Who’s Using 6 Meters?

When I got my new QST the other day, I was flipping through it and found myself on the quick stats page. One of the questions was pretty simple and easy. Do you use 6 meters? WOW! The answer floored me.

Screen Shot from DX Sherlock Showing 6 Meter Activity

Maps Courtesy DX Sherlock

According to this stat, 84% don’t use 6 meters. Why? I know when I got on it, it was usually very quiet and no activity.  What could the reason be? Everyone says it’s a fun band. I don’t think it’s lack of equipment. Most new all mode HF/VHF/UHF radios for the past 5 or so years, have had 6 meters built into it. And antennas can’t be the issue, as anyone could build a simple dipole for 6 meters. Even a 6 meter beam is pretty inexpensive. I got one at a Hamfest 4 years ago for like $60.

When I was at my local club meeting just last week, one of the guys asked what I was using and suggested I try PSK31, as that was a demonstration we had just watched, on 10 meters. Easy to get a vertical antenna up and a quick mode to setup as well. I like the idea, but I also want to get on 6 meters. He said yeah 6 is good, but the problem is no one is usually on there. Which brings me back to my question. Why not?

Yeah, DX on 6 can be fun when it’s hopping, but why not local stuff? SSB or AM. There’s an FM repeater listed for the area, but I’ll be damned if I can hear it. I’m starting to think it doesn’t exists anymore. But if it’s a lack of people, keeping 6 meters quiet, aren’t we just feeding the whole catch 22 cycle? I’m thinking maybe I should get the 6 meter dipole up and do a local 6 meter net on SSB. But now I put the question to you. If you’re not on 6 meters, why not?


Rich also writes a Tech blog and posts stories every Tuesday and Thursday on Q103, Albany’s #1 Rock Station website, as well as Amateur Radio stories every Monday thru Friday on AmiZed Studios and hosts a podcast called The Kim & Rich Show with his fiance’ Kim Dunne.

Rich Gattie, KB2MOB, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New York, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

4 Responses to “Who’s Using 6 Meters?”

  • Larry VE8NX:

    have not put up one of my two beams since moving last year. Can’t seem to find the can of gumption 🙂

    And lots of aurora to be bouncing off to boot!

  • KB2MOB:


    I’ve been seeing that come up in my emails from DX Sherlock. But 6 meters still seems to be very sparsely used.

  • Frank KJ6LLL:

    The San Diego Six Shooters, ARC, is a club in San Diego, CA, dedicated to 6 meters. They have both SSB and FM nets. It’s a great group of hams. Please visit the web site at n6six.50megs.com

  • russell,n2frb:

    hi rich, i”ve been on 6 meters for years and had a great time on the band. but i had to move into an a apt. because of health reasons which caused me to loose my station i had and now i”m trying to put together another one on 6m which is happening slowly! my main problem is the ant being in the clear. i live on the 4th. floor and have a 2m beam in my living room and a 6m moxon also inn my living room making hard to make contacts, i i”m trying and have made a couple of contacts on 2m but not on 6m because the band hasn”t been open at all. well thats my imput i have to say abt 6m its a great band when it opens so here i sit waiting for an opening!!!! 73″s…….russell

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