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

David Robbins K1TTT k1ttt at arrl.net
Wed May 21 11:18:57 EDT 2003

I think you missed one small factor.  You have to consider how many
contesters are on the other end of each path.  Figuring a great figure
of merit to zd8 is good, but if it only produces one qso its not much
use... on the other hand a lower fom for dl could produce dozens of
qso's in a half hour period.

And then of course you have to consider the solar factor... all the
predictions you can make before a contest go out the window when a
coronal hole rotates into view or the first little flare stirs up the

David Robbins K1TTT
e-mail: mailto:k1ttt at arrl.net
web: http://www.k1ttt.net
AR-Cluster node: 145.69MHz or telnet://dxc.k1ttt.net

> -----Original Message-----
> From: towertalk-bounces at contesting.com [mailto:towertalk-
> bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Jim Smith
> Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2003 08:26
> To: towertalk at contesting.com
> Subject: [TowerTalk] Combining ant elevation pattern data with
> predictionsto produce a contest bandplan
> 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,
> 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
> 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
> 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
> 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
> time spent answering how-to questions takes away from the time
> to do the work.  Hope I said this in an acceptable manner.
> 73 de Jim Smith    VE7FO
> _______________________________________________
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