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.
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.