Topband: KR1S comments -right on!

Michael Tope W4EF at
Fri Dec 23 17:43:42 EST 2005

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Rick Karlquist" <richard at>

> 1.  Get a linear, preferrably 1.5 kW
> 2.  Get a rig with an effective noise blanker
> 3.  Get a 100 Hz audio DSP filter
> 4.  Put up a simple receiving loop and orient it to null out the noise.
> May or may not work, but worth a try
> 5.  If running a vertical, use top loading wires.
> 6.  Get a Titanex vertical, which can be tilted up at night and laid down
> before the neighbors see it in the morning.
> 7.  Try a beverage on the ground (BOG) or beverage on the fence if your
> situation allows you to sneak something like this.
> 8.  If you have a tower, hang a sloper from it or shunt feed it.
> 9.  If you have an inverted vee for 80 or 40, use it as a top loaded
> vertical.

10.) Learn to be patient.

The weird thing about 160 is that the openings are hard to predict
and many times inconsistent. This is the part that makes it interesting.
With my high noise level here at my QTH in the city, most of the time
I can't hear the stuff the guys in the quiet rural areas are working
and sometimes I can't even hear the stuff other city dwellers can
hear (my RX antenna situation admittedly needs some work).
Nevertheless, there are what I like to term those occasional "3 sigma"
openings that seem to defy the norm. This is where the little guy can
cash in. For example, most of the time, VK3ZL is just audible here.
With the 120 Hz DSP filter in the FT1000MP MKV on and some
concentration, I can typically hear about half of what he sends when he
is ragchewing with W8JI. During the one of the DX contests last year
(ARRL CW I think)  there was one of those 3 sigma openings to Bob.
He was S9+for about 30 minutes with a huge pileup of USA stations
calling him. He sounded like he was right down the street. It was
simply amazing. Likewise, about 5 or 6 years ago, I got up one
morning and heard N0NM/DU9 calling CQ. He was many dB out
of the noise whereas most of the time I don't even hear him (I just see 
the spots, but nothing but QRN when I listen on the rig). Wish I had 
a better TX antenna installed that morning (I think I was still using an
80 meter dipole at 27 feet). I am not even sure if I had an amplifier yet 
(see tip #1).  I am still waiting for a repeat of that opening (Jon keep 
calling). Another great example of this comes from a local DXer. He 
has a shunt-fed tower on a small urban lot here in the greater Los 
Angeles area. One day I heard him report on 2 meter FM that he had 
worked 4X4WN shortpath on 160. I couldn't help but think that it 
might have been a slim that he had worked (good openings to the 
Middle East on 160 from Southern California seem to be pretty rare). 
Not so, I heard him report several months later that he got the QSL 
card. He was in the right place at the right time - a great catch for 
anyone, especially a city dweller.

BTW, a very unscientific observation on my part. I am beginning to 
wonder if these 3-sigma openings that I describe are more prevalent 
during periods of higher solar activity. It seems like there haven't been
any for me yet this season. I see lots of good openings (as observed 
via telnet postings) now that we are approaching a sunspot mimimum, 
but most of these openings haven't been good enough to bring signals 
up over my high noise. This is in contrast to openings like the one where
I was hearing ZS6UT 59+10dB on his sunrise peak a few years back.
Perhaps in late winter/early spring things will improve. 

73, Mike W4EF...............................

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