6m : 50MHz

6m is a very interesting band for VHF, it has some good sporadic E openings in the summer and F2 layer openings at other times of the year..
The first experience i had of the 6m band is with TV DX in 2000 i think.... This is watching for tv stations on VHF band I in european countries when the conditions are favourable.

i used an old black & white tv set that had the low band on for early tv reception and made a dipole antenna which was in the loft, with this i was able to watch tv stations anywhere from germany to iran and the middle east countries when the conditions were good.
Watching for these tv signals is a good indicator of when the 6m ham band is opening up as the tv stations are running hundreds of KW's in some cases! much more than the ham stations so even a little enhancement is noticed.

Identifying the tv stations becomes quite a challenge as they could be anywhere in europe, some have recognisable logo's but some have nothing and are very hard to tell where they are from. There are some websites with lists of logo's that are handy and you could also look up the tv carrier frequency to a few Hz to identify it as well. take a look at http://www.skywaves.co.uk for more information and you can also join the skywaves mailing list there for more information on FM and TV DX.

I have now also go a D100 DX Tv Tuner for VHF-UHF so shall be watching a lot more often next year (2006)



6m ssb was a new thing that i got interested in listening to a while after discovering TV DX. I built my own 6m to 10m down convertor using a ne612 double balanced mixer IC to do the work, this worked well and i heard many stations on there even one year maybe 2001 ?? a big opening to stateside (for nearly a week on afternoons) was heard with this and just a single dipole up outside!! quite amazing really!

This was all before i had the M3 licence but after then i bought a microwave modules 2m-6m transverter at a local rally very cheaply, it worked great with a 3element home made yagi!
Since i got the full licence i have been looking more into microwaves and have left 6m for the moment while the sunspot cycle comes around again and i'm sure i will give 6m a go again when its more active.

6m rx convertor circuit, origionally from Pete's site but does not seem to work now.. ??


Parts list



2m : 144MHz

The 2m is interesting but in different ways to 6m. it's more for lolcal chat and the odd moment of dx up and down the uk when you are into FM only, but if you are into SSB and have a reasonable antenna you can work most of the uk most days.

The SSB portion of 2m is very quiet and i really do wonder why ...yes there is a lack of activity in the north of England on 2m...but it does not matter about that if you use SSB as it makes you capable of working the whole country reasonably easily.....

Maybe it's the thought of having a yagi antenna up on the roof??!!

When you get some good tropo conditions it's possible to work stations a long distance away, in October 2007 i managed to work two spanish stations on 2m EA1UU and EA2TO/1 using just 10W into a 7 element yagi!

recordings here

EA1UU - 2m + 70cm contact!

EA2TO/1 - 2m


on 2m i have used these modes..

FM - like everyone has.. Usually on 144.750 ATV talkback freq... give me a call anytime :-)
Packet - chat like on the net, send pictures, APRS is nice as well... has nodes (repeaters) for distant working.
SSB - worked into G, GM, GI, GW with less than 10W and 5 element yagi
SSTV - only one group of people around Leeds regularly on this mode that i have worked in last few years. M0JOR + others.
MS - Meteor scatter, req's about 50w and yagi antenna. possible to work most europe.. worked SP, DL with 25W and 9el yagi.
EME - moonbounce, i have received but not yet got enough gain for tx yet with only 9element yagi!
Satellite - Now got elevation and have worked a few satellites on V/U and V/S modes.





First Reception of EME signal on 2M

Here's a snapshot of WSJT software when receiving first EME signal on 2m with 9ele tonna and NO Pre-amp !!! I was very surprised!!



Some of the signals are actually quite strong like RN6BN (check his site to see why!) The signals are audible with just 7 element yagi.

Recording here:

RN6BN 144.138MHz 30th october 2007 ARRL EME contest.


Updated 3rd Nov 2007