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Re: Topband: ARRL 160 conditions

Subject: Re: Topband: ARRL 160 conditions
From: Joe Wilkowski <>
Date: Mon, 05 Dec 2011 11:03:29 -0500
List-post: <">>
You guys are awful hard on the folks who were off frequency, could not 
hear , operating in the "prescribed DX window" etc.  Everyone needs to 
step back and consider the challenges that the 160 meter band poses.  It 
has what, 50 kHz of usable contest space (not usable band space)  with 
excursions to either end difficult given the antenna requirements.  The 
band is inherently noisy virtually all the time and subject to the 
wondrous and extensive vagaries of mother nature.  Many people only 
operate the band during the contests providing the fodder for most of 
the qso hungry cq machines.  Lastly, technology certainly has changed 
the face of the hobby.  In many respects, your super duper "I can work 
you less than 1 millisecond after you opened up" spotting network, and 
the "my rig can hear less than 2 Hz from your transmit frequency" are 
really double edged swords.   They can cause proportionally as many 
difficulties as benefits.  It is because of all the above and many more 
realities that these complaints originate from.  In my heart of hearts 
I  still want to think that very few people "intentionally" set out to 
anger their fellow high tech hams who have a leg up and a bank account 
to match it during a 160 meter contest.   It is, after all, the 
'gentlemen s band'.

By the way Art, I was not singling you out with my comments, I just 
happened to pick your post to respond to.  One additional comment, most 
160 "bandaholics" have separate receive antennas which usually provide a 
high RDF (directivity) with pretty decent front to back ratios.  These 
antennas are being used on a daily basis to hear weak dx stations and 
are not well suited for the occasional domestic free-for-all contests.  
If he does not come back to your 2000 watt ERP signal it is probably 
because he is not listening in your direction.

Happy Holidays to all.

Joe K8FC

On 12/5/2011 12:09 AM, k6xt wrote:
> Same boat here. Many callers up to a half kc off freq. Whether I worked
> them or my compatriot CQer nearby is sometimes a guess.
> The directional rx antennas were sometimes a pain, sometimes the
> solution. I often found myself listening on the tx vertical just to
> eliminate the directivity issue into USA...but then the issue is missing
> a weak one as others noted.
> No perfect solution.
> BTW listening in the 30-35 segment was frustrating. What DX was there
> had competition from US CQrs who didn't read the contest rules page, and
> from a host of packet spot aficionados who couldn't hear their neighbors
> much less the DX.
UR RST IS ... ... ..9 QSB QSB - hw? BK

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