6Y1A, Jamaica 2001

6M Results, K2KW/6Y5 Operator

While setting up for the WPX CW contest, 6m was pretty quiet. Unfortunately, we did not keep a receiver on 6m all the time, but we did check packet every 2 hours or so.

But on Monday, May 28, 6m opened up wide to the USA! The first contacts were made with a number of KP4s, KP2, and a few FMs. I also heard (loud) 9Z4, YY1, and the FY beacon, but couldnt attract the attention of the 9Z and YY. A KP4 said he just worked an EA about 10 minutes earlier, so I was bummed to potentially miss that. Then the USA started to boom in, with many signals 20 over S-9. The opening lasted for about 4 hours into the USA and Canada, logging over 460 QSOs that afternoon into over 125 grid squares. Many guys found another guy on the trip on 20m, and stopped by to thank us, as well as to tell us how loud we were on 6m. It was really nice to hear the thanks!

Tuesday, May 29 was quiet in the morning, but later in the afternoon the band started to sputter to life. There were a few contacts at first, though they were very weak. Then some strong stations started to call in, but one would think with their strength, that there would be more callers (it was just a slow trickle). Then the opening started to build a little, and a number of VE9, VE1, VE2, VE3, and New England stations got into the log. About 25 new grid squares and 100 QSOs were worked this day before our trip came to an end that evening. We left at 4 am the next morning. Too bad we had to leave, as 6M continued to have big openings in W4 and Caribbean to the USA and EU as I write this some 4 days later.

In total, 542 SSB QSOs were made, and 3 CW QSOs were made into 154 grid squares. Not bad for 2 afternoons work.

The station was a JRC JST-245 (with all the filters), and the new Acom 1000 amp. The amp is a single 4CX800, providing 1200w on 6-160m. I ran the amp at 1000w on 6m. The antenna was about 125' from the transmitter and was fed with RG-213 coax.

What makes some of this remarkable was the antenna I was using! Below is a picture of the antenna.

Many thanks for the QSOs! 73, Kenny K2KW/6Y5

6M Antenna:

The 6m antenna was a 2 element vertical Yagi. The elements are half wave long, with the driven element fed in the center. Essentally this is a 2 element Yagi turned vertical. This design was derrived from the HF verticals we have used with great success from this location.

Many had told me that verticals were not good for 6m, and I ignored them! I guess the results speak for themselves.

My choice for 6m antenna was based on being able to build something in the field, since I was already way overweight on my luggage with the HF gear. I could have put up a dipole at 40', but this simple 2 element array had more gain, and a solid lobe from 0-30 degrees take off angle (TOA). The dipole at that height had many nulls in that range. The 2 element vertical dipole array over water was a much better choice than the horizontal dipole.

The main support is a 4" diameter bamboo pole about 12' tall, with a 4' stick on the top to form a T. The wire elements were strung from the T, and were about 2' above the ground. The ocean was about 10' in front of the vertical. A 2 element vertical parasitic array has a wide azimuth lobe of ~120 degrees, so I just aimed it North/North East and left it there. If there was an European opening, this antenna would have easily covered that direction.

K2KW at the 6m station.