[CQ-Contest] CQ-Contest] Impressive demonstration of one dB of signal strength improvement

john at kk9a.com john at kk9a.com
Thu Aug 22 14:55:01 EDT 2019

What a great presentation and how it relates to contest scores. It  
starts to get very expensive when you are squeezing that last dB out  
of your station either though commercial sized Heliax or by adding  
even more aluminum to your tower(s).

John KK9A

Doug Grant K1DG

Many years ago, Clarke Greene, K1JX, casually mentioned that he had
determined adding 1dB to your signal strength would result in a 6% increase
in your contest score (mostly applied to DX contests). I filed that away
for future reference.

Test cases are hard to find, but I found one in 2014 when N1UR switched
from Low Power to High Power in the CQWW. Same op, same QTH, same antennas,
and very comparable propagation near the top of the cycle.

My conclusion: the K1JX "6% per dB" rule was about right.

The exercise for the reader is to figure out how to add dB at the best "dB
per dollar" ratio. Not all dB cost the same!

You can find some hints in a presentation I did a while back at CTU:


Slides 5-22 cover this topic.


Doug K1DG

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