The Recent “Opening” of the 6 Meter Band


The first two weeks of February were spectacular for us hams working the 6 meter band. From my home in Northern California, I worked all western states using only 10 watts on an Icom IC-560.  No power amplifier was needed. One QSO [two way conversation] that I did lasted for 30 minutes to a gentleman right outside of  Tombstone Arizona on 52.525 Mhz FM [mode]. What was so unusual about this, is that is was not in SSB mode. The QSO was nearly as good as a local 2 meter simplex contact. The gentleman was using an Alinco FM-only mobile radio with 20 watts into a ground plane antenna.  Signals from as far away as Chicago were coming in on some of the days on 50.125 Mhz SSB. There is a reason 6 meters is know as the “magic band.”  I filled up three pages of contacts from Canada to New Mexico and all states in between. Some contact were to mobile stations. One in Twin Falls, Idaho to a gentleman driving his truck. The most popular [6 meter] rig seems to be the Icom 706. Openings like this make me glad to be a ham and enjoy the unique 6 meter band then any other band. It was an extremely thrilling few weeks.
Best Regards, – Fred The Valmet-meister