Topband: Fwd: Great job on Topband!

Bill Tippett btippett at
Fri Mar 29 13:22:43 EDT 2013

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Don Beattie G3BJ
Date: Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 1:06 PM
Subject: Re: Great job on Topband!
To: Bill Tippett

Bill - I'm back in the UK now after a week with family in VK6 after 9M4SLL.

We're quite pleased with the results on 160. Under some pretty extreme
QRN conditions (as always in the ITCZ) we made some 1300 Q's on 160.
You're right about the 16th March. John, 9M6XRO was operating at the
time of that opening, and comments:

" I worked W4ZV followed by N4IS, VE3ZI, VE3EJ, VA3EF,  K4SV, N4NN,
W4IZT, K4PI, W2YC, K9RX and K9CT within about 45 minutes. FYI I was
actually receiving on the Titanex that particular night."

I suspect that the use of the Titanex for receive may have been
because of the direction of the signals - our pennant was SP to the US
and would not have favoured skew paths. We tried beverages on 9M0C in
1998 with absolutely no success and anyway, it's impossible to get any
length in the right direction without running them across an active
runway !  The ground is poor on the island and of course the Pennant
does not need an earth.

It's interesting to see the comments from some others about the
operating at 9M4SLL. One has commented that "I witnessed several
stolen QSOs on 160m, where bad ops in NA would continually call during
a QSO, and the op on your end would not stick with the "N0??" or
whoever and, instead, work the lid.  Not cool." In my view, this shows
a lack of understanding of the issues of working under extreme QRN.
It is 20dB+ over S9 with short (perhaps 400-700mS) periods of relative
silence in between. In those periods of silence the operator will do
well to get one letter of a call. Probably just a part letter. So
those at the other end should not be surprised if an initial response
to an N0 turns into K0 or K9 or something entirely different. There is
little confidence in the letter received at first, and it is only
through continual repetition of the call, careful attention to the
timing of letters and a bit of luck with the QRN that any QSOs are

In this context, I offer a thought about calling technique. In a way
it is rather like meteor scatter. You need to cram as much into those
400-700mS periods of relative silence as can reasonably be done. So
those stations calling who, at the first sign of receiving
difficulties at 9M4, slowed their sending, were doing exactly the
opposite of what was needed. Several times I asked "call faster" with
little effect.

Anyway, we did our best, and hopefully satisfied some. Good to work
you on 160, and thanks again for your comments.

If you feel any of this would be of interest to the Top Band Reflector
crew, please feel free to post it !


Don, G3BJ (50% of the 9M4SLL 160m crew !)

From: Bill Tippett
Sent: Thursday, 21 March 2013, 11:32
Subject: Great job on Topband!

Hi Don,

It was nice to chat briefly with you on the Low Band Chat.  Wow you
had a phenomenal long path (SSW from here) opening on 16 March!  I'm
curious if you were receiving via the South at that time?  You
certainly seemed to be hearing much better so I assume something
changed on your side.  I heard you quite well on 14 March when you
worked W4DR and W3UR but that was definitely direct path (NW from
here).  It's amazing conditions can be so variable from one day to the
next.  I heard you quite well again via long path on 17 March and
could have easily worked you then but it seems not many others were
hearing you very well.

If you (or whoever was operating on 16 March) could post a summary of
your experiences with NA propagation to the Topband reflector I'm sure
many would be very interested.  Thanks again for an outstanding effort
on Topband!

73,  Bill  W4ZV

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