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Topband: Test Conditions & Hi-Z 8 Circle

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Subject: Topband: Test Conditions & Hi-Z 8 Circle
From: "Doug Turnbull" <>
Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2017 16:40:31 -0000
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Total:  QSOs = 211  Sections = 53  Countries = 3  Total Score = 22,366

This started as a fun type dip in and dip out effort using search and pounce
only from data supplied by RBN and reflectors.   Just click, listen and try
tobe heard.   The Stew Perry will be different with no assistance. I managed
tostay up on Friday night till 04:15 UTC and started again going in and out
on Sunday Morning from 04:30 till about 08:00.   The total operating time is
about 10 hours so the Q rate is very low at around 20 but even so I was
never bored or falling to sleep.

The receive antenna is a Hi-Z 8 circle for 160M only.   It is very directive
with a frontal lobe of about 52 degrees and F/B of up to 30/35 db but this
varies depending on the incoming angle and exact location of the station off
the back.    Still from Ireland, Europe is to my back and greatly
attenuated.  I am no alligator as I hear much better than I am heard.   Most
spots had a signal associated with them but many of these stations could not
hear me.

I run 1500W allowed for this contest in Ireland and the TX antenna is an
inverted L 100 foot (30M) vertical.   The ground radial system is over kill
with over 125 radials of about 0.25 wavelength.

With the Hi-Z antenna the band has little noise but there are readable
signals everywhere in a contest.   Note I am talking of the 160M only eight
circlewhich uses all eight verticals at anyone time.   Some of the eight
circles are interlaced four square antennas with a broader front lobe

Like others, I did not find the morning grey line to provide that much of a
boost.    My greatest DX was Arizona.    It made me happy to work WD5COV in
New Mexico a state for which I have a special affection. This NM QSO was a
real battle and I needed to return to the frequency many times before a QSO
was made.  South Dakota closer in was also worked.    Pretty much everything
else to the east of the Mississippi is in the log including most of the
mid-west to the west but not the likes of NE or ND.    No west coast
stations were heard.  Nothing west of VE3 was worked in the northern

I tried and tried to work K7NJ in Utah; his signal was a consistent Q5
through at least two hours but no way could I bust through all the people
calling him.    Oh well maybe next time.   K7NJ was really working NA and
also JA but I did not hear any EU make the jump.   Not doubt his log is full
of EU stations this is just what I heard.

About five years ago the west coast, KH6 and KL7 would be worked in the
early morning hours with a poorer antenna system for both RX and TX.    So
things are not as good as once upon a time but maybe we will yet see a
general improvement.  All we can do on TB is to record our results - it is
very hard to make predictions.  

      CU in the Stew 73 Doug EI2CN  

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