[TowerTalk] Combining ant elevation pattern data with propagation predictionsto produce a contest bandplan

Jim Smith jimsmith at shaw.ca
Wed May 21 02:25:53 EDT 2003

I've been having a lot of fun trying to come up with a way of deciding 
what band I should be on at what time in a contest.  I'm sure many far 
more successful contesters than I do it from experience and intuition. 
 Not having a strong feminine side (anal, she called me) I try to use 
logic and science as much as I can.

If you just want to know what my question is, skip to the end of all 
this stuff.

Here's where I'm at.  

I can run propagation predictions for various paths using W6ELProp.

I can suck all the info into an Access database I have built.

I can calculate a Figure Of Merit for each path on each band at each 
time (half hourly intervals) based on predicted SNR and path 
availability.  Whether the Figure Of Merit is realistic or not is a 
separate question.  I think it is useable for comparison purposes.

I can adjust the FOM to account for differing Rx bandwidths and, hence, 
SNR for ssb and cw (or anything else).

I can print a report sorted by band and then by time (ascending order) 
showing, for each time, the paths whose Figure Of Merit exceeds some 
chosen value (to reduce clutter), in descending order of FOM.

I can assign a band, mode and antenna to each time (half hourly 
intervals) and print a report which shows me for each half hour what 
band I should be on, which antenna I should be using and which paths (in 
descending order) are most likely to yield Qs.

W6ELProp assumes 100W into a dipole facing in the optimum direction in 
free space at each end.

I now find myself about to add the ability to adjust the path SNR 
according to output power and the, previously input, elevation 
pattern/gain/loss of the assigned antenna.

It occurred to me that, before I do this, maybe someone else has already 
done the work, hence the following question.

Is there an affordable program which will combine propagation 
predictions and antenna characteristics and tell me, for any path of my 
choice on any HF band, the likelihood of making Qs on that path? 
 Affordable?  $100    Not Affordable?  $500

Please don't ask me how I'm doing this.  This is a work in progress and 
time spent answering how-to questions takes away from the time available 
to do the work.  Hope I said this in an acceptable manner.

73 de Jim Smith    VE7FO

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