[CQ-Contest] beverages on 28

Kenneth E. Harker kharker at cs.utexas.edu
Sun Dec 19 13:27:19 EST 1999

On Sat, Dec 18, 1999 at 11:28:17AM -0500, K4OJ wrote:
> Ken successfully used a second antenna this past weekend of a
> beverage...this sounds intriguing

I had a very interesting experience with a 160M beverage antenna on 10 meters.
It was during the 1999 ARRL DX Contest, Phone, Saturday night, around 0000
to 0200 UTC if I remember correctly.  I was operating at the N5CQ superstation
with their multi-single effort.  At that time, N5CQ (EM00, STX) had a single 
rotating tower, 200' tall, with an 80M yagi at the very top, and from top 
to bottom three pairs of Force 12 C-4 and Force 12 C-3 antennas.  So, on 10 
meters, the tower had essentially six tribanders stacked between 190' and 30' 
or so.

I was building up a run to JA on 28MHz, and things were going OK.  I had never 
used the particular radio at the station before (a Yaesu FT-1000MP) and I was 
kind of exploring the rig's features as I could during contacts.  At some 
point, a loud W7 popped up almost right on top of me and started calling CQ JA.
I tried to inform him that the frequency was in use, but he wouldn't listen. 
Unfortunately, almost all of the JAs at the time were coming in weak enough
to me that the W7 was knocking them out, and I'm sure the 200' high stack at
N5CQ was knocking out the JAs for the W7.  Neither of us was making a lot of 
contacts for several minutes.  I was getting kind of frustrated, and was 
scrambling to push buttons and twiddle unfamiliar knobs to see if I could pull 
more of the weak ones through the QRM before I would give up completely.  I 
hit the receive antenna button at some point, and two things happened.  The W7 
went from S9+10 to S1, and I started working a lot of 50, 10, and even 5 watt
JAs, that I could all hear reasonably well.  Many more, even, than I had been 
working just before the W7 showed up.  It was really cool.  The W7 eventually 
went away, and I tried to flip back to the stack for receive, but I didn't 
feel like I was hearing as well then as I was with the beverage, so I went 
back to the beverage.  After about a two hour run on 28MHz (including a 127 
hour, our best of that contest,) things sort of sputtered out, and then the 
stack and the beverage were hearing stations equally well, and then the 
stack was hearing better.

I'm relatively new to HF contesting and DXing, so I can't explain why the
160M beverage was so much better on 10M for those two hours or so.  All I 
know is that I was working more stations using it as a receive antenna than 
I was without it.  I don't regularly have access to a station with a beverage
antenna, so I've never tried to explore it further.

Kenneth E. Harker      "Vox Clamantis in Deserto"      kharker at cs.utexas.edu
University of Texas at Austin                  Amateur Radio Callsign: KM5FA
Department of the Computer Sciences         President, UT Amateur Radio Club
Taylor Hall TAY 2.124               Maintainer of the Linux Laptop Home Page
Austin, TX 78712-1188 USA            http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/kharker/

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