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TopBand: Observations On 160

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Subject: TopBand: Observations On 160
From: (Jim Kehler)
Date: Mon, 06 Jan 1997 06:20:39 +0000
I have only been on 160 for a short time, but I 
have noticed some very interesting propagation 
on the top band.  

1. Exacting hop distances:

Seems whenever I get on 160, I work the same 
people, over and over. Not that other people 
aren't calling me. But apparantly my signal 
propagates so well, nite afte nite, to the 
same exact locations, that some people feel 
compelled to give me reports, nite after nite.

2. Lack of short hop propagation.

When I venture to 160 to work the same stations
I worked two nites ago, I seem to notice that
I can hear other stations calling me who are 
in the general vicinity of those stations I 
am working, but the stations I am working can't 
seem to hear them. If they could, I'm SURE they 
would let the people who have NOT worked me on 
160 work me, instead of working me over and 
over and over.

3. One Way Propagation (observed mostly to EU)

On many occasions I have two, three, or four
stations giving me signal reports at the same
time.  When I respond to one of them, the others
thank me. Obviously this must be some sort of 
group acknowledgment system I am not familar with.
I am thinking about applying for a certificate 
- the W.E.A. award - Worked Everybody Atonce.

4. Sunrise/Sunset Openings to Certain Parts of
   Japan from Guam. 

Most parts of Japan are easily workable from KH2
on 160 anytime from dusk to dawn. But certain 
areas only hear me at my sunrise/sunset.  That, 
I am sure, is why they are compelled to come to 
my frequency and transmit JA JA JA JA with a 40
over S9 signal repeatedly during the very brief 
period that I have at sunrise when I can hear EU.

5. What I have learned about 160.

I have learned that the top band can be a very 
frustrating experience for those of us who lack 
the farm land required for elaborate antenna systems.
Sleepless nites, headaches from static crashes, 
telephones that go nuts whenever the transmitter 
is keyed, an XYL who slaps me in the headphones at
6 AM and asks 'Are you still up ??? Have you been to
bed yet ???" . It's not a very 'productive' band, by 
any means, for those of us who are use to working
as many people as possible during our operating times.  
89 contacts in the SP contest  really didn't get me too

I'm not working on my low band DXCC. I don't 
collect cards. 160 doesn't seem to be a great
band for chit chats, I'm sure somebody somewhere
in the world (other than Japan) has a loud 
signal here, but I haven't found him yet. 

To me, NOTHING is more frustrating then spending 
3 or 4 minutes trying to get a complete call sign 
from an S nothing station down in my S9 noise, and 
when I finally do get it and put it in the computer, 
I find I worked that station on 160 three times in 
the last two weeks. No, I take that back. I just 
thought of something that is MORE frustrating. 
That is trying to copy a callsign of an S nothing
station down in my S9 noise when 3 other stations,
who are 559 and have already worked me 3 times 
repeatedly call on top of them. 

I guess it takes something 'special' to be a top 
band DX'er.  And I think I have figured out that 
whatever it is, I don't have it. 

I think my top band DX'ing career is rapidly coming
to an end.  So if you hear me on 160 in the next
few months, and you need KH2 for a 'new one', please
give me a call.  And if you hear me on 160 and have 
already worked me 3 or 4 times, please DON'T give 
me a call, give somebody else a chance to work me 
that hasn't worked me already.

73, Jim KH2D

73, Jim KH2D

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