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I have been interested in the 6m (50MHz) band from the time we were originally allocated the former Band 1 TV spectrum. To start with, only a maximum of one hundred ‘A’ licence holders would be permitted to use this new allocation, but eventually the band was made available to all ‘A’ licence holders and then subsequently released to all UK Radio Amateurs in 1986.

Harold Rose G4JLH played a major part in negotiations with the Radio Regulatory Division of the Home Office (at that time the licensing authority) on behalf of the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) for a small number of permits that would allow two-way operation on the 6 metre band. A group had been formed with Harold as Chairman and Harold himself recommended that they call themselves The UK Six Metre Group - UKSMG.

The first AGM was held at the 1982 VHF convention, where the temporary committee resigned to allow the formal appointment of a full committee and officers.

At the time, there were no 100W 6m rigs on the market and very few with 6m added at 10W output. I had a Yaesu 726 at the time, which was a three module rig with a choice of 70cms, 2m, 6m or 10m modules. My antenna was an old Band One TV dipole, which produced amazing results with 10W during the sporadic E season. I then modified a 10m HB9CV that I had brought back from my stint in Cape Town, and that plus a newly acquired BNOS 100W solid state amp improved my 2 way contact rate considerably.

I am listed as being the first UK station to work Czechoslovakia, Italy & Romania. I was also the first ZB2, Gibraltar station to be worked on 6m by many EU stations.

I eventually put up a five element Tonna antenna, and worked all continents on the six metre band during the solar peak of 1989/90.

50MHz is still my favourite band, even though I only have indoor antennas these days, with a short boom 3el duo 4/6m Yagi fixed ESE in the loft with various delta loops for other directions. Last year during the sporadic E season I worked 80 DXCC on five continents with JR1LZK at 9567km being my furthest contact.



Looking at the list of past recipients of the trophy, quite a few were really ‘big guns’ with special research permits to run 32db (1632W) into very large antennas. I am very proud to have been added to that list as a ‘small pistol’ operator.



In 2011 I built a short boom 5el LFA Yagi and pointed it towards the setting moon. Within minutes I heard tones from the speaker even though I was at the far end of my garden talking to my neighbour. I rushed in and there was W7GJ working EU stations via the moon, WOW. I called Lance with my 90W and he came straight back to me and we completed a 2 way EME on 6m. The path loss at 6m is 265db so that was an incredible achievement. It goes to show that regular stations can achieve extraordinary contacts with patience and attention to detail.



The 2022 Sporadic E season is about to burst into life and all the numbers are looking good as we climb Solar Cycle 25. Here is hoping the Solar Peak is a strong one and this 'little pistol' can work some more rare DX on the magic band.


Dick G0LFF