Topband: frustration

Jeff Maass jmaass at
Tue Oct 30 19:10:06 EST 2007

> -----Original Message-----
> From: topband-bounces at 
> [mailto:topband-bounces at] On Behalf Of K4RO 
> Kirk Pickering
> Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2007 4:16 PM
> To: TopBand
> Subject: Re: Topband: frustration
> On Mon, Oct 29, 2007 at 07:19:36PM -0400, Tom McAlee wrote:
> > Until you operate down here, it is hard to understand why stations 
> > thousands of miles away can hear you but stations in the Caribbean 
> > cannot.
> I remember my first time ever at the key as DX from the Caribbean.
> After calling CQ around 1831 kHz or so, I soon had a little pileup.
> The static was beyond horrendus.  I worked W4AN, and after 
> our QSO, Bill spotted VP5/K4RO. The pileup grew bigger, but 
> almost NONE of the calls could be pulled through the static. 
> It was unbelievable. 

I have become convinced that one must be brain-damaged
to sit sorting signals-from-static on Topband in the
Caribbean for extended periods. It's painful and 
frustrating most of the time, with the occassional 
satisfying interval.

I now have nine contest trips to PJ2T under my belt,
and I spend much of my non-contest operating time
there on 160.

On Curacao, on the transmit inv-L I typically have S9
noise with frequent crashes to +30 dB. On a really good
night, the noise is S7-S8, with crashes to only +20 dB.
The receive antennas (Beverages, flags, and now a DX
Engineering RX 4-square) help enormously, but during
the 2006 ARRL 160 Contest, I estimated that 40% of my
1185 QSOs were painstakingly pulled from the noise,

I can't wait to get back down there in a few weeks!

73,  Jeff K8ND


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