WA2TTP Steve
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« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2010, 11:35:16 PM »

The Schenectady NY group is still around. There on most evenings except Wednesday and Sunday at 1930 local according to George N2JJE who calls up the very informal group on 50.4.
I checked in with my Polycomm 6 and got some good reports. No super stations so I don't know how far we'll be heard!

Steve
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W9GT
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« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2010, 09:09:48 AM »

Well, good news to report regarding the comeback of 6 M AM activity in this area.  The local 6 M. net meets on Tues. nights on 50.58 USB at 8:00 p.m. EDST.  We decided to add a second night Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. and the mode will be AM!  Unfortunately, I got on a little late last night and missed the net, but still managed to have a nice AM QSO with an old friend, John, WD9CVI.  There is a lot of interest in getting the old boatanchors back on 6 AM, as well as encouraging everyone using modern transceivers to crank them up on AM.  I heard there were 4 or 5 check-ins last night, hopefully that will pick-up a little.  Tuesdays, it is not unusual to have 10-15 check-ins.  Great fun and nice to hear the old net activity being revived.

I plan to fire up the old Gonset G-50 next week and also dust off the old home brew transmitter built in 1965 by WA9CCH.  It uses a 6146 in the final modulated by a pair of 1625s and uses an ART-13 mod iron.  That old rig worked great and needs to be revived and make some noise on the air.

See you on 6 M AM!

73,  Jack, W9GT
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N8ETQ
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« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2010, 11:21:10 AM »



  I think this weekend is the September VHF/UHF QSO Party,
good weekend to get on and hand out points.  If I can get
my AM-912 "B" band amp going again I'll be on 2 with around
3.5 kw ERP from EN91dj.  No antenna for 6 right now but
would like to try it again though.

73
/Dan
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wb4iuy
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« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2010, 11:21:43 AM »

Point your antennas down to 4-land when the band opens and give a shout. I have a rig on 50.400 most all the time when I'm in the shack. I'll make a contact every now and then, lots of fun!

Dave WB4IUY
www.WB4IUY.net
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« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2010, 12:47:07 PM »

From what I've heard just in the last week Dave, you're right on the money.

K4D-double-E told me they have a weekly AM net around Durham/Chapel Hill and surrounding areas on Tuesday nights. Some other fellows I talk with up in VA mentioned a former AM net on Monday nights that has gone to mostly SSB now, suggesting that a few good AM check-ins could get things rolling again.

So there is already plenty of action out there, just a matter of finding it.
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« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2010, 01:34:10 PM »

Quote
Point your antennas down to 4-land when the band opens and give a shout. I have a rig on 50.400 most all the time when I'm in the shack. I'll make a contact every now and then, lots of fun!

Last Thursday evening I got on 6 meters (50.4) with Larry, NE1S. We soon realized another QSO had started up on frequency. It wasn't long before 8 or 10 stations  had joined in, all from Southern Maine and New Hampshire. Point your sticks toward the Northeast some Thursday (or most any) evening, Dave. Looking forward working WB4IUY. 

73,
Paul
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« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2010, 07:56:14 PM »

The 100KHz designation if 50.4 is great for old military stuff as well. I can't join this yet, but soon I hope. There is a 250W 6M FM base station here, could be cathode modulated. I am more concerned how to get the receiver on AM, as it is the typical FM chain with several IF, serving as limiters no doubt. Perhaps an IC706 or something like that for RX would do.

How would an inverted V with two 70-90FT legs work for 6M? wierd pattern for sure. I want a discone but probably have to settle for a stick antenna of some kind.

I was told that the best height for long range on a 6M antenna is 35 FT. Unfortunately that is not going to clear the trees here. Any advice on what to use for 6M is welcome.

There is a 60FT tower for said inverted V, but the top section which would be for 'other' antennas is not finished yet and I have not bought a 6M antenna at all. I am keeping in mind the only transmitter with any power on 6M at all is that 250W Link 250-UFS, and it is not frequency-agile.
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Pete, WA2CWA
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« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2010, 09:34:16 PM »

I was told that the best height for long range on a 6M antenna is 35 FT. Unfortunately that is not going to clear the trees here. Any advice on what to use for 6M is welcome.

There is a 60FT tower for said inverted V, but the top section which would be for 'other' antennas is not finished yet and I have not bought a 6M antenna at all. I am keeping in mind the only transmitter with any power on 6M at all is that 250W Link 250-UFS, and it is not frequency-agile.

Under "normal" conditions, 6 meter signals typically follow a straight line path parallel to the earth's surface.
For horizontal polarization, a rotatable dipole or beam or a turnstile up as high as possible.
For vertical polarization, a vertical up as high as possible.

