Sunday, June 7, 2015

80m = no good. 6m = good.

We finally finished unpacking the living room and kitchen this weekend so we took the boxes and materials back to our storage unit and while we were there, I grabbed my other 2 hamsticks I had in a box there for 40 and 80m.

I got right to tuning and much to my surprise, the whip I was using on 20m managed to work perfectly on 80 and 40m, giving me a low SWR match on both bands somewhere near the middle of the band.  Unfortunately the bandwidth on both is too short to go without a tuner near the ends of the bands but it isn't anything my 590 can't handle.

Things seemed to be working pretty well on 40m but it was the middle of the day so I didn't really play around with it too much.  I got the 80m antenna up and it too seemed to be working ok but when I took my headphones off I noticed I was getting into something and I think it wasn't my something... so I think I'll have to put off 80m for now!  It is no loss, 40m will be a lot of fun itself and I can probably squeeze out 30m too.  

I did hop on a bit Sunday morning and I saw spots on the DX cluster for 6m so I tuned around a bit with my 20m stick tuned up on 6 and heard a few stations from the Midwest popping up but I was unable to raise any on voice or CW, then I remembered someone mentioning they were running JT65 on 6m and tuned up to that part of the band and sure enough, I heard the familiar tones of our favorite JT mode.  I walked away with a handful of QSOs from 9 and 8 land at 20w, which is pretty cool!  6m really is a Magic Band and if you have not tried to get on before, I really recommend it!  It doesn't take much antenna; when the band is open, its open so just about anything will work.  So keep an eye on the cluster and don't be afraid to hop on sometime.