[CQ-Contest] 40m Beams and Domestic Contests

Nat Heatwole nat at ajheatwole.com
Tue Jan 21 14:29:58 EST 2003

This question is mainly geared towards those in the midatlantic region,
but it's relevant to virtually everyone who works domestic contests,
particuarly from the coasts. My QTH is in Maryland and I'm curious if
there is any strategy when using a directional 40m antenna such as the
40-2CD during donestic contests (SS, NAQP, FD, Sprints, etc.).
Specifically, I'm wondering if there is a strategy to where I should
point the beam. From MD there's no point beaming east (just DE and the
Atlantic out that way), but where do I beam amongst the other

1. I could beam N/NE and be loud in New England, but W4/W5 would be off
the back of the beam, the Midwest would be off the side, and on phone,
I'm beaming right into the broadcast QRM.

2. I could beam W and be loud in the Midwest as well as nulled to the
broadcast stations, but New England, W4, and W5 would be off the sides
of the beam.

3. I could beam S and be loud in W4/W5, and the BC QRM would be off the
back of the beam, but New England would also be off the back and the
midwest would be off the side.

Is there a good answer to this quandry, or do I just have to keep moving
the beam around every now and then? The 40-2CD does have a wide
beamwidth (~90 degrees at -3dB), but it would be nice not to have any
nulls (paraticularly sharp nulls) in areas where there are lots of hams,
as is the case in all of the above options. Any advice?

73, Nat, WZ3AR

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