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Re: Topband: ARRL 160

Subject: Re: Topband: ARRL 160
From: Don Kirk <>
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2017 11:16:53 -0500
List-post: <>
Hi Trevor,

Besides your TX antenna, another issue I have observed over the years is
the importance of being as close to zero beat as possible.  The modern HF
radios offer very narrow RX filtering options, and during very crowded band
conditions most of the stations are running very tight filters and I find
that if I'm off zero beat by much more than 100 hertz I'm often not heard.
I use a very old HF rig and run a 500 hertz filter, and found myself having
to continuously adjust my TX frequency until I popped into the passband of
the station I was trying to work (very difficult to zero beat my radio in
any kind of timely fashion).  I finally installed an audio filter (Hi-Per
Mite) with 200 Hz bandwidth and this has basically fixed my problem (99.9
percent improvement).

Previously it was very frustrating hearing a station 20 dB over S9 that
could not hear me.  I originally thought they were using an RX antenna not
pointed my direction, but most often I was just not in their RX passband.

Just another possibility.
Don (wd8dsb)

On Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 6:44 PM, MR TREVOR DUNNE <> wrote:

> Running 1kw to a 55ft top loaded vertical over a decent radial field I
> found many many stations that I could hear quiet well that could not hear
> me, it's very disheartening,
> Is it my system or there's that's not working.
> I'm already planning improvements for next year to try to improve my tx
> performance,
> Trevor
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Gary Smith <>
> To:
> Sent: Sun, 03 Dec 2017 21:25:26 -0000 (GMT)
> Subject: Topband: ARRL 160
> This is the first major contest that I
> have taken part in a while, at least to
> the extent I actually put a real effort
> into it. Its taken a bit to get back in
> the game after my friend Pat became a SK
> this year. That said, I almost matched my
> score from two years ago when the band
> conditions were for me, far better for DX
> than this weekend.
> I was running QRP with a less than ideal
> antenna yet still managed 535 QSOs. It was
> frustrating to hear so much DX and not be
> able to have them hear me. I'm guessing I
> must've heard at least 15 countries that I
> didn't work. When running QRP on 160, you
> have to go for low hanging fruit. I'm sure
> it's the same for everyone.
> I was grateful that there weren't any
> storms happening locally this time and for
> the most part bands were pretty quiet.
> AMTRAK had its way with me at the Gray
> lines what with commuter trains running at
> that time but being a weekend made their
> schedule a little easier.
> One of the surprises was when K7RAT called
> me Sunday Morning so at least my QRP
> signals were getting up to Boring, Oregon.
> The band must've been good because his
> signals were truly marvelous here as well,
> one of the loudest & cleanest signals on
> the band and he heard me with no trouble.
> If that was you at the helm, thank you
> Tree for the multiplier!
> Sunday morning at Gray line was really
> something beautiful to see on the P3. 1/2
> hour before there may have been 50-70
> people CQing and then the waterfall became
> a Kaleidoscope with the band packed with
> people as tight as sardines up to 1875 or
> so. It's obvious when the band changes and
> the atmospheric noise is visualized as
> color in motion, in two dimensions. If you
> haven't seen the morning Gray line on a
> waterfall during a 160 contest, you're
> missing something interesting.
> Hope all had fun.
> 73,
> Gary
> KA1J
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