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[TowerTalk] Observation - TJ3FR and propagation

Subject: [TowerTalk] Observation - TJ3FR and propagation
From: dennis o'connor <>
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004 05:35:39 -0700
List-post: <>
I have not in the decades past paid any attention to 75/80 meters other than just another band to make Q's during a contest... Pushing on towards my seventh decade of life I have finally made some changes to reduce my standard 14 hour work day to a mere 12 hours and so I am getting back into active operation; and decided to do some DXing on 80M as a "new thrill'... Since I have in recent weeks been playing with antennas, and paying attention to and getting on around greyline, morning and evening, I am noticing some thngs I didn't happen to notice in my previous 40 years of hamming...

The most striking thing I have noticed is the consistency of 80m propagation from the midwest, Michigan, into Africa, and specifically Cameroon, every evening... I think since I started listening for TJ3FR there has been only one evening - during the time period of roughly 2300Z to 0100Z - that I have not heard them, so that is roughly 9 days out of 10... In mulling it over, and I have zero information on their power and antennas, it is clear that there is much 80m propagation between the USA and Africa that goes unnoticed and unused simply due to the lack of active stations in that part of the world... Pity, that... The other thing I noticed is that the SSB DX guys in the 10 kc DX window are fewer but more consistently active than CW DXers over the entire rest of 75/80 meters...

To more specifically relate this to TowerTalk, I have noted that shortened verticals mounted at ground level are consistently better DX performers than an inverted vee at 95 feet apex... The next series of experiments will compare a ground mounted, shortened, 3 element parasitic array, against a quarter wave single element vertical with 2, and then 4, elevated radials... Given that the ground mounted array has 4.5dB more gain in the forward direction (per EZnec) one would conclude that that the elevated vertical will lose by a bunch... Having worked Heard Island on 160 from Michigan with an elevated vertical, I suspect there are some real world surprises in store...

Denny - K8DO

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