Now is the time to enjoy the six meter band. You do not have to wait for a meteor shower, or that special time when the “magic band” comes to life. Six meters is alive and well and waiting for you to crackle some RF energy into the air.
There is a new six meter repeater on Bear Mountain, which is about 20 miles east of Clovis. Allen Hancock (WA6IPZ) has deployed his six meter repeater around 3500 feet ASL. The coverage offered by this elevation allows for handheld 6m radios to get in on the fun, like the Wouxun KG-UV5D or an older Cherokee AH50 6m HT. A Yaesu 817ND can also get in on the 6m FM action. As always, an improved antenna connected to low power radios help.
Allen is no stranger to six meters. He previously deployed a six meter repeater at his home in Hanford and is the most active mobile 6m operator I have encountered. Now with the new elevation, many portable, mobile and home operators in the central valley area can use the band more often. Do not worry too much about a perfect 6m antenna setup. As I noted, a 6m handheld is able to get in. I also reach the repeater using 5W with an off-center fed antenna. A few more watts and your signal will of course improve. Experiment and have fun. Share with others on the repeater what you are using.
A PL tone of 82.5 Hz is required but the repeater does not send the tone out, so avoid tone squelch on the RX and adjust the squelch knob a bit. Six meter FM is not narrow DMR, it is nice and wide, perfect for extended conversations. Setup the split and join in.
WA6IPZ (-500 kHz offset)
RX: 52.840 MHz
TX: 52.340 MHz
PL: 82.5 Hz
* An additional six meter repeater is located on Black Mountain approximately 20 miles NE of Clovis around 3500′ ASL.
WR6VHF (-500 kHz offset)
RX: 51.820 MHz
TX: 51.320 MHz
PL: 162.2 Hz