My First Six Metre QSO
Arni Coro, CO2KK (at that time CM2DL)
Issue 57, May 1998

Arnie, CO2KKArnie, CO2KK

It was way back in 1959... November 16th 1959 to be exact. My good friend Pepe, CO2GX, now a silent key, was keeping his 4-400 with 3000 volts on the plate on 50.400 for me to find his carrier on my 6C4-12AX7-6AQ5 regenerative receiver... For those not familiar with those ‘valves’ or ‘tubes’ they are the equivalents, more or less, of an EC92, an ECC83, and the audio output I think is an EL??? Well, that’s not really important, what matters is that 2GX kept talking and talking, while I frantically tuned the super-regenerative detector looking for him... Finally, after about half an hour, I hear Pepe’s voice loud and clear...

My just finished two element beam fed with RG58U was picking up my friend’s signal so loud, that I had to turn down the volume control... (Yes I had to tune a bandset capacitor with a screwdriver to find him, that was the reason for the delay).

Pepe was on 40 metres also, as we were using that band for liaison, he asked me many times if I had found his 50.400 AM, and sure enough, I finally came back to him with a " te copio Pepe…", "I read you Pepe ..." and feedback... as his audio, picked up by my receiver, was going back to his QTH via my own 40 metre rig...

Then Pepe said... go ahead and transmit... I am now tuning the band for you. I fired up my little three watt rig on 50.100 ??? and CO2GX answers my call, not on six, but on 40 metres... and once again there was the feedback... as we soon "discovered" that we had an excellent full duplex link... 7 MHz to 50 MHz !

I marked the super-regen dial very carefully at the 50.400 CO2GX frequency, and asked Pepe to change his crystal, something he did by just removing the quartz from the holder... only to find outthat his ‘crystal control’ was partial, as I could still hear him without a crystal in his rig!

Arnie C02KKHe plugged in a 50.100 rock, and I found him very easily, as my main variable capacitor had but one single movable plate, so my bandspread was quite nice... (finding the right setting for the bandset was, of course, the real problem!). Two minutes later, I told Pepe to turn down the volume on his 40 metre receiver, proceeded to call him on Six and he came back to me on 50.400! Those were the days of crystal control, when stations had to look for others exploring from about 50.000 to 51.500 Megahertz, as that was the range of the crystal frequencies available here in Cuba. It was not surprising to hear a QSO going on between a station on 50.400 and another guy on 51.500.

Yes, that was my first six metre QSO, followed a few hours later by an F2 QSO with a California ham whose call I can’t remember... all I recall that he was in Pomona, and that I could copy him very well for a few minutes around eleven o’clock in the morning my local time...

This was ... let’s see ,almost 39 years ago... and Six continues to fascinate me, like that very first day I remember so well .

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