[CQ-Contest] Station Upgrades

David Aslin david at aslin.demon.co.uk
Sat Jun 10 15:21:45 EDT 2000

Chris, at the risk of underscoring and adding highlighter to what's already
been written, spend all the bucks you can on getting a better antenna, up
higher - the rig can come later.  My contesting fun from home (small lot,
zoning restrictions) was multiplied ('scuse the pun) many, many times just
by replacing my old high band antenna at 30 feet with a C3SS at 45 feet -
if you can get a C3E or C4 up 60 feet you'll be amazed at the difference
with what you have.  I added a pair of phased Force12 verticals for 80 and
never looked back.  


Dave G3WGN
80m op at M6T
G5M in ARRL and WPX contests

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>From Leigh S. Jones" <kr6x at adsl-63-194-227-234.dsl.lsan03.pacbell.net  Sat Jun 10 01:23:31 2000
From: Leigh S. Jones" <kr6x at adsl-63-194-227-234.dsl.lsan03.pacbell.net (Leigh S. Jones)
Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2000 17:23:31 -0700
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Station Upgrades
References: <Pine.OSF.3.96.1000609144352.4796A-100000 at alfa.ist.utl.pt>
Message-ID: <018f01bfd272$1b66f460$ede3c23f at kr6x.org>

While the easiest answer is to make antenna improvements, the real answer
requires a bit of risk assessment.  Upgrading your antennas will only
improve your overall score if your indoor equipment can reliably be expected
to last through the contest season.  Your transceiver must be equipped with
a minimum of a CW filter and no tuning required when changing bands.  A
1300+ W output class amplifier with 10 meters and 160 meters capability is
important.  Autotune amplifiers or a second amplifier are recommended to
reduce time lost for band changes and increase your mobility.  The goal is
an honest no-tweak bandchange in under 3 seconds including antenna switch,
transceiver, controls, and logging software.  Until these goals are met,
score improvement through antennas may cost more than score improvement
through equipment.

Although most have found that a major score improvement can come from
improved 80 and 40 meter antennas, those who are primarily interested in the
Sweepstakes or other domestic contests and who do their contesting from the
Eastern seaboard may discover that increasing their antenna height or adding
a 40 meter beam may be disappointed with the overall score improvement.
Also, due to the difficulty of working crossband on 40 meters, a 40 meter
yagi may not improve a phone DX score as much as hoped for...

Assess the survivability of your existing equipment before concluding that
antenna improvements are your best approach, but also assess the true
potential for antenna improvement carefully.  In many locations there will
be antenna height restrictions, limitations on antenna turning radius, and
other factors that will cap the antenna growth potential.  If turning radius
is a problem, try a cubical quad.  Also, remember that a 70 foot crank-up,
fully installed, with antennas, rotators, and feedlines, is a very big
investment by comparison to a used transceiver and amplifier.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Pedro Pedroso" <l38217 at alfa.ist.utl.pt>
To: "Chris Blakely" <chrisb at waveinter.com>
Cc: <CQ-Contest at contesting.com>
Sent: Friday, June 09, 2000 6:46 AM
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Station Upgrades

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