[VHFcontesting] Re: Suggestions on Antenna Heights for 50 MHz

Dave Pascoe KM3T km3t at contesting.com
Mon Jul 30 12:22:56 EDT 2001

On Fri, 27 Jul 2001, Fred Lass K2TR wrote:

> In my experience you need two basic antennas, one high angle for short
> sporadic-E/nearby meteor scatter, and one low angle for ground
> wave/long one hop sporadic-E/long meteor scatter.  Two hop sporadic-E
> may peak on either antenna depending on the location of the clouds
> that day.

Fred's right.  The importance of the low (high angle) antenna can't be
overemphasized.  I was the 6m op at the K1TR/3 Blue Mountain operations
(1990-1993 or 1994, can't remember) in Pennsylvania (FN20, near Allentown,
PA).  We used a Hy-Gain 6el Yagi at about 20' AGL and a 6el Cushcraft
Boomer at 60-70'.  The Yagis were never fed in phase, just used as
separate antennas.  The low antenna was fixed southwest, and used
primarily for meteor- and forward-scatter work, though it was also useful
for short Es openings.  The high antenna did the rest of the work
(long-haul Es and meteor scatter, as well as groundwave).

The nice thing about the Blue Mountain location was that we were on a
ridge that ran roughly NE/SW, so we had ground gain in those directions.
In the other directions we probably had a little ground gain, but the
ground actually started sloping downward sooner in those directions.

If I had to do it all over again, I would adopt a system similar to the
one Fred describes above.  Very flexible.  And I'd use homebrew antennas.
Or maybe take a look at the M2 antennas...all their other stuff is
top-notch, can't imagine 6m is any different.

The FN20 location was really nice.  We were only about 1600' ASL, quite
different than nearby Camelback Mountain (FN21), which was around 2100' or
2300' ASL.  Camelback, in my opinion, is the ideal VHF contest location in
the Northeast.  I operated 2m there in 1985 at the K3MTK operation and was
in heaven.  Greylock is nice, but without the rover factor, a good
operation at Camelback can beat Greylock, under normal conditions, at
least on 6-1296.

 now trying to figure out what to do next in VHF contesting

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