[CQ-Contest] Contest QTH

k3bu at optimum.net k3bu at optimum.net
Sun May 23 08:45:38 PDT 2010

Yo, yo
>From my experience, the biggest contribution to antenna performance is the ground/water/salt water under and in immediate vicinity of antenna. That is what contributes to forming the pattern of the antenna, launching the signal,. Further out terrain, ground conditions, salt water help to enhance and extend what was gained already. Flat surface of water presents least impediment to signals.
I was awaken by experiences of Team Vertical exploits at the beach and their results by just using "fishing pole" antennas. To verify their fishing stories I ventured to Cape Hatteras with 10m antennas, to see how well it works even at the highest band. Just driving along the shore I could see that close to shore, band would come alive, going away, fewer signals would be heard. Looked like some 10-15-20 dB difference. Wow! Then same was at Cape Breton in VE1.
W8LRL has 3/8 wave vertical with 360 radials 200 ft long each, un-obstructed surroundings on a small mound. Produces low angle inland.
VE1ZZ is in the location similar to one you describe. Ocean bay is to the East and he gets out very well.
TF4M installed his Arctic King loaded vertical on the shore of fjord, some ridge around but it works.
N2EE is on the salt water marshes on the bay with island chain strip and the above effect is very noticeable. Just take your mobile and drive around while watching the Smeter.
To summarize, salt water or good ground, radials under the antenna or immediate vicinity improve the efficiency, minimize the losses, form the pattern of antenna. Going further out, longer radials, good ground, salt water further help to gain or maintain dBs. Flat salt water further out adds to the efficiency and "brings" signals with minimum losses. 
I used to water the ground under my Razors before the contest and felt that it helped.
Experience of expeditions to small islands surrounded by the ocean and using verticals confirms that it is the ideal QTH. Anything else down the ladder takes away from those extra 20 dB at especially the low angles. It is interesting "ground" for the development of super antenna arrays taking advantage of the effect.
Yuri, K3BU.us

---- Original Message -----
From: Lew Sayre 
Date: Friday, May 21, 2010 10:18 pm
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Contest QTH
To: cq-contest at contesting.com

> Yo,
> OK, so a salt water take off is good for Tx and Rx. What about
> an archipelago or salt water bay or salty straight where you'd 
> have 20-30
> miles of sea water before running into land? You think that 
> would be almost
> as good as open sea water or maybe just a bit better than good 
> terra firma?
> Anecdotes- studies-experiences? We had salt water near us, 
> surrounded by
> a smallish land mass engulfed by the South Indian Ocean at FT5XO 
> and the
> verticals seemed to play pretty well.
> 73 and I remain,
> Lew W7EW
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