When working Sporadic E, F2, aurora, or tropo there probably isn't any optimum antenna height (higher is better), but antenna gain and antenna rotation are both good to have.
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Ed W1XAW
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« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2010, 10:35:52 AM »

I was monitoring/calling CQ yesterday and heard nothing but that is fairly unusual (my antenna might be messed up as I've been inactive for a while).   6 Meter AM activity in Maine has been going strong for at least the last decade.   About 6 years ago we used to have the AM PM net twice a week with a lot of check-ins and some guys had a new net going last year but the details escape me.   Get on and give a holler!  I bet there are at least 20 active stations in Southern Maine.      73 de W1XAW
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W9GT
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« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2010, 10:44:11 AM »

There was quite a bit of activity this last weekend on 6 and 2 with the VHF QSO party...no significant band openings..Sat.  Didn't get on much Sun.  Listened on 50.4, but didn't hear anything except a very weak carrier.  Everyone should check 50.4 during band openings and contest activity.  Might stir - up some AMers!  Call CQ!  You might be surprised who comes back.  I was able to work out over 200 mi on ground wave with 100 W to a Saturn 6 Halo at 70'.

73,  Jack, W9GT

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W9GT
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« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2010, 12:07:15 PM »

Well, good news to report regarding the comeback of 6 M AM activity in this area.  The local 6 M. net meets on Tues. nights on 50.58 USB at 8:00 p.m. EDST.  We decided to add a second night Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. and the mode will be AM!  Unfortunately, I got on a little late last night and missed the net, but still managed to have a nice AM QSO with an old friend, John, WD9CVI.  There is a lot of interest in getting the old boatanchors back on 6 AM, as well as encouraging everyone using modern transceivers to crank them up on AM.  I heard there were 4 or 5 check-ins last night, hopefully that will pick-up a little.  Tuesdays, it is not unusual to have 10-15 check-ins.  Great fun and nice to hear the old net activity being revived.

I plan to fire up the old Gonset G-50 next week and also dust off the old home brew transmitter built in 1965 by WA9CCH.  It uses a 6146 in the final modulated by a pair of 1625s and uses an ART-13 mod iron.  That old rig worked great and needs to be revived and make some noise on the air.

See you on 6 M AM!

73,  Jack, W9GT

Great news to report again this week!  We checked into the Fort Wayne 6M net (AM) last night on 50.580 with the old Gonset G-50.  We had a total of 11 check-ins and everybody had a great time.  Many commented on how much fun it was and how great AM sounded as opposed to SSB.  Gene, WA9FVY checked in on his Sixer and sounded great.  Several others said they might dig out the old rigs and see if they still work.  We even had a station in Muncie, IN check-in from about 70 miles away.  Anyhow...quite a resurgence in interest in 6 M AM around here.  Brings back fond memories from 60's-70's time frame, when AM was king and we had so much fun.

73,  Jack, W9GT
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« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2010, 01:19:19 PM »

Thats a long ways from 50.4 and many wont bother tuning that high outside your group or have rocks available.

I typically listen 20-30 KHz either side and often start up a small roundtable off the calling frequency. Even during a wild E opening I havent gone above 50.5.

Carl
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W9GT
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« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2010, 01:49:01 PM »

Thats a long ways from 50.4 and many wont bother tuning that high outside your group or have rocks available.

I typically listen 20-30 KHz either side and often start up a small roundtable off the calling frequency. Even during a wild E opening I havent gone above 50.5.

Carl

Carl,

We have used that frequency since the 50's.  The reason for originally picking it was the common availability of cheap surplus FT-243 xtals on 8430.  I am trying to encourage everyone to listen also on 50.4, especially during band openings.  Certainly anyone is welcomed to tune up to 50.58 and give us a call on Tues and Thurs nights. 

73,  Jack, W9GT
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« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2010, 09:33:43 AM »

Over the weekend we managed to get on 6 M AM several times and stirred up a bit of activity.   The locals are becoming accustomed to raising someone on SSB on the calling freq (50.125) then switching to AM on 50.4 or 50.58.  Lots of fun!  Seems to be a lot of interest....looking forward to hearing more boatanchor rigs.

I'm going to try to get the old WA9CCH (SK) home brew rig running in time for the 6 AM net on Thursday nite.

73,  Jack, W9GT
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« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2010, 01:16:59 AM »

I have spent the last week getting the old Heath Seneca back into service.  Also using a HQ-100 with a RME down converter for RX.  That will be my little 6 meter station.  

Robert wb6vmi and I are meeting up every Friday at 2:00 pm here in the Pacific Northwest on 50.4.   Anyone else here in the NW (eugene and surrounding areas) interested in joining us or starting another group at another time?
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