DXing on Six Meters

1A0KM
3A/OH2BC
3DA0FR
5R8FU
5T6M
9E1S
9M2JKL
9M6BAA
BM6GJL
C98DC
CE2/VE7SV
CY0X
D68C
E21EIC
E30TA
FH/TU5AX
FY/W7XU
HB0/DF0FA
HC8N
HH4/W3CMP
HP1AC
JA9IPF
JW/DL3NRV
JX7DFA
K6MIO/KH6
KH7R
KL7KY
NH7RO
OA4TT
ST0R
ST2SA
SV2ASP/A
TG9AJR
TJ3AY
TS7N
TU2T
VE7SL
VK6JQ
VU2ZAP
XE1KK
XT2OW
XV3AA
XW0X
YA4F
YI9OM
ZD8SIX

Perseverance - Patience - Propagation

My radio neighbor Thomas, DL7AV, got me interested in 6 meters, since he devoted most of his radio career to that magic band. As the current sunspot cycle 23 was still on the incline and after putting a 6 meter 5 element M² yagi on top of my highest tower and purchasing an ICOM IC-706, I began my 6m activity in October 1998.

Six meters reminds me very often of 160m, a challenge of its own because propagation is not at all or hardly predictable and you "have to be there" at the right time. Openings usually last only a few minutes, sometimes only 30 seconds. The band is often called the Magic Band but it is most of the time the Tragic Band, when you live in latitudes with rare good openings and when others, just a hundred kilometers away, work DX and you hear nothing at all because propagation can be so extremely selective. But there are always unexpected surprises which compensate the frustration of an empty band with no signals for long periods of times.

Antennas

I've been using a 5 element M² yagi on top of my highest tower from 1998 until 2007 with great results. However, escpecially in years of low suspot activity, every dB counts and we took it down:

The 5 element M² had a 5 meter boom and I wanted to try out a 10 meter boom yagi:

On July 7, 2007 we installed a new 6m yagi, a 7 element I0JXX design antenna on a 10m boom. First QSO was 1A0KM on July 13 as DXCC entity #172.

I was however never happy with the quality and performance of this antenna and installed a M² 6M8GJ, a 8 element on a 13m/42’ 8“ boom in June 2011. It is mounted above the Force 12 interlaced 3 element 40m and 6 element 20m yagi.

This is finally a very, very good antenna. Click here to see more pictures of the assembly and installation.

DXCC

I set my goal to achieve DXCC on 6m. In late October 2000, after a very good DX season, I had worked 26 WAZ zones and reached my 100th DXCC entity after a QSO with Nodir, EY8MM. Nodir visited us in August 2005.

6m DXCC DF3CB

The winter 2001/2002 season brought another bunch of incredible F2 openings into Asia, Central and North America which increased my country total to 136 DXCC entities and 32 zones.

I've reached 200 current DXCC entities (plus two deleted) on June 23, 2012. See my 6m QSL Collection and the table on the right. Three of the most remarkable openings were on March 29, 2002, when we were able to work KH7R, K6MIO/KH6 and NH7RO long path in a 40-minute opening, on July 8, 2003 VE7SL and on July 3, 2014 with KL7KY.

You have to be there at the right time but in real life you can't. So I missed at least 15 DXCC entities and quite a few of them by just a few minutes, for example VQ9, 8Q7, V73AT, 4S7 and others.

WAZ

6m WAZ DF3CB

I've reached 37 WAZ Zones, all terrestrial, no EME.

6m worked zones DF3CB

The last two new ones were Zone 12 in 2012 (CE2/VE7SV) and Zone 1 on July 3, 2014 (KL7KY). We have had propagation to ZL (Zone 32) on Feb 3, 2002 SP coming as close as S5, 9A and I1 but the signals didn't make it to here.

Grids and States

I do not collect grid squares but the following map shows what I have achieved in the past years (it does not show what I have missed...):

6m worked fields DF3CB

Fields worked from my grid locator JN58TE

6m worked states DF3CB

US states worked.

6m DXCC
1998
1 DL
2 TZ
3 9G
4 ZS
5 EA
6 C5
7 CT
8 G
9 SM
10 OH
1999
11 OE
12 OK
13 F
14 UA
15 ES
16 7Q
17 5H
18 EU
19 S5
20 EA9
21 I
22 9H
23 5A
24 V5
25 LZ
26 ER
27 5B
28 SV
29 LA
30 OY
31 LY
32 EI
33 K
34 VE
35 4X
36 KP4
37 GI
38 KP2
39 SP
40 9J
41 OM
42 UR
43 3C
44 5X
45 TR
46 GD
47 HB
48 UN
2000
49 Z2
50 PY
51 LU
52 YO
53 ZA
54 CT3
55 GM
56 OD
57 SV9
58 Z3
59 ON
60 PA
61 GW
62 ZC4
63 CN
64 ZD7
65 FH
66 9A
67 EA6
68 JY
69 3A
70 4L
71 JW
72 YL
73 OZ
74 OH0
75 HB0
76 5V
77 XT
78 J2
79 FR
80 VR
81 E3
82 ET
83 ST
84 XU
85 DU
86 VK
87 FY
88 CU
89 A4
90 E7
91 BY
92 9M6
93 EY
94 9M2
95 ZD8
96 3V
2001
97 D6
98 SU
99 TT
100 FG
101 EK
102 ZB2
103 OJ0
104 SV5
105 GU
106 HZ
107 TA
108 5R
109 IS0
110 GJ
111 3DA
112 C9
113 JA
114 EA8
115 HP
116 UK
117 VU
118 D4
119 YV
120 XW
121 YB
122 HC8
123 XE
124 TG
125 6Y
126 P4
127 * PJ2,4,9
2002
128 FM
129 8P
130 9Y
131 6W
132 YU
133 JT
134 EX
135 LX
136 3W, XV
137 5N
138 7P
139 KH6
140 D2
141 JX
142 FS
143 YI
144 3X
145 PY0F
146 9L
2003
147 4U1ITU
148 T7
149 TF
150 A6
151 C6
152 YA
153 S0
154 5T
155 A7
2004
156 7X
157 SV/A
158 J7
2005
159 HA
2006
160 HI
161 C3
162 VP2V
163 V4
164 VP5
165 CO
166 4O
2007
167 HV
168 V2
169 * PJ5-8
170 VP2E
171 J8
172 1A
2008
173 CY0
174 ZF
175 FJ
2009
176 TN
177 OA
178 TL
179 4J, 4K
180 8R
181 J3
182 VP9
2010
183 A9
184 9K
185 E4
186 PZ
2011
187 TJ
188 PJ4
189 PJ2
190 OX
191 PJ5,6
192 PJ7
193 Z8
194 TY
195 TU
196 EL
2012
197 6O,T5
198 3B8
199 CX
200 TK
201 CE
202 HH
203 HL,DS
204 5U
2013
205 HK
2014
206 ZP
207 KL7
2015
208 9Q
209 3B9
210 5Z
2016
211 BV
212 HS