Early History of 6m in EI ..... (1957 to 1980)

.....By John, EI7GL

In 1957, several countries in Europe gave their radio amateurs special permission to operate on 50 MHz for the International Geophysical Year. In Ireland, Harry Wilson, EI2W, recieved such a license. Due to the fact that this was the peak of a very good sunspot cycle, EI2W made many contacts on 50 MHz that were all time firsts from Ireland and Europe.

EI2W's station was located at Foxrock, Co. Dublin at 240 Feet above Sea Level. He used a homebrew AM transmitter, with an input of 40 watts, crystal controlled on 50.016 MHz. During this time, he was able to operate from the 27th of October, 1957 to the 28th of January, 1958.

At the peak of Solar Cycle 21 in 1979/1980, conditions in Europe were completely different. At this time, TV was firmly established on Band 1 (45 to 65 MHz) and the various licensing authorities around Europe were hostile to the use of 50 MHz by radio amateurs. The only exception was in Ireland where EI2W was given special permission and was the only 50 MHz licensed amateur in Northern Europe for the peak of Cycle 21.

For this cycle, EI2W was using 10 watts into a 4 Element J-Beam Yagi. He was operational from the 8th of November 1979 to the 29th of December 1980. All his contacts were on SSB. During this cycle, he succeeded in working 40 states of the USA on 50 MHz.

When I recieved special permission to use the 6m metre band in the late 80's, I recieved a letter from EI2W which outlined what he had worked in Cycles 19 and 21. What is shown below is more or less a exact copy of the information that he sent me.

Cycle 19 (1957/1958)

States worked by EI2W on 50 MHz during the Intenational Geophysical Year and dates 27th of October 1957 to 28th of January 1958.
The call signs given are the first stations worked in each state or province.

1. New York - W2JTE (First USA Station worked)
2. Ohio - W8CMS
3. Mass - W1HOY
4. Virginia - W4UCH
5. New Jersey - W2RGV
6. PA - W3UE
7. Wisconsin - W9DSP
8. Minn - K0AKJ
9. Maine - W1GKJ
10. New Hampshire - W1YQH
11. Tenn - W4LNB
12. Maryland - W3OJU
13. Calif - K6GDI
14. Conn - W1LGE
15. Rhode Island - W1IGP???
16. Texas - W5PDE
17. Arizona - W7GRA
18. Okla - W5VCJ
19. Colorado - K0KWS
20. Wyoming - K7ILL
21. Michigan - K8ACC
22. Kanas - W0ZJB
23. LA - K5GHK
24. Iowa - W0PFP
25. Missouri - W0IBL
26. New Mexico - W5NSJ
27. North Carolina - K4JDD
28. Illinois - W9QUV
29. Vermont - W1HFN
30. Florida - W4UUF
31. Alabama - K4HJB
32. Missipi - K5DOZ
33. Nebraska - W0YZJ
34. Arkanas - W5EMT
35. Indinia - W9BSL
This list completes the 35 states worked during the 19th Solar Cycle.

Canadian Provinces
VE3AIU - 1st Canadian QSO

During the period 27th of October 1957 to the 28th of January 1958, W1HOY was worked 19 times and was the most consistent signal on 50 MHz over the whole operating period. W8CMS and W4UCH were always reliable and strong signals when the band was open.

The strongest signals were from the states of Texas and Arizona.

The earliest recorded opening was on Christmas Day, the 25th of December 1957 when W1LGE was worked at 13:35 UTC. The latest opening was on the 5th of January 1958 when W5NSJ (New Mexico) was worked at 18:28 UTC with the beam pointing to the North Pole.

During the period, 271 contacts were established with 190 different stations in 35 states and 2 Canadian provinces.

Break Up of Area Contacts

W1/K1 - 74 QSO's with 41 different stations.
W2/K2 - 46 QSO's with 23 different stations.
W3 - 14 QSO's with 14 different stations.
W4/K4 - 27 QSO's with 21 different stations.
W5/K5 - 36 QSO's with 32 different stations.
W6/K6 - 4 QSO's with 4 different stations. (Each of these 4 Californian stations obtained WAC Award on 50 MHz for completing the working of Europe on this band)
W7 - 9 QSO's with 7 different stations.
W8/K8 - 20 QSO's with 12 different stations.
W9/K9 - 5 QSO's with 5 different stations.
W0/K0 - 23 QSO's with 21 different stations.

VE1 - 11 QSO's with 8 different stations.

Cycle 21 (1979/1980)

Report on the 21st Solar Cycle - 1979/1980

During this cycle, I was operating from a different QTH about 12km South of Dublin City, Locator IO63ND. I operated from the 8th of Novenber 1979 to the 29th of December 1980.

I used exclusively SSB for all contacts with 10 watts to a 4 Element J-Beam.
My very happy memories of this cycle was the large number of stations operating from North America and the co-operation recieved from my good friend and fellow amateur, Albert EI6AS. He was always ready with advice and help when needed and many of my contacts can be attibuted to his expetise as a most dedicated amateur.

I found the use of SSB a great advantage over the AM used during the 19th cycle.
741 different stations were worked in North America, many several times in one day. The break down was as follows :

W1 - 120 Different stations worked.
W2 - 110 Different stations worked.
W3 - 78 Different stations worked.
W4 - 65 Different stations worked.
W5 - 120 Different stations worked.
W6 - 29 Different stations worked.
W7 - 57 Different stations worked.
W8 - 76 Different stations worked.
W9 - 39 Different stations worked.
W0 - 47 Different stations worked.

Also worked were VE1-2-3-4. Also Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

In all during the cycle, 3,020 QSO's were made.
New states added to the 35 already worked during the 19th Solar Cycle were as follows :

No.36 - 12th Nov 1979 - Delaware - W1NGR
37 - 18th Nov 1979 - Georgia - WB4NMA
38 - 18th Nov 1979 - Nevada - K7ZOK
39 - 6th Dec 1979 - Kentucky - WA4ELH
40 - 9th Dec 1979 - Washington - K7KI
41 - 10th Dec 1979 - West Virginia - WD8QAA
42 - 11th Dec 1979 - North Dakota - WA0CQL
43 - 11th Dec 1979 - South Dakota - K0UDZ
44 - 17th Dec 1979 - South Carolina - K4RV

One memorable contact during the 21st Cycle was with WD8DRD on the 15th of January, 1980. His power was 3 watts!!!
On the 18th of November 1979, 106 stations were worked in USA and Canada, including VE4AS in Winnipeg. The band opened at 13:05 UTC and closed at 17:27 UTC. Areas 5,6 and 7 were very strong signals.

Two way QSO's have now been made with the following countries : -
USA, Canada, Gibraltar, Malta, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Liberia, Greece, United Nations, Luxemboug, G, GD, GI, GW, GM, GU and GJ.

I trust these results will convey to operators on this band the wide potential.
Outside the cycle, a great opening took place to the USA and Canada on the 19th of June 1987. WA1OUB, K1JRW, K1TOL, AF1T and VE1YX were strong signals between 18:15 and 19:00 UTC. WA1VTA and WB2WSE were still coming through around 2000 UTC.

Our thanks are due to stations like Ted, G4UPS who opened up new territories. Thanks Ted

EI2W, 1987.

Other Info.....

EI2W's QSL Card

....Recording of EI2W on 6m in 1979...(Credit - UKSMG Website)

....Recording of EI2W on 6m by WA5IYX on the 7th of November, 1979...(Credit - WA5IYX's website)

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The URL of this page is http://www.qsl.net/ei7gl/6m_eihis.htm Last Modified : 26th Jan 2001