High power Ops.....
My participation has been limited to 160 meter contests since the early
to mid 70's. This period has been long enough for contesting on 160 to
evolve from W1BB's dipole between the water towers in Boston to the 4 squares
of W0AIH and recently AA6TT. These guys speak for themselves. They hear well
and get out well. They work what they hear......
The Average guy has a 50-70 ft tower and no low noise receiving
antennas. He doesn't have 5 - 10 acres as an option. We are talking BIG
ANTENNAS boys. Naked land on the perimeter of Las Vegas is $20,000/acre
with no power and no water. So what's going on? I suspect that high power
rules violations are more frequent as you go lower in frequency.
I will cite as a perfect example an AA7 in central Arizona who has a
full sized 1/4 wave vertical and optimum ground system as a reference point.
In the same geographical area is a N6 call who is only on during contests
and is 6-10 db stronger ALL THE TIME! Since the AA7 is running GAS legal
limit the other guy must be running NITRO!
It does get discouraging when you plan for two months to operate in a
really quite location. Spend 48hrs freezing your butt off running 500W on
generator power to work 23 C on top band and get skunked. (1/2 wave Vert) No
little effort with 4k worth of equipment and two days lost pay yet to boot.
Ah Yes, "Old age and treachery will surpass youth and skill...Sometimes big
bucks too........". There are ways to do this. You will not however find
them in general circulation. The answer which W0UN points to is angle and
I will point out that most operators do not have a 5-15 degree take off
angle on 160. The competative stations run 25-30 degrees. I've seen a few
times when 10-15 degrees didn't work worth a ________. There is only one way
to acheive the gain in lieu of BIG ANTENNAS and NITRO. The principles are
discussed in Les Moxan's book "HF Antennas for all Locations". This involves
ground reflections and Brewster angle. Ground reflections can yield between
6 and 10 db of gain.
I'll be looking for someone to run a couple thousand feet of Coax over
the hill this fall and winter!
73, Bob KG7d
>From Doug Grant <email@example.com> Thu Jul 14 04:01:00 1994
From: Doug Grant <firstname.lastname@example.org> (Doug Grant)
Subject: Big Power
To add to Trey's comments -
A couple of years ago when I was towerless (damn trees...), I was invited to
operate a major contest at a station where illegal power was widely suspected
to be the stadard operating mode.
I declined the invitation, since losing would have been an embarassment and
would have been ignored by my peers. Operating a station with either high power
or the reputation for high power is a lose-lose proposition no matter how you
slice it. Besides which, I'd have comprlomised my own reputation as a fair
I will now confess to using high power in a contest. Once.
I was out of town on a business trip that resulted in my being away over the
weekend of a major contest that I really like. I managed to find a seat at
a multi-multi, only to find out that one of the positions ran pretty big
power (don't ask me where - I won't tell you). I operated that position for
a while (my band went dead), and ran guys pretty fast with the gas.
But I've run guys faster with less power, and I felt pretty guilty most of
the time. The score didn't win, not even on the gas band. Better ops at a
better place with legal power won handily.
I did not find it an enjoyable experience, and have not repeated it.
A far more enjoyable experience came when I beat a station widely rumored
to be running gas. I was legal, and beat him. I felt great. I bet he felt
One more observation - there was a flap on the reflector about a year ago
when some sore loser started complaining about "certain W1 stations who
must be running high power". I guess one sign of a successful station is
when people start accusing you of running high power!