Over the past month I’ve been further developing my six meter station and spending some time on the air.

Equipment

You’ve see my previous post where I added the Elecraft PR6 preamp. Not much else going on at the moment for equipment. I do have my heart set on adding the Elecraft KPA500 linear amplifier. But that will no doubt need to wait at least until late this year.

Antennas

I’ve been reviewing my options around adding some more gain to my antenna set up. I’ve also looked at setting up a turnstile antenna. That seems like a good replacement for my current dipole – putting in place a horizontally polarized omnidirectional antenna. The trouble is that I need to buy an antenna analyzer that covers six meters. They are not cheap. I’d need this to tune the 1/4 phasing line as well as the individual dipoles and any matching coax.

I have, however, ordered an InnovAntennas 3-element LFA beam. This will just barely fit into my side yard, replacing the Par Electronics Stressed Moxon. It will nearly double the forward gain and bring the beamwidth to 60 degrees from 76 degrees. I’m looking forward to deploying this beam for the June Es and contests.

On the Air

The on the air experience has been just fantastic over the past few days. The Es have lit up North America and brought in some TEP openings as well. I hope you’ve been able to get on the air and take advantage of the openings.

I was able to work a few new grid squares as well as LU, PY, and CO. It’s been great fun. I have to say that I really love the Elecraft P3. I can readily spot signals that are coming through across both the CW and Phone sections of the band.

VUCC 125

I also gathered up some QSL cards and had them checked by a local card checker. I was able to earn VUCC 100 via Logbook of the World. Right now I have about 157 worked and 142 confirmed, but most of those after the initial 100 are only with QSL cards.

I’ll tell you that the paper application has it’s challenges. Each two-letter grid needs its own record of QSL cards within that segment. Then you need to point out where the grid square information is printed on each card. My DXCC card checker, George K5GH, did a great job.

What I’m wondering about is how those cards will be recorded on the VUCC record at ARRL. Will each grid square be recorded on LoTW? Or will I need to keep records of each application? I am really impressed with those who have earned the Fred Fish Memorial Award. They have to be great operators and fantastic record keepers!

That’s what I’ve been up to on six meters. I have been having great fun as well as listening to a bit of static between openings. But those openings are great!

 

What do you think?