The Magic Band
50 MHz

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50 MHz in Belgium:

In Belgium radioamateur operators may use:



IARU Region 1 50MHz Band Plan

50.000 - 50.100    CW only    50.020 - 50.080     Beacons
        50.090     CW calling frequency
50.100 - 50.500    SSB and CW only    50.100 - 50.130     DX window TTY
        50.110     Intercontinental calling frequency
        50.150     SSB centre of activity
        50.185     Cross-band activity centre
        50.200 - 50.250    MS reference frequency (CW and SSB)
    50.285  PSK center of activity
    50.400 +/- 500hz  WSPR beacons
50.500 - 51.000    All modes    50.500 - 50.700     Digital communications
        50.510     SSTV
    50.520 - 50.540  Simplex FM internet gateways
        50.550     Fax
        50.600     RTTY
    50.620 - 50.750  Digital communications
        50.710 - 50.910     FM repeater outputs (UK)
51.000 - 52.000    All modes    51.210     Emergency communications priority
        51.210 - 51.410     FM repeater inputs (UK)
    All modes    51.430 - 51.590     FM, 20kHz channel spacing
        51.510     FM calling
    51.810 - 51.990  FM repeater outputs


More about 6-meters bandplan

Most SSB and CW operation takes place in the lower 250KHz portion of the band (50.000-50.250). From 50 MHz up to around 50.08 Mhz the band is populated by various beacons. Around 150 beacons are operational world-wide at present and more are planned. 50.08 to 50.110 is the center of CW activity although, in common with the other bands, CW can be used in the SSB portion also.

Home made 6-meter band antenna
Home made antenna's: 3-element 6-meter band beam

50Mc 50MHz magic band vertical antenna

home made 6-metres 50 Mc 1/2 wave vertical antenna

50.110 MHz and 50.150 MHz are probably the most monitored frequency in the entire amateur bands allocation.
50.110 is the intercontinental DX calling frequency, and is where the first signals during an opening are likely to be heard. Weak DX signals will generally make their first calls on 50.110 MHz; it is for this reason that general operation on or near this frequency is positively discouraged. The UK has one of the highest concentrations of six metre activity in the world, most of whom are listening on or close to 50.110; bear this in mind before calling on this frequency. 
50.2 MHz is the local calling frequency although it is rarely used as such. This frequency is the lower limit of the French allocation.
Generally local QSO's take place normally within about 30 KHz of 50.2, but should not take place below about 50.150 MHz.

MFJ-9406 6-meter SSB Transceiver

Map of European Beacons

50 MHz European Beacons Map


UK Six Meter Group
OZ50MHz DX Bulletins
50 MHz DX Page of SM7AED
The French 50MHz Bulletin
ZS Six Metre News
Worldwide 6 m beacons
Six Metres. 6 Meters. 50MHz DX. 50MHz News Information
N4IP's 6 meter resources page
Six Meter Italy Group

Solar MUF Conditions
Aurora Reports
Geomagnetic development in real time!

Weather reports (Dutch language)
Weather reports (English language)


50 MHz DX Cluster from OH 
50 MHz DX Cluster from USA


ON6MU HomeBrew 50mc


The 6 meter band is a portion of the radio spectrum around 50 MHz allocated to amateur radio. If you like a challenge, this is it! If you want reliable, easy, worldwide ham radio communication, stick to 20 meters. If you enjoy a challenging band that changes moment to moment, 6m is for you!
The 6 meter band is a portion of the radio spectrum around 50 MHz allocated to amateur radio. What attracts hams to this unusual band? It is fascinating because just about all types of propagation pop up on 6m at one time or another: Sporadic E (Es), Tropospheric Ducting, Aurora, Meteors, even F2 skip like an HF band... they're all here. 6m is an acquired taste: a few hams work the band regularly, but many never work it at all. Once you acquire the taste, you tend to be hooked for life. The band has become more popular in recent years, thanks to several new 6m-capable radios.
There two types of 6m operators:
the ones who use FM or packet for local work, and ones
who work DX with SSB. (Some like me even do both!)


Per the FCC, 50.0 to 50.1 is reserved for CW work in the U.S. Most operation is SSB. 50.110 is the most popular SSB DX frequency, and 50.100 to 50.124 should be used only for DX. Some hams tend to discourage (or flame) U.S. domestic stations from calling CQ in this "DX window". The other popular frequencies tend to vary from area to area, so the following is only a general guide for beginners: 50.125 is the old U.S. domestic calling frequency, and most domestic SSB is found between 50.125 and 50.200. The ARRL is encouraging hams to use 50.200 as the new calling frequency. Only during hot F2 openings do you find SSB much above 50.200.
In Europe the domestic calling frequency is 50.150 MHz


Openings on 6m are rare, especially during low points in the sunspot cycle. For hams in far northern latitudes (say 50 degrees and above), aurora openings are common. The most common openings in middle and southern latitudes are a result of sporadic E (Es), which occurs most often in June. F2 openings occur only when the solar flux is high. The frequency where you are most likely to hear someone is 50.125 USB. An explanation of the many types of propagation on 6m follows.


