HAM Radio 101

Word of the Day: The Magic Band

For new Hams who have just earned their Technician license, there are plenty of ways to dive into the exciting world of Amateur Radio without the privileges that come with a more advanced license (General and Extra Class). In addition to VHF/UHF operating (which lets you contact Amateur Radio satellites and transmit long-distance signals through moonbounce, among other things), Technician class licensees are permitted to operate on 6 meters (50 MHz to 54 MHz)—more familiarly referred to as “The Magic Band.”

What’s magic about it? While 6 meters resides in the lowest portion of the VHF radio spectrum, it sometimes provides Hams with the ability to make contacts over long distances, especially during periods of high solar activity.

The popularity of working The Magic Band has spawned a number Amateur Radio products with 6 meter capabilities, including transceivers, amplifiers, antennas, and filters. Enter “6 Meters” at DXEngineering.com and you’ll find Butternut Kits to add 6 meter coverage to your HF6V antenna; ACOM HF + 6 Meter Linear Amplifiers; mobile rigs like the Yaesu FT-8900R Quad-Band Mobile FM Transceiver; and base station transceivers.

For more information about jumping on the 6 meter bandwagon, visit the Six Meter International Radio Klub (SMIRK) here.  And here’s a great article from OnAllBands on operating on two and six meters this summer.


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