[TowerTalk] Re: Beam Headings

Bill Coleman AA4LR aa4lr@radio.org
Tue, 14 Mar 2000 12:11:01 -0500

On 3/13/00 11:37 PM, Wes Attaway at wes@attawayinterests.com wrote:

>Call me a simpleton if you want to, but I think the recent thread on "lat,
>long, beam headings, etc" begs the question: Why worry about exact headings?

Good question.

>I offer the following thoughts:
>1.  Most HF beams have 3-db beamwidths of somewhere between 30 and 60

So, it doesn't matter where you're pointed, exactly.

>2.  There is usually some degree of "play" as the beam rocks back and forth
>in the wind; 
>3.  Most rotor direction indicating schemes are not perfectly accurate all
>the way around, and tend to become less accurate over time;

And you can't tell where you're pointed, exactly.

>4.  Many DX paths for "best signal" (particularly on long path routes) turn
>out to be dramatically different from what you would expect from looking at
>a chart;  you find the best signal, if necessary, by moving your beam back
>and forth; 

This seems to contradict point 1 -- if the beamwidths are really that 
broad, do you really need to rock the antenna back and forth to peak it 
up? Psychological value, perhaps?

>5.  Finally, after about 45-years of DXing with all sorts of beams (the last
>20 with two big Telrex yagis) I have yet to find a single situation where
>knowing the precise heading of the DX, and the precise direction my beam was
>pointing, had any bearing on my ability to work the DX.  I use essentially 4
>directions ..... approximately SE, NE, NW, and SW.  Sometimes I use E, N,
>and W (I don't remember ever pointing my beam due South).  That's it.

This is a great point. Precise aiming isn't needed -- fire the beam 
"thataway" will do it.

Bill Coleman, AA4LR, PP-ASEL        Mail: aa4lr@radio.org
Quote: "Boot, you transistorized tormentor! Boot!"
            -- Archibald Asparagus, VeggieTales

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