Six metres (50 MHz) was my main DX band and over the the 80's and 90's I worked many stations around ZL, VK
and other countries around the Pacific. The longest distance was to ZF1RC, Roger, on Caymen Is. in the western Caribbean.
My start was on a 2m to 6m transverter putting out 15W, after a couple of years advancing to a Yaesu FT690R, (2.5W)
and external 30W amplifier then around 1990 upgraded to an Icom IC551D, (80W) which I still use. The 551D is getting
very old now and has developed a few faults that I haven't been able to solve. With the uncertainty of amateurs retaining
use of the 6m band I wont replace it with a standalone unit, more likely with a multiband rig like a IC 706 that has HF,
6m, 2m, and 70cm.
In ZL, I was using a 6 ele. yagi on a 6 metre boom at about 8m off the ground a design from ARRL VHF manual 1972 ed.
pg's 182-3, a brilliant performer!!.
Below are the FT690R (left) and IC 551D (right)
On 2m and 70 cm I am still quite active. In ZL, I had 2 x 10 ele 2m yagi's vert. polarised spaced 2m apart at 10 metres
height. Between these yagi's there was a vertical Diamond X200 2m/70cm colinear, a great antenna, one I liked so
much I purchased another one after getting back on the air in Sydney. Both antennae were fed individually with 2 x 12m
lengths of Andrews 7/8 inch Heliax, wonderful lo-loss cable!!. From ZL4, I worked a number of VK2 stations on
2m SSB (144.100 MHz), with path distances around 2100 - 2200 km. I was able to do the same from VK2 for the first
time in the summer season of Dec 2003 and Jan 2004, working ZL1,2 and 3 call areas using the Icom IC290H, 30W
into the Diamond X200 vertical.
In VK2, on home base, I'm still using the 2metre IC 290H (All mode), its been a good rig giving me almost 20 years of service.
On 70cm I am using a Tait T500 series II synthesised 2 channel xceiver. And for the mobile a Yaesu FT 90R dual band
2m/70cm FM transceiver.
Over the last 25 years I have owned a number of HF rigs, but it wasn't till jan 1st 2004, when the CW requirement for
VK operators was finally dropped, that I was able to transmit on HF. Some of the transceivers included an Icom 701, a
Yaesu FT101E, FT 200 and finally the Kenwood TS120V. Unfortunately my activities on HF were short-lived. 40 metres
was my band of choice and it was 8 short weeks before I got notification from the apartment block "body corporate" that
I was causing TVI to some of the other residents. Thats what I get for living in a hi-density housing complex. Maybe one
day I will be in a better location for HF operations.