I get 6-meter activity alerts sent to my e-mail via DX Sherlock, and I’ve been receiving them regularly for the last week or so, but whenever I turn on the rig, all I hear is fairly course static.
I was out on my evening walk and remembered the Sandlapper SSB Net meets on Tuesday evenings around 8 p.m. After a sudden thunderstorm cut my walk short, I dashed into the house, toweled off and spun the VFO until I was on 50.250. I didn’t hear anything at first, then Paul, K4IRT, came on with a weather report and check-ins ensued. His signal sounded weak but I could clearly copy him above the noise.
I was simply happy to have finally heard ANYONE on 6 meters. So I attempted to check in. To my surprise, I was heard. Once he realized I was calling from Columbia, he aimed his beam my way and we could hear each other clearly.
He mentioned a net for me to check out: The long-established North Carolina Six Meter SSB Net, held Saturday mornings around 8 a.m. on 50.200. I’ll give it a listen, as I’ve been trying to participate in more nets on sideband, but it does appear a beam antenna is required for this type of work unless the band is wide open.