TopBand: The Twilight Zone/Musical Beverages

Bill Hohnstein
Mon, 22 Dec 1997 02:38:40 -0800

This was the strangest day on 160 as far as propagation is concerned
that I've ever heard...
  From a half hour before until an hour after sunset either my 43
or 86 degree Beverages were better for receiving Europe (rather than
the normal longer 30 degree one).  This isn't that unusual and I
didn't think much of it...
  From 0300 until 0500z most Europeans were stronger on my 8 or
352 degree Beverages.  This is highly unusual for 352--I was beginning 
to think that I'd never use it before midnight.
  I called CQ DX at 0509z.  I heard a weak station come back--I
couldn't get the call.  I switched from 30 to 43 to 86 degree
Beverages and was starting to copy.  "Let's try 140 degrees."
I could then copy OK1AWZ.  I spent more time confirming this rather
than paying attention to exactly what Milan was saying--140 was
definitely the place to be!
  Tuned the band and found that he same was true with G3RZP and
SL3ZV--I called SL3ZV.  He was 569 with 140.  He started to fade...
The next transmission I switched Beverages and found him 599 on the
352 degree Beverage!
  All of the other European stations heard until 0600 were better on
the 140 degree Beverage except for DJ7AA and F6FGZ who's better
Beverage seemed to shift every ten seconds from 140 to 8 degrees!
  From 0606 - 0720 the better receive antenna varied from station to
station with 8 - 140 being the limits.
  Tonight brings home a point that's been in my mind for some time--
dual frequency receivers are nice, but when is a HF diversity
reception receiver going to show up?  I know that there're a few
hiding in the background for Cellular--two antennas feeding a single
radio which automatically selects the antenna with the better signal
strength.  Boy, would a diversity receiver with ten antenna inputs
would really help me tonight!  I'm sure that cost and lack of
sufficient demand are the reason for their absence.
  I can supply a complete list of stations worked/heard, time, and
the better Beverage for anyone who desires it.
  All European signal levels dropped below their earlier strengths
after 0620...

73,  Bill     K0HA

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