The weather was beautiful today and I really didn’t want to do anything that I needed to do so it sounded like a perfect day for Amateur Radio. I checked various propagation sites and saw that 6m was open. This combined with the fact that I had a new (to me) Par Electronics SM-50 6m Stressed Moxon waiting to be deployed made for a good day for portable operation.
I’ve wanted to get one of the Par Moxons for awhile and found one at the ORC spring hamfest. It was complete in the original box and the price was right so it followed me home. The antenna gets really good reviews on eHam and is perfect for portable operation. It is very easy to assemble and is very well made. The reflector is a piece of Flex Weave wire with ring lugs on the ends that screw into the arms that lead out from the driven element causing them to bow in a wee bit. I placed it on the top of a bit over 20 feet of pipe welded together for just this purpose and fed it with about 30 feet of RG-8U.
By the time that I got the antenna up and the rest of the station (Kenwood TS-480SAT) assembled the band was starting to get busy. I went to the SSB calling frequency, 50.125 and listened for a bit, hearing nothing I called CQ and got an almost immediate response from WA1T in New Hampshire. Great signal reports both ways and I was working off the side of the antenna at that point. Using my armstrong rotator I moved the antenna around and moved up and down a bit on the band from 50.125 to 50.150 looking for stations. In less than two hours of operation I had made a dozen contacts, most with good signal reports though with some effort as the band moved around. Some stations were there and strong and the next instant they were gone so some contacts were missed. Most all of the stations I contacted were running as much or more power and had larger antennas than I so it was good that they had better ears than mine, but the little Moxon on some pipe in the backyard performed well. More investigation is required in order to determine if the pile of flowers at the base of the mast had any influence on signal strength. Could this be the origin of the phrase “flower power?”
I heard\called a few Texas stations but the only one that heard me was K5HGX. I also heard\called some stations in zero-land but was unable to complete any contacts.
It was a fun afternoon trying out the new Moxon and operating a portable 6m station. Now that I have this nice antenna I’ll be watching for 6m band openings.