6m Station

On 6m I’m often found DX-ing using SSB/CW down the bottom of the band (preferred), or the inevitable FT8, or using MSK144 for meteor-scatter. I put a lot of time and effort into “being lucky” on 6m – it takes a lot of dedication: for example, it took me ten years of being active practically every day to achieve what is probably the first Irish 6m WAS award!

The station usually comprises of a Yaesu FT857D, into a “heavy duty” 6el LFA2, built to (hopefully!) survive the windy location. Occasionally an Elecraft K3 is used, with the rx upgrade installed. My 40MHz+ equipment is co-sited at the EI7M location, but is almost entirely independent of it.

My 6m antenna can be seen nearly halfway up EI7M’s rotating tower (that I helped design, build, and install):

Rotating tower at EI7M

Rotating tower at EI7M

A terrain analysis using the ARRL’s HFTA software indicated that, counter-intuitively, the 6m antenna was better placed between the lower two HF antennas rather than the upper pair: The analysis suggested that, in the most interesting directions, the radiation angle would be lower at that height (i.e. better for DX), and this appears to have been confirmed by results. Bear in mind that I used terrain data specific to this location, with land sloping away from the site, so the antenna might work best at a different height elsewhere.

4 thoughts on “6m Station

  1. jarek, va3ncd

    We’ve a contact on 6m/CW, on July 23, this past summer.
    I’ve mailed you my QSL card, pretty much the next day, or so.
    Have you received it?
    I used your mailing address as listed on the QRZ.COM.
    It didn’t get bounced and returned to me, so it might got lost, I worried.
    Should I send another one?
    You’re my first EI on 6m, and I actually hoped for a confirmation.
    I’m writing here, as your email address is just impossible to look up anywhere… 🙂
    Sorry for the trouble.


    1. Mark Turner Post author

      Hi Jarek,
      I’m up to date with all cards I’ve received direct, and have printed replies to all cards received via the bureau (a bundle of those still to send). In fact, I think I remember returning two to you so I hope you have it by now!
      73, Mark

  2. Doug (W9WI EM66kj)

    Appreciated the 6m QSO this evening. I heard you from the mobile (?!) and managed to get a couple of “W9??” responses around 2315z. The QSO took place about 20 minutes later when I got home & was able to fire up the “big” antenna. (7-el HF tribander, not designed for 6m but seems to work OK 🙂 )

    Location is about 50km northwest of Nashville.

    Also worked G4RRA. There was someone on 50.102 I presume was in your part of the world; he vanished before I could copy a callsign. Nothing else heard from your side of the big pond. There were some modest W1/W2/VE9 signals and a huge signal from VE4GV.

    With my work shift, trans-Atlantic Es is a real rarity. Really enjoyed it!

    1. Mark Turner Post author

      Hi Doug, glad we made it – I’m fascinated that you heard me on the mobile! Conditions haven’t been too good to the USA so far this year; it’s difficult to understand because things have been great from Europe to the far east nearly every day, which is highly unusual. The mysteries of the “magic band”…


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