Despite having operating privileges on 6m since I was first licensed in 1992, I have never had any equipment with 6m capabilities. In my early days as a ham, 2m FM and a KPC-3 for packet was all I ever needed. After my upgrade to General about a year ago, I have been focusing on HF. Since I have a 2m rig and an HF rig, I started looking into Ten-Tec transverters to add 6m capabilities to my shack. I could either go with the 1208 and get 6m through my HF rig or the 1209 and get it through my 2m rig. Either options has its pros and cons. My IC-718 doesn’t have FM so I’d miss out on 6m repeaters. My IC-229h only has FM, so I’d miss out on CW and SSB. After looking at both options, I decided to go for the 1209. I’m much more likely to add a 2m all mode than an HF with FM in the near future.
After watching a few eBay auctions, I retreated to my comfort zone and monitored the QRZ Swapmeet Forum closely for a few days. That’s where I had found my HF equipment last year. In no time at all, I saw a 1209 listed at a fair price and contacted the seller. I was the first to respond and had the 1209 within a few days. The unit is in great shape and fits in nicely with my other equipment.
Since I only have FM capabilities (and no 6m tuner) for the time being, I decided to put together a simple 6m dipole sized to the FM portion of the band. I’ll mount it in a vertical orientation. With each leg at 4′ 5-1/2″, I housed the dipole in a 9ft section of PVC pipe that I had on hand. This is definitely a compromise antenna, but should be enough to at least test out my transverter. I’ll post more about the transverter once I test it on the air.
The addition of the Ten-Tec 1209 also inspired me to closely monitor the QRZ Swapmeet Forums for a 2m all mode rig. I’ve always been an Icom man, so I’m looking for a IC-275, but will consider alternatives if the right rig comes up for sale.