Do you ever get those times when all your radio scanner use comes down to just listening to a small section of whats available?. That’s something I’m going through at the moment with a heavy interest in the 50 MHz amateur band that’s cut back on nearly everything else I usually monitor 🙂
The way propagation on 6 meters works has always fascinated me but lately its turning into a time eating obsession.
Keeping an eye on the band is done via SDR, which is kept running on a separate computer. This means any changes or sudden crop of signals aren’t missed as I’m always doing something on my main computer and besides continuously changing between tabs is tiresome.
I also like to have the occasional look at some local online software defined radio feeds (which have much better antennas/locations than me). This sometimes throws up signals that I then go hunting for on my own radio gear.
Sadly one of the best of these has recently removed its 6 meter option and I’m hoping its only temporally.
On top of all this is the valuable information given out on the 50 MHz ham radio DX cluster, this alone can sometimes show (very quickly) what the overall conditions are like on 6 meters.
On the Up!
Things have got much better since moving to this location with more altitude and freedom to put up more ambitious antennas, taking all my radio monitoring on everything above the shortwave bands to a different level and can’t believe I didn’t do it earlier.
Bring on the Quad
Now looking at putting up a directional quad antenna for 6 meters. Even though I could probably buy a purpose built one, I,m leaning toward constructing one myself and have found a few very good designs floating around the Internet.
This would mean getting my hands on another rotator but the finished quad should be light enough to keep the weight the rotor has to deal with along the cost down.
About the only thing that has a bigger chunk of my time at the moment is the usual weekend sessions listening to shortwave pirate radio stations. I’m sure my ’50 MHz’ stage will calm down once something else grips my attention 🙂