TopBand: YB0ARA/9 Contest conditions on 160 meters

Bill Tippett btippett@CTC.Net
Mon, 08 Dec 1997 07:14:20 -0500 (EST)

Condition's where not all that good again !  The JA's where there along 
with a few VK's and one BV7.  I worked VK6HD, heard JA3OND working Jeff and 
the BV was QSX in the JA portion of the band.  Never did hear any USA or 
Europe !  I heard bit's and pieces of stations from time to time, but never 
with copy that allowed me to get a call out of the QRN.  The problem here 
is that we finally started our rainy season.  This is a very late start ! 
 We would normally be just out of the rainy season.  Last year at this time 
I had very little thunderstorm activity, this year lot's.  Right now as I 
type we are having a very large thunderstorm passing through !  Lucky that 
we really need the rain, so that is one good point even if 160 is a mess. 
 I have a International Red Cross relief operation starting this week do to 
the lack of rain !

On the good side, I got the off center feed dipole up and working this 
weekend.  It seems to take power on all of the bands and the SWR is below 
3:1 and in most cases below 2:1 so the antenna tuner work's well with it. 
 As the feed is now coax and is off set from the vertical, still using the 
same tree, it does not seem to bother the vertical, nor does the vertical 
seem to bother the dipole.  With the little time I have had with it, I 
found that rain or sun shine the loading stay's the same and it seems to 
work as well as the open feeders did.  So this means I can be a bit free to 
play with a 160 meter antenna as I won't need 80 or 40 meter's with the 
vertical anymore along with the fact that neither antenna appears to have a 
problem with the other in it's normal place.  I still want to play with it 
through the week and then next Saturday secure everything on the dipole and 
Sunday take down the present wire vertical and try an inverted "L" if all 
continues to go well.  Still on most nights around 1.826.5 waiting for the 
opening and a reduces noise level !

Phil YB0ARA/9

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