[TowerTalk] Re: [CQ-Contest] Which way do we go? (Beam Headings)

"Dick Green". dick.green at valley.net
Mon Nov 24 09:31:38 EST 1997

I agree with Tom that 60 degrees makes more sense than 45 degrees from the
Eastern U.S. I studied this before settling on the orientation of my 40M
4-square. I modified an old BASIC program that computes beam headings to
count the number of countries in CT's CTY.DAT file that fall within the -3dB
angle of the 4-square's  beamwidth. Of course, it's a bit like splitting
hairs, since that angle is about 60 degrees!

I did this primarily to make sure that it would be OK to rotate the 4-square
10 degrees (making NE 55 degrees) so that the radials wouldn't cross my
property line and the elements would be on somewhat flatter ground (a few
feet made a big difference in that regard.)

It turned out that the greatest number of DXCC countries falling within
the -3dB points from my QTH (western NH) occured with the NE element aimed
at 80 degrees! This would be the best orientation for, say, going for 40M
Honor Roll or the maximum multiliers in CQ WW. But when I cross-checked the
program results with an azmuthal projection from my QTH, it was clear that
this was not the orientation that optimized for the countries with the
largest active ham population (i.e., QSO points). I chose 55 degrees as an
orientation that made a good compromise between the number of countries, ham
population, and where the radials ended up on the ground.

73, Dick, WC1M

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