Topband: V55V in SP

Guy Olinger K2AV k2av.guy at
Mon Dec 29 15:36:43 EST 2014

I worked Rick at 03:21 from NC. He called me while I was running. His
signal was much louder than many eastern US stations.

What is interesting is that here the big 3/8 wave L over FCP is mostly on
the ground from late summer derecho winds and not repaired for medical
reasons. The collection of disrepair includes my 8410 and its blown screen
supply, so I was running the K3 barefoot. The antenna I did feed for the SP
was the only possible cobble, out at the shed my end-fed 80m 1/2 wave L up
67 out 67. It works very well on 80.

The 80 m L is fed with a "tank circuit" and with a very high feed Z any
ground will do. The RF current is very low at the end of the half wave, and
even the ugly effective RF resistance of the ground there is only a few
percent of feed R. The ground is the shed's power ground rods, and #4
copper that bonds the shed ground to the house system at the RF entrance
point on the house ground ring, plus whatever misc conductivity is added by
the coax shield which is grounded to the same panels on either end as the
#4. Removing any one conductor from the matching network ground makes no
discernible difference in the feed Z at the network.

But on 160...  :>)  It is all those things I tell people never to do -- a
15-20 ohm 1/4 wave L fed against a very lossy entirely miscellaneous
ground. It was WAY off 50 ohms or anything remotely resembling an
on-purpose 160m feed. But the K3 auto tuner matched it and the 70-ish feet
of coax easily. The match was quite broad, wonder why...

It became very clear working S&P perhaps half the stations I called either
could not or could only barely hear me, and I usually lost to anyone else
calling regardless. Running allowed me to at least work people that could
copy me, if sometimes with multiple repeats. The depth of signal depravity
could not be explained just by conditions, needing the antenna cobble to
explain the rest.

Which brings me back to N6RK. At 03:21Z I was running when he called me
with a signal louder than a lot of eastern US signals, we finished the
exchange in five or ten seconds, and he was gone. It's possible the signal
was due to his sunset, but normally in the best of conditions I don't work
the left coast from NC until three or four hours later, sunset or not. I
will normally work even Arizona or Idaho hours earlier than CA or OR or WA.

After the first half hour I had already resigned myself to working only the
loudest low hanging fruit, and that was indeed true. Except for Rick, and
K4XU in OR, not as loud as Rick, a few minutes later. All possible
explanations will be read with interest.

I never heard V55V.

73, Guy.

On Mon, Dec 29, 2014 at 9:42 AM, Milt -- N5IA <n5ia at>

> I see many posters complaining about bad condx.
> I worked nearly every station I heard, including
> many east coast stations, using only 100W to a
> vertical.  Big surprise was V55V with a very
> solid signal 10,000 miles from the left coast.
> That's a 48 point QSO.  I have noticed on other
> bands that there seems to be a pipeline to V5,
> I guess I can add 160 meters to the list.
> No blind calling here.  I was able to raise him
> with only a few calls.  Condx seemed pretty good
> here.  I put up a low dipole for the contest,
> but it didn't hear any better than the vertical
> this time.  It was also interesting that the
> difference in S meter reading between antennas
> varied from 5 to 20 dB, the vertical being stronger.
> Rick N6RK

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