> First a disclaimer - I know nothing about the ops or even who operates
> the big contests at NQ4I, so no disrespect intended. That being said,
> Rick, forget the engineers. Trade operators for one ARRL CW with K3LR.
> I predict your two scores will be virtually identical.
> Barry W2UP
Hey Barry, are you saying we are lids down here? I resemble that remark.
If we can get the emotions and people out of this and use technology and
logic, we can sort through potential improvements. I think the goal should
be to be sure our systems work as well as possible.
Compare what we hear to what others in our general area can hear.
Signal-to-noise at HF almost exclusively relates to local noise floor and
how directive our antenna patterns are at useful angles....not antenna gain.
The exception to this is if we have feed system problems that allow common
mode noise ingress.
There is a HUGE difference in my noise floor out on a dirt road with hardly
any power lines or neighbors for miles and what I could hear at other
locations I've lived at.
Anyone wondering how their antennas work now only needs to look at skimmer
reports compared to other local stations. This is a great tool for
transmitting gain and how often signals fade (which has only a little to do
with receiving ability).
One local station has a tribander that amounts to four-element antennas on
20 and 15 meters, and the equivalent of maybe 5-6 actual contributing
elements on ten meters on a 34 foot boom. It is interesting to look at his
signal compared to much larger arrays on skimmer records. Skimmer is a great
tool for looking back at signal levels over time to see where we need
After working 160 and 40 in contests, I'm convinced a well-planned carefully
installed station in a good location in the SE could do just as well or
better than any winning station in the NE, provided operators were the same
The only people with the real location problems that may be insurmountable
are those up in the north and west. They have a path problem limiting
propagation, and that might be insurmountable. Oddly, they don't complain
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