Topband: Conditions from East Texas This Season

Phil Clements philc at
Sun Dec 25 15:04:21 EST 2005

I was so glad to read Charles, K5ZK's observations on recent openings and
contest weekends. I have walked all my Beverages several times lately just
to see if they were still up! Listening to all the pile-ups, (like VQ9LA
Christmas Eve) also left me scratching my head. It seems there is a lead
wall at the Oklahoma border this year; it is most frustrating to sit down
here in E. TX and listen to the massive pile-ups and the reports given to
the DX stations from both coasts and the upper Midwest without even a peep
heard here. What few openings I have had to EU since December 1 have been
puny, to say the least. Signals have been running from 429 to 549; not a
remarkable signal to be found so far. The MV Island operation was especially
frustrating; listening to the pile-ups night after night with nary a whisper
here. I have been able to add 6-7 new countries, but all were a chore and
very hard work.

It has taken me 25 years to accrue 150 countries and 32 zones on Top-Band.
Guys with 250+ countries and 36-40 zones certainly didn't do it in Texas! At
least you West-Coasters are valued contacts for EU stations. You never hear
anyone calling CQ W5 like you do CQ W6-W7.

I guess we Texans will get to shine when the Peter I group is QRV. The last
operation from there was like shooting fish in a barrel on all 9 bands from

There is very little bang for the buck here; the season is very short when
you live in tornado alley. If I get 80 quiet nights per winter, I feel
really lucky. That works out to about 950 hours time available for DX
hunting per season. I have more money invested in 160m gear/antennas than
all the other bands combined, and get to use it least.

All the best to all Top-Banders for a great year to come !

Phil Clements, K5PC

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