F2 propagation, the kind that we know and love on 20 meters, occurs rarely on 6m. Only at the peak times of the sunspot cycle, a few years out of each eleven, does the band open up for F2. When it does happen, the band becomes a frenzy of activity, and behaves similar to 10 meters. In the last cycle, there were many openings in 1989 through 1991, but that cycle had an unusually long period of peak activity. Cycles average 11 years, but the last peak happened only 8 years after the previous one. Openings occur most often in December/January during the daytime when the solar flux is at least above 150, preferably 200. A few stations have worked 100 or more countries, but they have been patiently working the fleeting openings for many years. The March, 1993 QST magazine has an excellent article on 6m propagation that shows a correlation between solar flux and openings. The December 1997 issue of -QST- has a good article on when to expect F2 openings now that the sunspot cycle is back on the upswing. Start expecting peak sunspot conditions around in the year 2000. To see if the MUF (maximum usable frequency) is approaching 50 MHz, see the following real-time site: Solar MUFl


The ordinary ground-wave tropospheric ducting range on six isn't quite as great as on 2m. There are a number of reasons. Since there are so many other propagation modes on six, people don't try very hard on tropo. Antenna gain often is higher on two. Noise is lower on two. At least in the summer, stations like W3BWU (Pittsburgh), W3IDZ (northern NJ) are easily worked from Maryland with the beam pointing at them, and can be heard at almost any pointing.


Some people think it's really meteors, but every weekend morning there are a number of nearly- kilowatt stations working each other on SSB at distances of about 600 - 1000 miles by ionospheric scatter. Sigs are weak, and it takes good beams, height, and power, but it is very reliable. See the old NBS papers by Bailey, Bateman and Kirby, et al. Bateman and Kirby were/are hams. Ross Bateman recently died. Dick Kirby continues as head of ITU in Geneva.


It is much easier than on two. SSB is usually intelligible, but CW is easier to work. Point north about dusk, most commonly in March and October/November. (In northern Europe, hams report Aurora peaks around dusk and again around midnight.) Lots of people in the far northern latitudes work this mode when it happens. Aurora can occur as far south as the mid-U.S. during bad solar storms. The March, 1989 storm was so powerful that Aurora was visible in San Francisco and power was knocked out all over Canada.


Es is the most common propagation mode on 6m. The term "sporadic" is accurate: stations can pop in and out and then fade quickly. Studies (see March, 1993 -QST- Magazine) have shown that Es has nothing to do with the sunspot cycle; it is much more a function of the time of year. Es can occur anytime, but is most common around the solstices (June 21 and December 21). In the southern latitudes, the peak occurs around Christmas with a minor peak in June. The northern latitudes find peak times in June and July with a minor peak at Christmas. February is the low point, but this year (1997), we even had a good opening then. In addition to the common single-hop range of 500 - 1500 miles, there are quite a few double- and-more hop contacts on 6m. Now that a number of Europeans are on six, we find that they can be worked from the US east coast each summer. Likewise the Caribbean stations work all over the US. The US west coast can work Hawaii, Alaska, and Mexico. You will also hear some hams on June DXPedition trips to Mexico and the Caribbean; they are easy to work in the late afternoon or early evening, even with 10W and a vertical. The VHF contest in the middle of June is also a good time to work Es.
Within two weeks of the Winter and Summer Solstice (June 21 and December 21), you should be monitoring 50.200 as often as possible; this is the most common time and frequency for Es. I would also check 50.110, 28.885 MHz, and CW beacons between 50.00 and 50.100. 10 meters and the 27 MHz Citizen's Band are good indicators of 6m Es: If you hear Es on 10m and the stations are less than 1000 miles away, it's time to check for Es on 6m. If the stations on 10m are 500 miles away, you can be virtually certain that 6m is open. Likewise, a station on 6m from 500 miles away means Es on 2m is possible.

Thanks to KR5RR



The VHF 6-metres is a DX band just like any other of the amateur radio high frequency VHF DX bands and it, along with other 6m operators, should be treated with respect and tolerance. 

Always respect your local band plan. In Europe this is issued by the IARU and is attached as Addendum (1). 

Do not cause nuisance and disturbance to other dedicated 6-meter local and overseas DX operators with local QSOs within the 50.100MHz to 50.130MHz DX Window. If you do wish to local rag-chew, it is recommended that you do this above 50.250MHz where interference will be minimised. Note: Please remember in Europe that French operators are not allowed below 50.200 so local QSOs held just above 50.200 could affect their ability to work DX.

True 6-meter DXers spend about 5% of their time transmitting while 95% of time is spent listening and observing changing band conditions and propagation modes. Learn to recognize propagation mode characteristics and when the band is likely to be showing signs of an opening. This will be far more effective than just calling CQ DX at random and ad infinitum.

50.100 - 50.130 The DX Window is widely accepted concept and should, in principle, be used for INTER-CONTINENTAL DX QSOs only, especially the 50.110 calling frequency as discussed below. The definition of what constitutes a 'DX' station naturally lies with an individual operator, especially when a particular station within your own continent constitutes a new country! We would ask you to think carefully before having any intra-European QSOs in the DX window. For those of us in Europe, this is especially important in periods of multiple-hop Es or F2 propagation to avoid burying inter-continental QSO opportunities under a layer of European QRM.
PLEASE BE SENSIBLE and avoid local QSOs in the DX window if at all possible!

50.110 is the INTERNATIONAL CALLING FREQUENCY is the international DX calling channel is 50.110MHz. This should be used for long range DX contacts and such contacts should be inter-continental (outside of your own continent) in nature. Do not under any circumstances engage in local continental QSOs on this frequency even for a minute or two. If a local station returns to your CQ, move quickly to an unused frequency above 50.130MHz. Do not use the DX calling channel for testing or for tuning up your radio/antenna.

Do not encourage pile-ups on 110. If you have a successful CQ ensure that you QSY elsewhere in the band.

The continental calling frequency in SSB is 50.150 MHz and is the SSB centre of activity (iaru)

My QSO's with USA on 50MHz with a homemade 3-element Yagi and only 10watt

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