It was early in 2001 when a group of amateur radio operators in San Diego's east county decided to form a club dedicated to promoting operations locally in the 6 meter amateur radio band. For months previous to that, they enjoyed communicating and experimenting on the band, particularly exploring the benefits of local communication in the FM mode.
Through this experimentation, word got out locally that some hams were hanging our hats on 6 meters and the number of operators now "testing the waters" was slowly growing. Certainly, there was activity on 6 meters before this group, but that activity was limited to the DX'ers who would only tune in on 6 meters when there were band openings. There were only a couple of very quite repeaters, but all of that was soon to change.
In April 2001, five local hams got together and formed the San Diego Six Shooters Amateur Radio Club. Gary Richardson, N6LRV; Stacy Macintyre, KC6STT; Phil Goodwin, W6BAS/SK; Rich Hall, KF6ARX; and Joe Acevedo, N6SIX laid out the blueprint to organize and promote this wonderful band. Little did they know where that journey would take them, but it was sure to be an adventure.
It didn't take long for the Six Shooters to become a fixture within the local amateur radio community. Weekly FM simplex and SSB nets, which were the staple, and participation grew with each passing month.
The very first meetings were held in a restaurant named the Top Sirloin Restaurant in El Cajon. There, they shared ideas and information regarding six meters and our operations on six. It was there that the Six Shooters, as a group, developed the San Diego Six Shooter logo that is now so easily recognizable. The logo was a true group effort, taking 6 months to nail down and with everyone making a contribution.
As the San Diego Six Shooters ARC grew, so did thier reputation for becoming the local 6 meter group and in 2003, they were approached by Ranger Communications. RCI had just develped their second generation 6 meter radio (RCI-5054DX-100) and they asked The Six Shooters to field test the prototype before they submitted it for FCC type-acceptance. After six weeks, Stacy, KC6STT and Gary, N6LRV published their preview of the radio which is still refered to today by RCI.
As time moved forward, the Six Shooters always learned something new about forming a club. None of them had ever done this before and mistakes were made, but they never prevented the Six Shooters from continuing to grow. Changes took place... club meetings began at the Ranch House in Santee, but are now held at Marie Callender's restaurant in La Mesa. The FM Simplex net was moved to a wide area repeater system thanks to the invitation by Chris Buchanan, N6LXX. The participation on the SIx Shooter nets skyrocketed as they now had hams from all over southern California as well as Las Vegas and northern Texas tuning in.
In 2011, the San Diego SIx Shooters celebrated their 10th anniversary. It was a celebration of a 10 year journey...six meters at a time. Today, the San Diego SIx Shooters are looking to become bigger and better, providing support for all facets of amateur radio, promoting the Amateur Radio Service to the public, and striving to make this amateur radio experience enjoyable for all of its members. - Joe, N6SIX