[CQ-Contest] 10-meter contest; directivity or the lack thereof

Tom Frenaye frenaye at pcnet.com
Tue Dec 18 15:48:59 EST 2001

At 03:17 PM 12/18/2001 -0500, Pete Smith wrote:
>Early Sunday afternoon, I was surprised to find that my tribander stack
>seemed to have lost its directivity.  The array was aimed about 45 degrees,
>but I was also getting answers off the side, from the likes of VE4-7, WA,
>OR, all the way out to KH6!  This went on for a couple of hours, till the
>Europeans were gone.
>A couple of explanations occurred to me:
>-- In this contest, people expect to be able to hear and work weak signals,
>so off-the-side QSOs happen all the time.
>-- Backscatter can enhance sigs in non-favored directions.

I think you're correct in both explanations.   

I had a second receiver that I used much of the contest.  It was usually connected to a TH6 pointed south.  It only generated a handful of Caribbean or South American contacts but I worked several hundred Eu and W/VE stations on it.   The main reason it was south was because I could minimize the QRM from my transmitted signal, usually pointed to Eu when the band was open, or West otherwise.   Most of the stations worked with the TH6 were very weak and would have been much louder with the antenna in the right direction.   Since I was running 1500w and most people in the contest are running less than 200w, it means that if I can hear them, they should be able to hear me - and a few db better.     

I also found that late in the day on Sunday, maybe 60-90 min before sunset, it seemed I was hearing quite a number of W/VE stations better on the antenna pointed to Eu than one pointed west - so maybe there was some interesting scatter happening.

You can't have too many antennas!

                -- Tom

e-mail: frenaye at pcnet.com    YCCC --> http://www.yccc.org/
Tom Frenaye, K1KI, P O Box J, West Suffield CT 06093 Phone: 860-668-5444

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