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Re: Topband: New to 160m!

To: "Tammie M3ENF" <>, <>
Subject: Re: Topband: New to 160m!
From: "John Rogers" <>
Date: Sat, 6 Jun 2009 22:52:12 +0100
List-post: <">>
Tammie M3ENF wrote:-
Subject: Topband: New to 160m!
I am very new to TopBand - yet to make a QSO.

Welcome to 160m.. A great band with different technical and operational challenges many of us are addicted to.
Too much to describe in a brief email.
A good start is in two excellent books:-
1. DXing on the Edge - The Thrill of 160m (written by Jeff K1ZM)
2. ON4UN's Low-Band DXing (4th edition the latest)

I have been only been part of your fantastic group for a few
days now but feel I am learning quite a lot so far!

There are many knowledgable subscribers who are always pleased to help you with 160m related queries

I am ashamed to say I am not on CW (one of those things I will learn one day...) so only able
to use SSB/phone section of the band.  Being over in England, UK what
sort of times should I be listening for people?

Best skywave propagation is from sunset to sunrise, with propagation favouring different areas at different times. Most of the serious DX activity is on CW below 1840kHz, usually 1810-1835kHz. Signal strengths are often weak and in the noise, but that is part of the fun. CW is a key part of the hobby on 160m, to learn it see RSGB and ARRL code practice transmission times. But there is a lot of SSB activity above 1843kHz, from UK, EU, Russia and USA in northern hemisphere winter; and South American stations on SSB are often audible in their winter approx 1845kHz 00-03z.

I have scanned around a bit but just hit a solid wall of noise, which I'm told is what to expect!

Summer qrn makes 160m very noisy at night. RX antennas away from houses help a lot and can make a big difference to readability, depending what the source of noise is.

I have just put up an end-fed wire about 40m long which also has an 80m trap in the centre and it has very
 good/near perfect SWR on 160m, 80m and even 40m!

Low swr is not an indicator of antenna efficiency. Your low swr on 160m could mean a high earth loss, depending on height of antenna (see ON4UN book).

Good luck on 160m.!

John G3PQA

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