I have been following this thread from my vantage point of Kansas. Now, I
would add my two cents.
Sweepstakes from Kansas is quite interesting because we usually have great
propagation everywhere...but we are not without our problems. Where do you
point the antenna? How fast can you rotate the beam. How can you work
both sides of the pile up quickly. My solution for years has been a main
beam antenna pointing east and a low beam pointing west with a switch.
But, 40 meters has always been an issue.
For years, contesting on 40 meters on SS was extremely difficult with a
dipole. Over the years, we have been contesting at W0CEM in a multi-op
role. Looking at the scores, John decided to put up a 40 meter beam.
What difference it has made to the east....but virtually zilch to the west.
IT is really hard for non-east coast stations to break "the 40 meter
wall"...where all the east coast contest stations are working the each
coast. With the beam, we were loud enough to get some attention. But not
so to the west.
Steve, K7LXC, has enlightened me in his last post as to why 40 meters
stinks to the west. The West coast guys it seems are not on 40 meters.
I've always wondered why, because we already have big rates and numbers on
40, but I would say that 80 percent of the Qs are to the east. In fact two
years ago during SS, Sunday morning was so good on 40 meters to east that
we stayed on until 20:00 hours befor going up to 20 meters. We've had more
Q's on 40 than on any other band.
I know that it doesn't pay for the west coast to "run" us middlers because
there are not enough of us to really run. I wonder how the Q rate would
increase if 40 meters would be moved down in the future so it could be
usuable to all of the country. HMMMMM. Interesting.
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