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Re: Topband: ARRL 160M Test Comments

Subject: Re: Topband: ARRL 160M Test Comments
From: Jim Brown <>
Date: Wed, 07 Dec 2011 17:59:46 -0800
List-post: <">>
On 12/7/2011 1:50 PM, wrote:
> A contact is a contact in ARRL 160M - and I work everything I can hear and
> then some (almost ESP sometimes).

But some contacts are worth a lot more than others, and some of us have 
a lot more mults available to us than others, for equivalent effort. 
Here in CA, with really good antennas and high power, the best I can 
hope for from the Pacific basin is JA (5,000 miles), HL (5,500 miles), 
VK one mult for an entire continent that's larger than EU (6,000-8,000 
miles), ZL (6,000 miles), UA0, one mult for a country larger than EU 
(4,000-5,500 miles), KH6 and KL7 (2,000 miles), and a few islands, all 
in the 4,000 -6,000 mile range. With good conditions, that's ten mults. 
EU from here is REALLY tough, and I haven't even HEARD EU this season. 
AF isn't quite as tough, but I haven't heard them either. The Caribbean 
can be tough from here too -- roughly twice the distance as from most of 
the east coast.

As if that weren't enough, there is a MUCH higher population density 
within 500 miles of most east coast stations as compared to out here, 
which gives you guys a LOT more little pistols to work.

The result of all of this tilt in the scoring to favor the east coast 
causes most serious west coast contesters to sit out contests like this 
one. I've entered high power for for ARRL 160 contests, have a decent 
antenna farm for both RX and TX, and have won SCV each time, but only 
because the serious guys who could kill me like K6RB, K6XX, N6TV, N3ZZ, 
don't want to be bothered with anything more than a few hours; the guys 
at W6YX haven't even bothered to put up serious 160M antennas. Indeed, I 
only did it myself for those four years to pick up states and countries. 
Since then, I've run Low Power for a year, then QRP this year. In about 
4.5 hours I had worked everyone who could hear me -- 87 Qs in 24 
sections, and I quit.  Best DX was KH6 to the west, everything east as 
far as CO and NM, but WI and MN were the only ones east of there. WA, 
VE7, CO, and NM are 800 miles, and that was my limit. BUT -- how many Qs 
could I have made with a much less capable antenna farm with 5 watts 
from W3?

So THAT'S why you don't hear much from the west coast during 160M 
contests. The Boring club has shown one far better way to score a 
contest with their Stew Perry, and there are other possible ways to do 
it. And until those who dominate the rule-making process accept the need 
to make changes, we're going to continue to sit it out.

73, Jim K9YC
UR RST IS ... ... ..9 QSB QSB - hw? BK

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