Basic principles remain basic principles always, regardless when they are
studied or analized, is it 1966 or 2006. For sure, there ARE several
different layers of correspondents. And the layers depend of both antennae
and location, too.
Just recalling, once I've had a very interesting observation a few years
ago. It was right after a major international contest. I got a call from
people located some 300 km west of my QTH. The guy was almost loughing and
being quite sceptic saying, look, do you know your neighbour [call] who took
part in the contest? Certailny I was and said, yes. And you know what, said
the guy, your friend is totally deaf. We have heard him calling CQ TEST all
the time, there was a crowd of US stations calling him but all of them got
just another CQ in return... Is he deaf or what? Ha, ha, ha...
It was a perfect confirmation of a fact that between me (as well as my
neighbour being the "deaf" guy) and the "good ear guys" there lays a border
of 2 and 3 hops from the East Coast USA path. My friend, being one of the
best CW operators I have ever seen , has been using an TS-850 + some 500 W
and 3 ele full size beam for 40 m. I'm pretty sure, he is not deaf at all
and he IS a great operator. But... His 3 ele plus 500 W transmitted were
able to break another hop losses, so that the crowd of 100 W/wet noodle guys
could hear HIM, but by return their energy could NOT break the 3rd hop power
limit minimum required. Having had a couple of dB by, say, another element
in his antenna array or so, he might open up another layer of asations,
but... This is just reality. Me and my neighbour, we were at 3 hops from
East Coast USA. The guy who were watching a crowd of callers was located at
BTW I have also seen quite the same phenomenon (2 or 3 hops) having moved
some 200 km North from the basic location.
Just wanted to emphasize the facts that there are different layers of
potential correspondents, indeed, and even a few hundred km of difference of
location are extremely important sometimes.
Vladimir VE3IAE - EU1SA
> The W3AFM series was interesting in its time, but pretty rudimentary by
> today's standard. One of the commonplace things in those days was to
> equate DXing with contesting. This notion of "layers" of stations is
> insupportable, when you think about it - no way 1000 or 2000 QSOs in a
> contest could be sorted into discrete layers by signal strength. I think
> it is inarguable, though, that any increase in either the strength of your
> signal or your ability to hear other stations will increase the number of
> stations you work in a contest period. How large an increase before it
> makes 1 QSO's difference? I have no idea.
> 73, Pete N4ZR
> At 09:04 AM 8/21/2006, Radiosporting Fan wrote:
>>--- Steve London <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>>> The original source for the "2 dB improvement" quote
>>> probably comes from QST, September 1966, "Station
>>> Design for DX" by W3AFM:
>>> "Incidentally, in progressive antenna changes at
>>> W3AFM, increments of only 2 dB in antenna gain have
>>> opened up, in each case, a new layer of
>>> workable central-Asian DX."
>>Thanks for digging up this information. I was
>>wondering about the source for this information
>>Given the state-of-the-art in 1966 this sounds
>>reasonable. Given the state-of-the-art in 2006 (and
>>the ability of modern transceivers to dig out weaker
>>signals), I would wonder if the number is closer to
>>5-dB or more before "another layer" is revealed due
>>simply to technical issues and not operator skill.
>>Anyway...I'm just pondering and not making any
>>statement of fact.
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