You failed to mention your TERRAIN in the target directions. This can
have a MAJOR effect on angle of radiation. Was it the same for both
The IARU contest is a summertime contest. Propagation in summer
is nothing like the remaining three seasons due to longer days and
lower MUF's. It is VERY difficult to predict how antennas will perform
in the winter based on summer observatons.
The short skip you mention on the high bands in the NAQP is most likely
due to sporadic E layer propagation, not F layer, which is usually not
in the fall/spring or much of winter.
Bottom line: it's too early to tell, but so far, a good sign.
Personally, I do NOT believe ANY single height will cover ALL of the
angles that are supported by the ionosphere, especially during high
sunspot activity. But, that is another long story!
de Tom N4KG
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