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Discover the Magic Bands


Don Field's Latest Book

The Magic Bands  - a Guide to 6m and 4m Amateur Radio – by Don Field G3XTT


A copy of The Magic Bands – a guide to 6m and 4m Amateur Radio landed recently on the operating desk here. It is written by the editor of Practical Wireless, Don G3XTT and published by the RSGB. It runs to 224 pages and aims to appeal to all six and four-metre enthusiasts whether they are newcomers or ‘old-hands’. The book is a rework of Don’s ‘Six Metre Handbook’ which was first published 12 years ago.


This is an extensive revision, and significantly, in my view, incorporates useful information on ‘digital operating techniques’ as well as more traditional operating. Justin G0KSC has contributed two new antenna designs (one for each band) to the book, which will be of great interest to many. The propagation chapter is comprehensive, and I was pleased to read a section on Short-Path Summer Solstice Propagation (SSSP) which has only really been recognised in the last 15 years and is responsible, from Europe on 6m, for the early morning openings into Japan and the Far East as well as the afternoon openings into the West Coast of the USA.


It’s nice to see 70MHz covered in the book. Despite being ‘close’ in frequency, six and four metres are two quite different animals, with ‘four’ being a little more understated than its’ showy cousin! So, you’ll find quite a lot more in the book about six metres than four, but there is plenty of information about four metres – certainly enough to answer all the question you might have when getting onto the band for the first time or to ‘re-enthuse’ you if you are thinking of returning there.

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The book is well illustrated with many interesting pieces of equipment, QSLs, expeditions and other graphics shown. It’s written in an engaging style and I quickly found myself absorbed when I picked it up to flick through for a first impression.  Don has done a good job in appealing to both the long-standing VHF operator (I suppose I have to count myself as one) who will enjoy some of the ‘nostalgia’ about past contacts, DX-peditions and the like which are mentioned. However, newcomers to the bands will find plenty to enthuse and inform them about the bands and how to build their station.


If you enjoy Six and Four you’ll enjoy the book, which you can find on the RadioEnthusiast website priced £15.99 with £2.99 delivery to the UK and £8 to Europe. The book is also available on Kindle, which is a nice touch.


(Source: Tim Kirby GW4VXE)

Buy your copy here