[CQ-Contest] f/B Antenna ratios - reception

K3MQ k3mq at bwave.com
Sat Sep 30 21:51:19 EDT 2006

I have a Lightning bolt 5-element quad at 50 feet. I t has served me well
for the past two years, but now I'm getting heavy into contesting,
especially RTTY.

Last week I did the CQWW RTTY test - 20 meters only. I thought I had done
fairly well. Several times near the end I swept the band and was hard
pressed to find someone not in the log. Afterwards I saw the claimed scores.
A ham abt 300 miles south of me just cleaned my clock (1017 q's vs 651).

It would appear we  ran similar rigs (IC 756 ProII vs Orion), power, and had
about the same operating time. I live in a low noise rural area (Delaware)
so that should not have been a factor. I'm sure there are other variables
(such as experience and skill), but it basically  seems he heard a whole lot
more stations than I - and worked them. There were very few stations I heard
that I could not work - but I'm wondering what I did not hear.

The glaring difference in stations was his KT36XA tri-bander at 70 feet.
Certainly the extra 20 feet he has on me is a factor. But his antenna has an
excellent F/B ratio, and my quad is almost bi-directional - terrible F/B
despite published specs. I can work Europe and the West Coast without even
thinking of turning the quad. Nulls on the side are fairly deep.

So the question is, would going to a top rated antenna such as the KT36XA or
a SteppIR 3/4 element  going to signiificantly help my reception (staying at
48'), or is height my problem?


Bob - K3MQ

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