My Drake R4A modified at Drake to the R4B was a great receiver. No phase
noise or birdies and when I moved to Atlanta the receiver proved to survive
the local QRM of 3 contestants within a 3 mile radius.
I also had a Galaxy III that I used mobile and it would hear S1 signals that
the 300 watt trasmitter would not reach. Again no phase noise and no
birdies but a local station would make the whole thing jump.
In 1966 you could operate the ARRL or CQ WW and be pushed to make 30 or 40
contacts per hour at peak. Why? because there were a lot fewer contestants
and even casual Dx operators. I remember that in 1967 I was pushed to put
in a few hours as I was in the middle of a strenous Graduate semester at
College. I had just put up the big quad that W5HVV described in QST. It
was a killer on 15 and the band was loaded with those 20 watt JA stations.
I ran thru a couple hundred JA's quickly.
In 1988 I operated from N4HOH and all we had was a TH7 and 2 el Cushcraft 40
plus a 160 half loop for a mult antenna. I ran several nours of Europe with
S79, 5Z4 FH8 etc thrown in for variety each morning on 10. This with hand
logging! My best hour was 190.
Now when the band is open W3LPL will run well over 300 per hour. Even on 40
SSB K4XS easily runs 150 per hour. I can remember in 1979 operating with my
call from N4RJ that working 300 QSOs was a feat and good enough to be the
High USA score.
There is just flat out more stations available to work!
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