[CQ-Contest] Yes, there really is a DX "window" on 160

Bryon PAUL Veal n0ah bryonveal at msn.com
Fri Jan 7 09:15:08 PST 2011

Before returning to Top Band this past yea to contest, I contacted a few of 
the better known experts about how the band plan has been evolving where I 
could call CQ and avoid the ownership issues with some of the top band 
crowd. Not too much had changed on the band for my 16 years, but I'm still a 
newbie compared to most, and I always learn something new by asking- 
especially in preparing for this year's contesting-

Away from asking questions to real top band experts,  I have noticed the 
following differences in comparing to the ARRL' Considerate Operator's 
Frequency Guide to my own experience-- 

According to the Considerate Operator's Frequency Guide published by the 
ARRL, here is the following information on Top band's band plan then my own 
personal take on it--

1.800-2.000  CW            Just avoid CW around the SSB nets especially 
above 1.900MHz............they can get cranky-
1.800-1.810 digital        From what I have told and have heard, 1.810MHz 
seems to be the calling digital frequency- but I don't hear a lot of it-
1.810 QRP CW Calling frequency.......................sure, what ever- I 
would suggest calling on a clear frequency +- 2KHz of 1.815 and avoid the 
/QRP stuff- it is so, well, so un-QRO'ish
1.843-2.000 SSB, SSTV, or other wide band modes ... I assume other wide band 
modes include the QRO SSB Nets and guys using full legal to talk across 
state lines? (just kidding, sort of)
1.910  SSB QRP-  Reality check- what 160M DX'er is tuned above 1.850MHz, and 
that is stretching it- Then again, SSB DX on 160M for a stateside op to call 
CQ QRP is rare anywhere-
1.995-2.000 Experimental   Every antenna heard and used to listen on Top 
Band is experimental!  I don't quite get it with this one-
1.999-2.000 beacons         OMG- Really?  No one is tuned to listen here who 
really cares about beacons- (just kidding) your best at the low end of the 
band- 1.801 for example- but beacon from where? If it is a rare DX location, 
the welcome mats role out, if it is a guy in Texas, well, my guess is that 
it will eventually create a flaming thread-

Now according to the experts, and I really mean the guys who are considerate 
and very well versed.......CW is pretty much the language of DX'ers on Top 
Band. And from 1.811-1.842MHz, this is where DX occurs. It is just the 
common sense of building an antenna for 160M as most have high Q's, that is, 
very limited band-width- if you want to talk stateside, just hang out above 
1.980 and have fun-

>From 1.815-1.838Mhz, a lot of DX is heard,  and international DX calling is 
from 1.830-1.835MHz.  Although a stateside station calling CQ in this 5Khz 
always seems "uncomfortable to hear", as you just know it is going to get a 
QRM'er in there who has been listening here for DX calling CQ-

During a contest, and most are CW, 1.800-1.860MHz will be busy- if you are 
new to topband in contesting, I would suggest S/P tactics more than trying a 
run-  With a 100 watts, I ran a lot in this year's ARRL 160M CW, over 500 
QSO's with a vertical and a 100W, but it was being in a pen ball machine as 
big QRO stations with listening antennas not directed at me, typically just 
CQ'd right on top of us- (I never get peeved on 160M about this, but I do on 
20M, go figure- -

73 es Gud DX

paul  N0AH  or Fred in Toronto, avid SWL hobby jock-

I found good runs for over 20 minutes here and there between 1.801-1.820 
then I tried to sqeeze in around 1.839+- 1 KHz, and sometimes, around 
1.825MHz but this is the area, +-5 KHz, where you really get knocked around 
trying to establish a run- Because even if you get away from the stateside 
QRO op pounding on you, that nice quiet spot you just found is also being 
checked out by DX anf just wait, you have people answering your CQ but they 
are not talking to you- just the DX guy who took your frequency! Har!

All my 2 cents- said with a sense of dry humor- don't take it too seriously- 
but I think for what its worth, I would encourage anyone new to topband to 
get on the topband reflector, ask around to some of the frequent "sane" 
posters, and ask about what you want to do on the band and see what they 
tell you- Most of these guys are very fb ops- You'll get great advice-

The culture above 1.900 and below 1.900, really more like below 1.850MHz, 
are vastly different. pretty much rag chewers vs DX'ers and everyone one 
pays good attention to the old school rules.  I would suggest that if you 
are like most of us with limited space, your potential antenna for top band 
is going to have a very high Q- My old Butternut HF2V with the 160M had 
about 7KHz, and add another 10 with the rig's AT.  My Cushcraft 160M 
vertical has 15Khz of usable bandwidth, add 30 with the rig's A/T and all of 
the band with my Dentron 2000 mega tuner- but I never go above 1.850MHz as 
it is not my crowd-  So being contester mostly on this band, and a little 
pistol with no amp- I'm tuned around 1.820MHz and have had good luck this 
year with it-

-----Original Message----- 
From: kr2q at optimum.net
Sent: Friday, January 07, 2011 6:42 AM
To: cq-contest at contesting.com
Subject: [CQ-Contest] is there really a DX "window" on 160

RE:  recent "beacon" activity + associated "comments"

So OUTSIDE of contest, is there really a DX "hot spot" on 160?

Sounded like a fun project.  I went to DX Summit (a reasonable source) and 
asked for 1000
of the most recent spots on 160 (I think I selected CW).

About 100 of them were for Ws and VEs, so I deleted those (not "DX") from 
the protester's

I then sorted by callsign and found the distribution per QRG (round to the 
nearest integer).

Here is what I found

I know the columns don't line up, but you get the idea.  Remember, this is a 
count of

QRG # calls spotted % of all DX spots

1810 4 0.9%
1811 13 2.8%
1812 12 2.6%
1813 6 1.3%
1814 15 3.2%
1815 16 3.4%
1816 10 2.1%
1817 13 2.8%
1818 17 3.6%
1819 21 4.5%
1820 16 3.4%
1821 22 4.7%
1822 21 4.5%
1823 19 4.1%
1824 31 6.7%
1825 21 4.5%
1826 14 3.0%
1827 15 3.2%
1828 18 3.9%
1829 18 3.9%
1830 23 4.9%
1831 16 3.4%
1832 18 3.9%
1833 12 2.6%
1834 5 1.1%
1835 3 0.6%
1839 12 2.6%
1840 9 1.9%
1841 3 0.6%
1844 4 0.9%
1845 8 1.7%
1846 1 0.2%
1847 4 0.9%
1848 1 0.2%
1850 8 1.7%
1851 1 0.2%
1853 1 0.2%
1854 2 0.4%
1855 1 0.2%
1860 1 0.2%
1861 2 0.4%
1877 1 0.2%
1880 1 0.2%
1888 1 0.2%
1906 1 0.2%
1911 1 0.2%
1925 1 0.2%
1930 1 0.2%
1945 1 0.2%
1980 1 0.2%
total 466 100.0%

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