Topband: TopBand Beacons

Keith Jillings (G3OIT) g3oit at
Wed Mar 15 05:57:55 EST 2006

Ralph Matheny wrote:

> It seems to me that beacons on VHF, or even HF, may help spot openings
> but on 160 the best DX is worked during very short periods of enhancement
> to highly specific areas.  Dozens of reports of such prop have shown
> up on this reflector this winter.  There are also lots of signals on
> freqs adjacent to 160m which would seem to me to be adequate "beacons".

I'd go for that.   There's no substitute for being up and awake at the 
right time, many times.

However, the "receive" Skype site has another purpose:  for those of us 
without the area for "proper" antennas, it allows us to monitor our 
signals over a greater distance and to see how things are working out as 
we "cut and stick".

I'd have given a lot for such a facility about 45 years ago when several 
of us were experimenting with 264 foot balloon-supported verticals (not 
very vertical because of the effects of wind), inverted Ls and inverted 
Vs.   Back then, the wisdom that is now generally received wasn't known 
to us, and we experimented a lot.   It was pure accident that created 
the antenna that worked for me.

Then, of course, after one season of immense fun, the firm posted me 
overseas and I've never since been able to reproduce that fine inverted 
L and its radials and counterpoises.   Anno domini is taking its 
inexorable toll, but I still harbour hopes of a location where space and 
antenna height will not be constrained.


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