- The team didn’t understand or follow propagation.
- The team didn’t know what the gray-line was.
- The team worked all of EU, despite all of the funding coming from the US.
- They worked EU when they should have been working LP West Coast.
- Their antennas were junk, who takes hexbeams on a dxpedition?
- They were 599+ here and worked EU instead.
Monday, January 26, 2015
Friday, August 16, 2013
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Friday, October 21, 2011
A couple of years ago, I subscribed to the CQ-Contest reflector list. That was back when I was trying my hand at contesting and I thought it might be a good place to glean some pointers and tidbits.
Unfortunately, I’ve been greatly disappointed because many of the threads degenerate into name calling and repetitive gripes about cheaters and what can possibly be done to run off people who aren’t contesters but want to do the unthinkable…like operate on 20 meters during CQ WW.
It also seems a lot like a closed society. Newbies are often run over.
I’ve considered pulling the plug many times but an interesting thread started up recently about using multiple direction antennas and splitters. Not that I would have the capability to ever do that, but I was curious how this might work. No harm in being curious, right?
So tonight I’m following the thread and I read this (and I give credit to the author, who I don’t know from the man in the moon) from N4OGW/5, and I quote:
“In a contest situation once such a lid has started up, it sometime also works to go narrow on the lid :) Point a gain antenna #1 at the lid during transmit, and receive on another antenna #2 pointed in a different direction. Usually antenna #1's pattern has enough leaks in other directions that you can continue to work other stations until the lid moves on.
I also use split stacks of two yagis quite a bit on 20 and 15 during stateside contests from MS (single amplifier of course). From MS the two population centers are northeast and west. If I point a beam at one of these centers, the other is precisely in the null off the end of the elements. I suppose I could use a stack of moxons or similar with a wide forward pattern, but that would sacrifice a lot of dx performance compared to the yagis.
Finally a “real tidbit” that probably shouldn’t have been spoken out loud, don’t you think? What we’re talking about is nothing more than deliberate QRM, aren’t we? Someone gets too close to your frequency, just point towards them, blast them and run them off.
In hamspeak, the term “lid” generally refers to a poor operator. But, between us adults, let’s face it, it means someone being an ass or someone doing something stupid. I see some irony in his decision to refer to another op as a lid.
Now, I’m not naïve enough to think that this doesn’t go on all the time. I’m also not so naïve that I don’t think that people without multiple direction antennas tied to a single transmit signal are the only ones who employ this tactic. I’m sure a lot of contesters and hams in general with single antennas turn them in the direction of a someone to run them off. But I’m thinking that there’s a lot of contesters, both of the courteous and sneaky persuasion, who are probably gritting their teeth and thinking, “Hey man, just keep your trap closed about this tactic.” Is this how to maintain a run frequency?
I’ll be curious to see if anyone posts anything and addresses that.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
In roughly two years of half-way intense DXing with 100 watts, a hexbeam, a 43-foot vertical, and a G5RV, I’m at 272 countries worked. I say “half-way intense” because I rarely make myself wake up in the middle of the night to chase a country (although it has been known to happen), I’m out of town a good bit and, thus, miss a lot of opportunites, and I still put family priorities ahead of radio fun.
If I owned a 70-foot tower and had a lot of aluminum on top of it, I might think that 272 countries doesn’t look very impressive. And it isn’t about looking ‘impressive’; it’s about accomplishing a goal. Even with my very modest station I can work DXCC in one weekend. Now the going is a lot tougher. There’s fewer countries that I need and fewer opportunities to find them on the air.
So, reality has set in. If I want to make 300 countries, which I’ve set as my immediate goal, I’m probably going to have to make some changes. Not changes that involve buying a new radio, the 590 is proving to be one heck of a good choice. I need to make changes in my antenna system AND I need to put more time in. The last part I can control and change right away with not very much investment.
Here’s what isn’t going to happen. I’m not going to buy and install a tower. I’m not going to buy an amplifier. I’m confident that I can make 300 countries without either. Beyond 300, who knows?
So, I’m mostly working with what I have. For starters, with fall and winter just around the corner, I’m installing a beverage antenna. I have the space and it’s something I should’ve done last year and didn’t. That’ll help tremendously on 40 and 80, perhaps even a little bit on 30. When the leaves fall and the snakes hit the road, it’s as good as in. Next, I’m making a dedicated antenna for 30 meters. More on that in another post. Finally, I’m raising my hexbeam. For a very brief time I had it at 40 feet. That didn’t last very long, for several reasons. Bottom line, it’s been sitting at about 27 feet for a year and a half. I have the means to raise it to 45 feet but that’s on hold until my arm heals. I managed to rip my bicep muscle in my left arm and I’ve got about 4 or 5 more weeks of “non-use” following surgery to reattach it. I do, however, believe that the increased height will make a difference. Most tout that 40-45 feet is optimum for a hex. It also needs some maintenance performed when I lower it.
Also, despite the wonderful upsurge in sunspot activity lately, you’ll notice that I’m mostly concentrating on the low bands with winter approaching. I hope that proves to be a wise decision.
Here’s what many of you probably won’t understand, but some will. I don’t want to hit 300 countries right away. That’ll mean that I’ll have to come up with a whole new strategy for the next few. I also don’t want a station that I can turn on and have the DX in my log in 15 minutes (or less). Again, I know that flies in the face of many. I’m not going to explain that because you either know what I mean or you don’t. And if you don’t, you’ll never understand.
I want these next countries to mean just as much, if not more than the first 100 and the second 100 did, and I want them to require considerable effort. Because I know that I could rush out and buy all the items to make it happen really quick. Then I would have convinced myself that I really needed that amplifier and that tower to make it happen.