DXing on Six Meters

1A0KM
3DA0FR
5R8FU
5T6M
9E1S
9M2JKL
9M6BAA
AP2AM
BM6GJL
C98DC
CE2/VE7SV
CY0X
D68C
E21EIC
E30TA
FH/TU5AX
FY/W7XU
HB0/DF0FA
HC8N
HH4/W3CMP
HP1AC
JA9IPF
JW/DL3NRV
JX7DFA
K6MIO/KH6
K7JA
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 sunspot activity and no F2, 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. Some 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, on July 3, 2014 with KL7KY and on June 7, 2017 into California with K7JA, N6CA, K6FG and KF2T (NV).

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

37 US states confirmed, mostly LoTW. Needed:

3 DE        
7 ID MT UT WY  
8 MI        
9 IN WI      
0 IA KS ND NE SD

 

6m DXCC
1998
1 DL
2 TZ
3 EA
4 9G
5 ZS
6 C5
7 CT
8 OH
9 SM
10 G
1999
11 OE
12 OK
13 F
14 S5
15 5H
16 ES
17 UA
18 EU
19 7Q
20 EA9
21 9H
22 I
23 5A
24 V5
25 LZ
26 ER
27 5B
28 SV
29 LA
30 EI
31 OY
32 LY
33 VE
34 K
35 4X
36 KP4
37 KP2
38 GI
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 CT3
54 GM
55 OD
56 ZA
57 Z3
58 SV9
59 GW
60 PA
61 ON
62 ZD7
63 CN
64 ZC4
65 EA6
66 JY
67 9A
68 FH
69 3A
70 4L
71 JW
72 OZ
73 OH0
74 YL
75 HB0
76 5V
77 XT
78 J2
79 VR
80 FR
81 E3
82 ET
83 ST
84 XU
85 DU
86 VK
87 FY
88 CU
89 A4
90 E7
91 9M6
92 BY
93 EY
94 9M2
95 ZD8
96 3V
2001
97 D6
98 SU
99 TT
100 FG
101 EK
102 ZB2
103 OJ0
104 GU
105 SV5
106 HZ
107 5R
108 TA
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 TG
123 HC8
124 XE
125 * PJ2,4,9
126 P4
127 6Y
2002
128 8P
129 6W
130 9Y
131 FM
132 JT
133 YU
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 V4
163 VP2V
164 VP5
165 CO
166 4O
2007
167 HV
168 V2
169 VP2E
170 * PJ5-8
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 PJ2
189 PJ4
190 OX
191 PJ7
192 PJ5,6
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
2017
213 AP
2018
214 Z6
215 KH2