[CQ-Contest] Diversity Reception

Dubberstein Steve and Eva k9wo at qth.com
Mon Nov 16 00:32:32 EST 1998

During my 9 years in Hong Kong as VS6WO, I used diversity reception many
times to great advantage.  I used it only on phone.

I used an FT-1000D with the BPF in the second receiver.  The main antenna
was connected to whatever monobander was in use.  The second receiver was
always connected to an R5 vertical used only for receiving.

With the press of a button, I could lock the two receivers to be on exactly
the same frequency.  The headphones were in a semi-split stereo mode.

Especially in the late afternoon in Hong Kong, this was very helpful.  With
the beam pointed at Europe, stations from Europe would come in stronger on
the left ear.  JA's would be stronger on the right ear.  I could easily
select a weaker station from Europe over a station from Japan, which meant
a 3 point QSO vs. a 1 point QSO.  The "feeling" given by diversity was also
quite natural, given that human hearing is not really designed for exactly
the same sound and phase in both ears at the same time.

The other time it came in handy was on 10 meters with the band dying out.
The deep fades you get are actually twisting phase shifts.  This would be
perceived as a shifting back-and-forth from left ear to right as the beam
and vertical had opposite polarization.  I worked many stations I otherwise
would not have because of diversity using horizontal and vertical antennas.
It was a very interesting effect.

I recommend diversity for phone contesting.  On CW I did not find it as
useful.  Putting a R7 or similar antenna at the top of a tower and using it
for diversity receive would be of advantage in any phone contest.

Unfortunately, there are not many radios out there that do true diversity
receive.  I found the main RF difference between the FT-1000 and FT-1000MP
was that the FT-1000MP uses a single front end and thus cannot do diversity
receive.  For this reason I stuck with the FT-1000D during my time in Hong

On a side note, I have read the recent mail regarding Brett VR2BG and
QSL's.  To give some perspective into the QSL chore from a place like Hong
Kong, I would get about 25% to 30% of my contest QSO's sending a QSL.  A
typical M/S or M/M effort had between 4000 and 10,000 QSO's.  Thanks to
excellent managers (Mike W4MS/K9EC and Lisa KA9UQT) I was able to QSL 100%.
However, I can tell you that nobody gets rich off of this effort.  With
the green-stamps and IRC's Mike and Lisa received, they were just able to
covers costs of sending QSL's direct to those who send dollars/IRC's and by
the buro for others.  This was EXCLUSIVE of QSL printing costs, which I
paid myself.  So for every major M/S or M/M effort we did, it was between
$50 and $100 out of my pocket just for printing.

A rare DX-pedition may come out ahead on donations for QSL's, but for
contesting from a semi-rare DX location like Hong Kong, it is not even a
break-even deal.

regards, steve K9WO/VR2WO

Steve and Eva Dubberstein                                    k9wo at qth.com

CQ-Contest on WWW:        http://www.contesting.com/_cq-contest/
Administrative requests:  cq-contest-REQUEST at contesting.com

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list