9 Jun 2009

Antennas for 6m DXing?

Dave ON8WW sent me an email asking me about what antenna to use for 6m DXing. I replied saying that all I had on the band was a triband vertical colinear (the Diamond V2000) but this has allowed me to work over 50 countries on the band with QRP SSB/CW (best DX >5000kms). It is mounted just above the guttering at about 7m above ground level.

6m is an odd band in that there is not a lot of local SSB traffic (I think) and when the band does open up for either Es or F2 propagation the polarisation probably doesn't matter. Certainly I am able to work (at least) as much DX with the vertical on 6m as I used to work with a rotatable horizontal dipole. The antenna works very well for local (and DX) QSOs on 6m, 2m and 70cms FM of course.

OK, if you want to work marginal propagation modes (e.g. MS using JT6m) or tropo DX then a beam would help. But, if you are prepared to go DX hunting when the band is open, then I think a simple vertical is all you need.


g4ilo said...

Interesting, Roger. I had a triband colinear once (not that particular one though) and never heard a thing on 6m, which I guessed was down to cross-polarisation. I put up a dipole and made many Sporadic-E contacts using a Ten-Tec transverter with an output of only 7 watts. I later replaced that with a delta loop to a design I found on the web, and actually made some Stateside contacts using CW.

Due to limited space for antennas all I can spare for 6m is a dipole again. Like you, I have yet to hear anything from across the pond.

Roger G3XBM said...

F2 or Es the polarisation is all over the place, so the antenna polarisation won't much matter. For example, on 10m many stations (including me) have worked DXCC with a vertical CB 1/2 wave even though the bulk of stations at the DX end use beams or horizontal antennas.