Concentrate on 6m and 10m?

10m is my favorite band of all: there is the possibility of local QSOs on 10FM out to 30-40km (at least) even with very modest (CB level) powers to a 1/2 wave vertical. It is good for GDX with suitably equipped stations out to many hundreds of kilometres. F2 and Es propagation allow really long distances.

6m is the “magic band”. It seems to be good for locals and GDX seems to work out pretty well too out to several hundred kilometres, as for 10m. Although F2 is rare except close to good sunspot maxima, Es is there every spring and summer and at other times too, but more rarely. More stations active (e.g. on WSPR – a great DX mode) would indicate more openings, I suspect.

Actually one could do a lot worse than concentrate on WSPR on these 2 bands only. That is what I may do in future. In effect I  am already doing this, but I could better optimise the antennas – maybe a 1/2 wave vertical on 10m and a halo on 6m? My antennas may be compromised but in my present state of health (stroke) they will have to do.

UPDATE 1820z:   All afternoon on 6m it has been just locals G4IKZ, G4KPX and G0LRD only here with no signs of GDX or Es at this QTH. Things on the “magic band” can change quite quickly, so I shall be staying on 6m for the rest of the day. We’ll see.

UPDATE 1830z:  Looking back through the WSPR logs I see G3IGU (172km) near Doncaster was being spotted here at 1254z with only very slight Doppler or warm-up drift (-1Hz).  This may have been tropo or a favorable aircraft again. So there was some GDX around.  I have seen a surprising number of GDX stations now on 6m at decent distances. Theseare all “accidental” spots – no skeds, I just happened to see these stations.

As I write this I see G6AVK (78km) is spotting my 1W ERP at -27dB S/N at 1830z , yet more GDX.

UPDATE 2030z:   Just the locals reporting me. No Es or GDX currently.

UPDATE 2155z:   Still just the locals.  Soon be time to pull the big switch to off.

Roger Lapthorn, G3XBM, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cambridge, England.

5 Responses to “Concentrate on 6m and 10m?”

  • Ted KA8SEP:

    Please define what GDX is. I have looked online and can’t find a definition. is it a new low power mode?

    Ted

  • William D. Hickman KI4YZN:

    I to would like to know what this GDX is????????????

  • Larry KG4ZAR:

    Add me to the curious and bewildered also Roger! Just what in the wide wide world of radio is GDX? Since 6m is my band of choice I guess I should know this.

    Larry

  • Ted KA8SEP:

    I thought about it a bit, does he mean Global DX?

    As opposed as LDX (Local DX)??? I’m sure the league defines Local DX as anything less than one hop, but longer than line of sight…

    /end sarcasm 😉

  • Ted KA8SEP:

    Aha! Roger answered this in another post.


    GDX means “best DX in the UK” , nothing more.

    If you live in the UK it is probably a phrase you know. If you live outside the UK then it may be a phrase you’ve maybe never heard of before or were too embarrassed to ask.

    In the same way ODX means “best overall DX”.

    Thanks for the answer.

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