6 metres is often known as the "Magic Band", because its propagation is so uncertain and can change very quickly. The band extends from 50 MHz to 54 MHz, apart from in some countries, such as the UK.
Single-band 6 metre gear used to be common, but has largely fallen out of use. However, many modern HF rigs have added 6 metres to the bands supported. Rigs in current product that support all-mode 6 metre operation include the Alinco DX-70TH, Icom IC-706 Mk IIG, Yaesu FT-857ND, and Kenwood TS-480SAT. Some HTs support 6 metre FM in addition to other bands, such as the Yaesu VX-7R and Icom IC-T90A.
Most communication paths on 6 metres are line-of-sight. In many ways, the band behaves like other VHF bands. However, sporadic E propagation is not unusual, and F2 propagation occurs during daylight hours at the peak of the solar cycle. 6 metres is the highest frequency amateur band that can support F2 propagation.
DXing is popular on 6 metres. However, unlike DXing on the HF bands, which typically involves communication from one continent to another, most 6 metre DX is done from state to state (within the United States) or country to nearby country (such as one European nation to another). DXCC has been earned on 6 metres, but is very challenging.
This part of the amateur spectrum is more prone to radio frequency interference than other parts of the amateur spectrum. Natural noise is high on the band, and mobile use in automobiles often requires careful attention to suppressing stray RF emanations from the vehicle's electrical system. A properly-configured 6 metre mobile station can be very effective.
Interference from 6 metre stations to broadcast receivers may also be problematic in countries where the band is adjacent in frequency to television signals (such as VHF channel 2, 54-60 MHz in North America NTSC-M). A poorly-designed broadcast receiver may be susceptible to overload due to the presence of a nearby and powerful adjacent-channel signal.
50 - 52 MHz Advanced licensees only
52 - 54 MHz Advanced & Standard licensees
|HF and MF||160 metres * 80 metres* 60 metres * 40 metres * 30 metres * 20 metres * 17 metres * 15 metres * 12 metres * 10 metres|
|VHF||6 metres * 4 metres * 2 metres * 1.25 metres|
|UHF||70 centimetres * 33 centimetres * 23 centimetres * 13 centimetres|
|Microwave||9 centimetres * 6 centimetres * 3 centimetres * 1.25 centimetres * Bands above 24GHz|
|See also||US bandplan|