I've been having a lot of fun trying to come up with a way of deciding
what band I should be on at what time in a contest. I'm sure many far
more successful contesters than I do it from experience and intuition.
Not having a strong feminine side (anal, she called me) I try to use
logic and science as much as I can.
If you just want to know what my question is, skip to the end of all
Here's where I'm at.
I can run propagation predictions for various paths using W6ELProp.
I can suck all the info into an Access database I have built.
I can calculate a Figure Of Merit for each path on each band at each
time (half hourly intervals) based on predicted SNR and path
availability. Whether the Figure Of Merit is realistic or not is a
separate question. I think it is useable for comparison purposes.
I can adjust the FOM to account for differing Rx bandwidths and, hence,
SNR for ssb and cw (or anything else).
I can print a report sorted by band and then by time (ascending order)
showing, for each time, the paths whose Figure Of Merit exceeds some
chosen value (to reduce clutter), in descending order of FOM.
I can assign a band, mode and antenna to each time (half hourly
intervals) and print a report which shows me for each half hour what
band I should be on, which antenna I should be using and which paths (in
descending order) are most likely to yield Qs.
W6ELProp assumes 100W into a dipole facing in the optimum direction in
free space at each end.
I now find myself about to add the ability to adjust the path SNR
according to output power and the, previously input, elevation
pattern/gain/loss of the assigned antenna.
It occurred to me that, before I do this, maybe someone else has already
done the work, hence the following question.
Is there an affordable program which will combine propagation
predictions and antenna characteristics and tell me, for any path of my
choice on any HF band, the likelihood of making Qs on that path?
Affordable? $100 Not Affordable? $500
Please don't ask me how I'm doing this. This is a work in progress and
time spent answering how-to questions takes away from the time available
to do the work. Hope I said this in an acceptable manner.
73 de Jim Smith VE7FO