Don’t Forget About 6m Opening Up This Time of Year

   Back on Dec. 20th, I posted about 6m opening up with sporadic E skip.   This is the propagation mode that can suddenly make 400-1500 mile (or more, with double hop Es) contacts possible on 6m.   This is a big part of why they call 6m The Magic Band.   Since Dec. 20th, there have been some decent 6m openings.   One was on Sunday night, if memory serves.   Anyway, I’m reading email right now (4:00pm central) from an FM broadcast band DX’er in South Carolina who is hearing the Dominican Republic well up the FM radio band.   I wouldn’t be surprised if 6m is open.   I can’t monitor myself — my 6m beam broke in half 3 Sundays ago in the blizzard.  
    Get on 6 and have fun.   Winter openings are a lot more valuable than the long-lived, strong ones in summer.   Make the most of it.   Call short CQ’s on 50.125 but don’t hold QSO’s there.   Move up the band.   (You want to leave 50.100-125 open for the DX window — DX meaning no USA/USA contacts)   50.125 and above is where you want to operate stateside.   There’s also a CW-only portion from 50.080-50.100, and there’s often good activity there. 
     But don’t hesitate to call CQ.  You wouldn’t believe how many times the band is open but nobody is actually on.   How do you know the band is open?  By checking the beacon band –US beacons are from 50.060-50.080 and worldwide ones from 50.000-50.060.   Remember, if 100 guys are all listening and nobody is calling CQ, then no one will ever hear a thing.  
     Let me find the link to the good 6m beacon listing… make sure you save that.  
     Worldwide 6m beacons:  http://www.keele.ac.uk/depts/por/50.htm   
     USA 2m and higher beacons:   http://www.newsvhf.com/beacons2.html

     Oh yes — also remember that on4kst.com chat has a very active 6m room.   You want the IARU Region 2 room there (for 50 MHz)

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