Getting Started on 6m

During these tricky conditions on HF I have been enjoying a little 6m activity as we start to see some Sporadic E appearing. Sadly, most activity seems to be on FT8 these days, but I have managed a few SSB QSO also, including some shorter range inter-G stuff for VHF WAB square.

For those who are not aware, these are some useful 6m resources:

Make More Miles on VHF:

Jim Bacon’s 6m Blog at Propquest:

DX Maps: Real QSO mapping

6m Desktop:

The 6m desktop is hosted on the UK Six Metre Group pages (membership of the UKSMG is highly recommended if you get bitten by the 6m bug)!

RSGB 2020 Convention Online presentation – The magic of six metres

Please note that the views expressed in the presentation and the Q&A don’t necessarily represent those of the Radio Society of Great Britain. Chris Deacon, G4IFX Why are people so keen on the 50 MHz band? It’s not HF, it’s not really VHF. Or is it both?

Aurora in NW London – from the front garden!

10th May 2024. Like many others across the whole of the UK I was amazed to see the light show!
Some CQA calls heard on 6m.

Northern lights illuminate the skies across the UK and the world

Skies over the UK and across the world were turned shades of pink and green as the Northern Lights produced incredible displays for skygazers. The impressive Aurora Borealis, usually only visible from northern parts of the British Isles, was visible across large parts of the UK overnight, including Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and, unusually, southern England.

Newbury Rally

Enjoy rally / radio flea market this morning at the Newbury Showground.

Very hot, must have been over 30deg C by the late part of the morning. Picked up a few baragins, pictures to follow:

  • Heil Pro Set Elite headset (for Icom) with adapter cable
  • Daiwa DC7055 rotator controller, for the 6m beam and to replace an identical controller in the shack which recently went kaput!
  • Small Wonders Labs 40m QRP CW transceiver
  • QRP Labs Ultimate 3, don’t really need another and this was a bargain, think I may put this one on 630m
  • 70cm transverter
  • A massive bag of capacitors (for £1!)
  • A few vintage ARRL books
  • Mini ATU Kit
  • A fex project enclosures
  • A bag of used 18650 batteries
  • A WAB Book, mug and newsletter sub
  • DG1JAN Balun PCB

St Helena on 20m SSB

Tuning across 20m this morning and trying to work MM0PLX/P in the Shetland Islands, probably a bit close at the moment for 20m. Nevertheless, tuning across the band I was very pleased to find Peter in Jamestown, St Helena. Good copy 54 both ways.

St Helena …

Market Reef on 40m!

DXpedition 20 to 27th May 23.

Market Reef, or Märket, is a small reef with a lighthouse on the Swedish/Finnish border, just outside Åland in the Baltic sea. The border zig-zags through the island, making it a special DX entity. The OJ0 callsign prefix was issued in 1973, and has since that day been wanted in the logbooks of many DXers. At the time of writing, it currently holds the #162 on ClubLog’s DXCC most wanted list.

In May 2023 a team of four Norwegian operators will activate the entity once again, and hopefully give many operators world-wide a new (or maybe ATNO) contact with OJ0.

QMX 5-band 5W digi transceiver – ordered

Hans does it again!

Synchronised with the Dayton Hamvention I was delighted to see the annoucement of a new transceiver from QRP Labs. Ordered this morning without hesitation and looking forward to reporting on progress on the blog!
I think it will be some time before they are shipped – this will be a popular kit from QRP Labs.

Information so far:
The “QMX” (QRP Labs Mulitmode Xcvr): a feature-packed, high performance, five-band (80, 60, 40, 30, 20m) 5W multi-mode transceiver kit. , including embedded SDR receiver, 24-bit 48 ksps USB sound card, CAT control, synthesized VFO with TCXO reference. QMX transmits a SINGLE SIGNAL, it is not an SSB modulator with associated unwanted sideband and residual carrier, or intermodulation due to amplifier non-linearity. QMX outputs a pure single signal. QMX is currently only suitable for single tone FSK modes, which covers the majority of digital modes in use today (if it later supports SSB, multi-tone and phase shift digi modes will be possible). This includes everything in WSJT-X, JS8Call, some fldigi modes e.g. RTTY, Olivia and more. QMX is also suitable for on/off keyed modes such as CW because it has click-reducing RF envelope shaping; it is not suitable (until and if SSB is implemented) for phase shift keyed modes such as PSK31 or modes involving multiple concurrent tones such as WinLink.


  • 80, 60, 40, 30 and 20m
  • CW and FSK Digi modes
  • All features of QCX-mini (VFO A/B/Split, RIT, Message and frequency memories, beacon, keyer)
  • 5W output at 9V supply (can be built for 4-5W at 12-13V supply)
  • SWR bridge built in
  • Single signal transmission (zero unwanted sideband, zero residual carrier, zero intermodulation distortion)
  • Solid-state band switching and transmit/receive switching under CAT control
  • High performance embedded SDR SSB receiver with 60-70dB of unwanted sideband cancellation
  • Built-in 24-bit 48ksps USB sound card
  • Built-in USB Virtual COM Serial port for CAT control
  • Si5351A Synthesized VFO with 25MHz TCXO as standard
  • Easy to build single-board design, Professional quality 6-layer, through-hole plated, silk-screen printed PCBs
  • All SMD components factory assembled
  • Connectors: 2.1mm power barrel connector, USB B (for audio and CAT control), BNC RF input/output
  • Built-in test signal generator and testing tools
  • Switched mode regulators
  • Receive current 80mA, Transmit current 1.0-1.1A for 5W output with 9V supply (around 0.7A for 5W with 12V supply).
  • Optional aluminium extruded cut/drilled/laser-etched black anodized enclosure

After my success with the Ultimate 2 and 3, QCX Plus, QCX Classic and QCX Mini, and QDX, I am excited!

Info here: