2018 has been a summer 6m E-Skip (Es) season to remember. The Es openings have been strong this year and they are continuing into the second half of July. We are enjoying almost daily openings to Europe and the western USA from here in New England. For fun, I’ve plotted my 6m Grids worked and confirmed to date using WG7J’s GridMapper site.
We got started a little late with 6m Es operations this year but the conditions have really helped our Grids, DXCC’s, and States totals worked on 6m. My totals are currently standing at:
- 6m DXCC’s – 55 worked
- 6m US States – 48 of 50 (only AK and HI still needed)
- 6m Grids – 357 worked
A great deal of this progress has been made in 2018. Here are my 6m worked totals since the beginning of the year:
- 6m DXCC’s – 48 worked
- 6m US States – 46 worked (All but AK and HI)
- 6m Grids – 312 worked
The new FT8 and MSK144 modes has made more difficult 6m contacts much easier. This is especially true for DX contacts into Europe and Africa.
At this point, we have worked most of the grids in the eastern half of the US. There are still some “rare” ones that are needed and a contact with Delaware is still needed for my last state on 6m in the continental USA. Alaska and Hawaii will be a challenge on 6m and I may need to use JT65 and EME propagation to work these states on 6m.
With some work on QSL’ing, the recent 6m activity will add significant progress to several of my operating awards. The new 6m DXCC’s worked recently should enable breaking the 2,000 band point level on my DXCC Challenge Award.
If you are interested in trying 6m operations or perhaps you are a new Technician Licensee or are looking for something new to try, don’t forget about the Magic Band (6m). The availability of FT8 mode has really enhanced the activity on 6m. Give it a try!