VK3NM 6 Metre Equipment
On this page various
6 metre rigs past and present will be briefly reviewed with some of the
rigs going back to the early 70s to the latest rigs available in the new
73 Lionel VK3NM
Yaesu FT- 620
- This was a 10 watt all mode transeiver with bands of 500 Khz from
50 to 54 Mhz each segments were controlled by crystals. This radio was
very popular in the 70s but the receiver would need a good pre amp for
serious DX working.
Yaesu FTV- 650B
Yaesu made 2 models of this transverter the earlier version used
Valves in the RX and TX and the B model used solid state components in
the RX but still used valves in the TX 12BY7 driver to a 6146 final
delivering about 60 - 70 watts out, The FTV- 650 was designed for the FT-
200 and the B model was for the FT- 101 series both models got their supply
voltages from the accessory sockets of the HF radios I found the B model
had a better receiver than the first model. The transverters used 28 Mhz
as the tunable IF and the 12BY7 driver in the FT-101 and 200 drove the
TX in the transverters.
Yaesu FT- 690B
These were 3 watt all mode transceivers that can be powered by internal
C size batteries with a silver telescopic whip antenna on the front and
a UHF ant socket at the rear. These units worked very well with good receiver
sensitivity and worked well with a small linear amplifier in the car or
in the shack however the S - Meter was a bit small to see when mobile.
Yaesu FT- 680R
- An excellent all mode 10 watt mobile or base station transceiver with
a very sensitive receiver and had a light blue frequency readout plus a
repeater off set switch on the earlier model this switch was underneath
the radio while on the latter model this switch was on the front.
Yaesu FT- 625D One
of the best rigs made it had very sensitive receiver and an usefull power
output of 25 Watts. The radio had a digitial readout and it was about half
size of the FT- 101s with all mode operation.
IC - 502- An Icom 3 watt portable SSB/CW portable
transceiver with a large telescopic whip and an external ant socket
and because of their small size and power they were known as "pea
nut whistles" but they were fun rigs to use.The only negative thing about
them was the dial calibration.They ran off dry cell batteries inside the
The 502 covered
1 Mhz of the band but they were easy to retune them down to 50 Mhz from
52 Mhz when 50 Mhz was returned to us in VK.
IC- 551 -
An all mode 10w transceiver with 2 VFOs which could be used for repeater
offsets and split frequency operation a decent S meter, power meter and
discriminater meter all in one. This unit came on the market in the early
was followed by a 100 watt model IC - 551D.
The 551 could
be tuned below 50 Mhz by playing around with some of the front panel controls
which made it usefull for monitoring 49.750 Mhz TV signals but the sensitivity
dropped off below 48 Mhz and the VCO dropped out all together around 46
Mhz. When listening to 49.750 Mhz the readout will display 59.750 Mhz.
The AC power
supply in the IC - 551 was a switch mode type and some of the 240 volt
models gave trouble due to not high enough voltage ratings of the diodes
and mine had 1000 PIV installed replacing the 600 PIV diodes.
IC- 505 This
model was a 10 Watt all mode transceiver that could used of internal C
type batteries or an external 12 volt supply. It had a telescopic antenna
and a external ant socket at the rear. It worked very well pedestrain mobile
with a shoulder strap or in the car.
note about this radio is never remove the whip antenna otherwise the final
transistors will be mismatched even when using the external antenna.
Kenwood TS- 600 All
mode 10 watt transceiver with an analogue dial about the half size of a
TS- 520 the 6 metre band was divided into 4 one meg segments. This a very
good radio for DX working but the only flaw I could find with the receiver
is it was proned to AM broadcast station cross modulation if you lived
near some like I did.
TS- 680 This
was a HF plus 6 metres radio with 100 watts on HF and 10 watts on six and
it was one of the best 6 metre rigs I have used both in the shack and in
the car, it was slightly small then the TS- 600 and had a digitial readout
and seperate ant sockets for HF and six.
TV- 506 This
was a 10 watt transverter for the TS- 520 HF transceivers using 10 metres
as the IF and unlike the Yaesu transverters the TV- 506 was all solid state.
Eventhough I never owned one myself I knew of others using them and thought
the receiver could use a pre amp for weak signals.
TR- 9300 A
10 watt all mode mobile transceiver with a digitial readout and very sensitive
RX One of features is to be able to tune very quickly with different steps
and also with the up/down buttons on the hand mic. A very good rig for
serious DX work.
The rigs reviewed
above can be found at various Ham conventions or advertised in the radio
magizines and perhaps on the internet.
By obtaining one
of these radios will get you on the magic band for a fraction of the price
of present day radios such as the IC- 706 or other expensive HF/VHF/UHF
73 Lionel VK3NM