[VHFcontesting] There is still hope on 6m

Ed Kucharski k3dne at comcast.net
Sun Feb 7 17:23:11 EST 2021


It depends. June 2020 was dominated by 6m sporadic E. Probably not a great comparator. Some June's we have lots of E's, sometimes very little. You are correct, 6m rate does not correspond with running bands since many (maybe all?) of those Q's via 6m E's are not workable on 2m and above. To QSY stations to other bands the quantity of stations workable on groundwave (on 6 or 2m) is the more important factor to being able to work other bands - which is happening less and less due to FTx.

I recently took a historical perspective of September contests and did a lot of data mining. There was a dramatic percentage increase (and number) of QSO’s which took place on 6 and 2 meters in the September VHF contests between 2017 and 2020. However, in 2020 only 29% of 6 meter QSO’s were made on legacy (SSB, CW, FM) modes and 63% of 2 meter QSO’s were made on legacy modes. If you subtract the non-weak signal mode of FM from the legacy category, the percentage drops to 28% on 6m and 58% on 2m. Essentially only about ¼ of 6m QSO’s and about ½ of 2m QSO’s in September 2020 were made on a traditional weak signal mode! This compares with the 2017 event where 80% and 99% of QSO’s were made on via a legacy mode on 6m and 2m respectively. I’d hypothesize that prior to FTx (2017) both the 6m and 2m percentages were most likely well over 90% with digital QSO’s being made only on the digital modes for EME and meteor scatter available at that time (I don't have access to those #'s). Also of note was the significant decrease in QSO’s in bands above 1296 MHz during 2020 and 2018 (44% decrease compared to their previous years respectively). 

It appears that FTx, at least during the September contests, is having an impact on the quantity of QSO's made on a traditional weak signal mode. It is interesting that as the # of weak signal QSO's on 6 and 2m have decreased between 2017 and 2020 that the # of submitted logs have increased from ~475 in 2017 to 831 in 2020 which seems to indicate more overall activity from FTx but less activity on 6 and 2m SSB/CW. 


>     On 02/07/2021 2:51 PM Wyatt Dirks < dirkswyatt10 at gmail.com mailto:dirkswyatt10 at gmail.com > wrote:
>     Most of this ft8 ruining vhf Contesting seems to be 6m based and once again
>     I'll share that this is just not the case. In June 2020 I made nearly 1000
>     ssb qsos on 6m.
>     The biggest issue is getting people to run bands which is completely
>     unrelated to 6m rate.
>     I just wanted to share a document I put together mainly for me to remember
>     the 2020 contest and my first attempt at limited multi op. Totals above 6m
>     are bad but thats life outside the east coast and we didn't have eme
>     capability.
>     73 wyatt
>     Ac0ra
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