Here’s an opportunity to experience a unique contest in the ham radio contesting world. The ARRL’s VHF contest is on this coming weekend. With lots of HF rigs including the six meter band, this is your opportunity to try your hand on the “magic band”. If you’ve got a horizontally polarized six meter antenna ( a homemade dipole will do) up 30 feet or more, you’ve got a great chance to experience the wonder for yourself.
Propagation on six is just plain weird. The band opens in the hot weather with May and June offering opportunities to work stations across North America and into the Caribbean. Power (while always useful) isn’t necessarily the determining factor as conditions can propagate weak signals as well as QRO stations.
If you’re a newcomer may I recommend not trying to work the DX with a vertical antenna. Polarization issues on VHF/UHF are much more exacting than on HF where signals get bounced around and shifted by the ionosphere. This weekend, if conditions are good, expect to see sporadic-E propagation which can take an absolutely dead band to wide open in a matter of minutes. It’s…well magic.
If you’ve got two meter or higher capabilities, then you can participate on those bands as well.