6 Meter Opening Using Vertical Antenna and JT65

Finally had a little 6 meter opening yesterday evening.  This is the first opening we have had here since I made the 6 meter vertical with 2 radials.  It is nice to see an opening here for the start of the 6 meter E season.


The 6 meter vertical does not seem to perform very well.  A friend about 35 miles south west of me was also on the air during the opening running a 6 meter halo @ 25 feet and copied about twice as many stations as my vertical.  Below is a map showing the stations that I heard.


I did manage to make a few qso’s running 10 watts to the vertical.  Below is a map showing where I was heard.


It was fun to make a few qso’s on 6 meter JT65.  I plan to put up a 6 meter moxon antenna at about 16 feet high this weekend if the weather permits.



6 Meter Vertical With 2 Radials

I have made a 6 meter vertical here.  My 40-6 meter OCF dipole is near resonant on 6 meters but I wanted to have a vertical ready when the E-Skip season starts soon.  I used the mount that was used in the previous post for a 20 meter tripod vertical with elevated radials.  Had a part of an old telescoping whip that is used for the vertical element on 6 meters.  Used 2 of the radials from the 20 meter vertical shortened to resonate on 6 meters.  Went with 2 radials only because is was convenient. Tied the radials off to points along the fence.   I hope to be able to work some stations this summer with the JT digital modes on 6 meters.

6 meter 2

The mast is three 4 foot sections of some stack-able fiberglass military surplus stuff.  The mast is bungee corded to a fence post.  Using the same coax choke that was on the 20 meter vertical.  Feed point for the 6 meter vertical is at about 12 feet.  Hoping the band would open this weekend but no luck yet. Did manage to work one local station on JT65 mode at about 35 miles. The other station was using a 6 meter halo.

6 meter 1

MFJ 2286 Big Stick Vertical

Just received the MFJ 2286 vertical for 40-6 meters.  It is a MFJ 1979 17 foot telescoping whip with a loading coil for using it on 40 and 30 meters also.  I may use it for portable operations.  I have a tripod that I use with my 32 ft fiberglass telescoping pole and decided to try it with the MFJ 2286 to make an elevated vertical with 3 radials.

MFJ 2286 1

Here is what I started with, the antenna, the tripod, and a couple 4 foot sections of fiberglass military stack-able pole that fits the tripod.

MFJ 2286 2

Went to ACE Hardware and purchased a couple of hose clamps, a 8 inch piece of plumbing pipe and a couple of wing nuts for attaching the radials.

MFJ 2286 3

Here is the finished mount attached to one of the 4 foot pieces of fiberglass pole.

MFJ 2286 4

Here is the finished antenna set up for 20 meters.  Feed point is at 12 feet and using three 16.5 foot radials.  The radials are just attached to some bricks.  They act like guy wires for the entire setup.  Feeding it with 50 feet of RG8X to a coaxial choke at the feed point that I already had.  The coaxial choke is bungee corded to the pole.  Radials are actually 33 feet long and just coiled tightly at the ends to make the length adjustable.  Using some reusable cable ties for the radial coils.

The antenna was easily tuned to about a 1.3 to 1 swr in the lower part of the 20 meters band.  I did a few WSPR transmissions and compared it to my OCF 40-10 meter dipole at 30 feet.  It performed at least as well as the OCF dipole.  I also called on cw a few times and checked reversebeacon.net and the vertical was better on most stations by a few db.

Will probably put it on 15 meters next as I do not have an antenna that works well on that band.

JT65 and JT9 on 10 Meters Today

There has been poor propagation on 10 meters here for the last week or so.  The propagation has returned today!  I left the rig on monitoring 10 meter JT65 and JT9 for the last 12 hours.  Received 235 different stations so far. Hope the band stays good for the weekend.  Below is a screen shot from pskreporter.  Using an Icom 7000 and an OCF dipole at 30 feet.


WSJT 20 Meters JT65 and JT9

The ham shack here is located in a building about 60 feet behind the house.  I use it mostly by remote from within the house across the LAN.  Since moving the ham shack to the outside building in December 2014 I usually leave one rig and computer on all the time.  Usually the rig is running WSJT or perhaps WSPR.  I can also access the rig across the internet when needed.  Below is a screenshot taken from my work location via internet just a few minutes ago.

Remote 04092015

The rig has been on for the last few days receiving JT on 20 meters.  When I checked pskreporter.info this morning to see what has been received at my station I noticed that 457 transmitting stations were received in the last 24 hours.  I do not track how many stations I usually receive over time but 457 seems like a high number.  During the 24 hours 59 different countries were received.  JT65 and JT9 are amazing modes.  And the JT modes also are easy to operate remotely at my station.

20 meter jt65

I love to operate JT65 and JT9 here at 5 watts output.  It is amazing what can be worked with low power.  The rig used remote is an Icom 7000 with an LDG IT100 auto tuner and the antenna is a OCF Dipole (40-10m) at 30 feet.  Using N4PY remote control software and VNC (or teamviewer) for remote access and Skype for audio if needed.  (no need to remote the audio for JT modes).