6m Dipole

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Harlock

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Hi Gang...

If I make a wire dipole for a 6m SSB transceiver, does the wire need to be tuned? I'm not really getting any clarification on this elsewhere on the web, so thought I'd check in with you all.
 

WA8ZTZ

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My 6 meter dipole measures 9' 4" overall. Works great, SWR< 1.5 : 1 from 50.050 to 50.250.
 

ko6jw_2

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You might also consider a 6 meter extended double zepp. The antenna is non-resonant and is fed by a 1/8 wave matching section. I used one several years ago when 6 meters was hot and made a lot of DX contacts. Check out the ARRL Antenna Handbook.
 

cmdrwill

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Hi Gang...
If I make a wire dipole for a 6m SSB transceiver, does the wire need to be tuned? I'm not really getting any clarification on this elsewhere on the web, so thought I'd check in with you all.
Yes the 'wire' has to be the correct length, so that would be "tuned". WA8ZTZ mentions: "My 6 meter dipole measures 9' 4" overall." Which is a half wave. That is pretty close to what my antenna calculator says.
 

Harlock

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Thanks, everyone...

I'll be working with a 9'4" dipole, and don't have an antenna tuner, so the least SWR the better. Considering using it with the MFJ 6 meter transceiver. That radio has a limited range of 50.3 MHz I believe so this 'untuned' dipole should be okay, correct?
 

ko6jw_2

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You should also consider that a dipole should be fed with a balun. In the case of the 6 meter dipole a few turns of coax to form a choke should be enough. I did that with the extended double zepp and it worked very well.
 

WA8ZTZ

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Thanks, everyone...

I'll be working with a 9'4" dipole, and don't have an antenna tuner, so the least SWR the better. Considering using it with the MFJ 6 meter transceiver. That radio has a limited range of 50.3 MHz I believe so this 'untuned' dipole should be okay, correct?
Looks like you may be referring to the MFJ 9406 transceiver. That is my radio that is used with the 9' 4"dipole mentioned in my earlier post. Has worked fine for me. However, without a band opening, don't expect too much with low power and a dipole on 6. But, when the band opens, you will work DX just like the big guns. As they say, "when 6 is open, it is OPEN". ;)
 

Seven-Delta-FortyOne

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I don't know what you mean by "un-tuned".

If you mean using the antenna without a tuner, yes you can, if your antenna is resonant on a frequency, and you transmit at or near that frequency.

If you build a single-band dipole, you might as well cut it to resonance on some frequency.

My 75 meter and 40 meter dipoles will get a dead-flat 1:1 SWR somewhere in the band. On 40, it's less that 1.3:1 across the entire General Class portion of the voice band. On 75, it doesn't get worse than about 1.5:1, from 3.800 to 3.995.

So yes, if you cut it accurately, you should be able to get pretty darn close to a 1:1 match, without a tuner, maybe on the whole band. 6 meters is only 4 MHZ wide.

Delta
 

Harlock

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WA8ZTZ - Yes, that is the radio in question. How do you like it?

I'm hesitant to purchase it because it only has a range of 50.3MHz rather than the full 50-54MHz range. Currently, I'm working towards my General class license, so I'm just shooting for an Yaesu 857 to cover 6m, and everything else I will have access to, but I do love the look of the MFJ.
 

ko6jw_2

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The MFJ radio is designed to cover the low end of the 6m band using CW and USB modes. This is the part of the band where you can work DX when the band is open, which is not right now. The 857 will give you full coverage and all mode operation. It's a lot more money, but it is a radio that you can use and make contacts with right now and in the future. Yaesu is in the process of updating their all mode mobile/portable radio line and , while the FT-857 is still available, other radios like the FT-897 have been replaced. There may be some good deals on 857's as they are phased out.
 

WA8ZTZ

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The 6 meter CW and SSB activity takes place in the low end of the band which the MFJ rig covers. It is simple to use and does an adequate job. However, if you are considering the Yaesu rig, go for it.
Way more money but way more radio. 100 watts (160 thru 6), all mode, general coverage RX, etc.,etc. It not only covers HF+6 but also 2 and 430. Make sure to get the "D" model... the latest and greatest with DSP built-in. You will need to get a power supply for base station use as it draws 22 amps on TX. If you can afford it, just get the 857D and don't look back. btw... good luck on the General. :)
 

SCPD

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Harlock, if I read your question correctly, you are asking if the antenna will need to be tuned as you move about in frequency from 50.0 to 50.3Mhz.
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A simple half wave dipole on Six is sufficiently broadband'd to be essentially "flat" SWR-wise over that entire range. Cut and adjust your antenna for 50.15 and it will not need any further attention.
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Most of your voice operation will be between ~50.125 and 50.200- a very narrow range,one not likely to expand until the F-skip returns (so don't hold your breathe :) )
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It sounds to me like you are quite new to Six. Its a fun band, but it take a bit of effort to get into it. Here, for what it is worth, are some of my insights on the band-

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Set your radio on 50.125-and listen, listen , listen-- This is the US calling frequency. If anything is happening, it will show up there first. By Gentleman/Gentlewoman's ( :) ) agreement, 50.110 is limited to non-US DX calling... Most people I know don't operate voice between 50.100 and 50.125- though there is no rule against it-- and CW is popular between 50.090 and 50.110.
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But don't let this narrow range of .125 to .200 keep you from QSY'ing higher-- especially since you are running QRP... the neighborhood about "125" is Six metre "kilowatt alley"-- if the band is open, move up and find a open spot, and call CQ- others will find you no problem.
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A low power transceiver with a dipole is starting out pretty handicap'd, but certainly workable. Mark your calendar for the June VHF contest- there, on that weekend- is where you'll find what your station is capable of. You will hear dozens and dozens of stations that are like May Flies- there for that brief period and then -gone--- not to be heard again until next year.
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I hope you come to love the ban, Cowboy.... good luck to you!
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.............................................CF
 

TheSpaceMann

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Years back I used an RCI-5054 connected to a home brewed 6 meter dipole, made from old TV rabbit ears! Had a lot of fun when the band was open!
 
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