It is approaching that season- where 50 MHz, or 6 meters comes alive!
Six meters is one of my favorite bands. The sporadic nature of openings on the band does lend to its common moniker, “The magic band”. You can go from working hundreds of stations with the band open to hours upon hours of only hearing static.
On the east coast, I found working 6 meters was a bit easier than out here in the desert of Arizona. Totally due to the weather patterns, but we do get some surprises here, mostly to Texas or up to Utah/Colorado or Oregon.
However, we do get our share of openings.
You do want to be familiar with where the activity on 6M resides.
http://www.bandplans.com/index.php?band=6 Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the band plan.
FT8 calling frequency: 50.313 MHz
SSB calling frequency: 50.125 MHz
FM calling frequency: 52.525 FM
You can just leave your radio in SSB mode, parked on this frequency. Listen for the FT8 digital sounds, or folks calling CQ on 50.125 / FM on 52.525.
Some tools for the new 6M user to check out and be familiar with.
DX Maps V3.3 (A great map of real time QSOs)
SMIRK (Six Meters International Radio Klub)
K9MU beacon map (6M beacon list, might be out of date)
Tropo ducting: (Some info on what it is and how to use it)
The Netherlands 6M DX robot
Mountain lake APRS tool: (A great tool for 2M conditions)
N5PA DX Summit list