Topband: What do you use as a "Run" antenna?

by way of Bill Tippett <> topband-bounces at
Tue Feb 27 17:43:44 EST 2007

From: "Mark Beckwith" <n5ot at>
Subject: Re: Topband: What do you use as a "Run" antenna?
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2007 09:04:53 -0600

At W8JI for the CW contest I spent probably 95% of the time Europe 
was opening listening to some directional RX antenna pointed at 
Europe.  I would trust my ability to hear weak signals to tell me I 
might need to change RX directions, which happened frequently for the 
duration of one QSO, then back to EU.  I am sure there were guys 
calling in the non-favored direction which I never heard, but I don't 
think, in this case, you can have your cake and eat it too, at all times.

Tom's station had the ability to select any antenna at the push of a 
button, laid out like a compass, so it was very intuitive.  I pushed 
a lot of buttons.  Every once in a while I was fooled to think the 
station calling was a European when they weren't, but after you dig 
out part or all of the callsign, you know the answer to that question 
and change antennas for a quick finish.

Guys listening to me said I didn't miss much - which is a testament 
to Tom's receivers and noise floor, etc.

Europe was definitely the highest priority at all times Europe was 
coming in at W8JI.

In contrast, when W4AN operated this contest from Tom's he would use 
a different direction in a different receiver in each ear, hoping to 
not miss people.  I am pretty sure that was less productive, having 
tried it both ways due to the ease of configuring all of Tom's 
various equipment.

As a side note, I operated the SSB contest for about 2 hours from my 
station in Oklahoma.  I used to think my transmit vertical was a good 
receiving antenna, but I fear my trip to Tom's spoiled me for 
life.  This afternoon I'm going to step off the back 40 at N5OT for 
an 8-direction RX array :)

Mark, N5OT

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