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What is the secret to logging zones/sections close to your QTH?

Nov 21st 2011, 20:39

Macromancer

Joined: Jun 1st 2011, 01:11
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The ARRL Phone Sweepstakes was a ton of fun. No surprise, the bulk of the sections that I was unable to log are close to my QTH.

Any tips on how to log stations on HF that are generally too close to work are greatly appreciated.

My setup is an FT897D barefoot into 3 separate dipoles cut for 15, 20 and 40 meters.

Many thanks,

KK4CIS
Alan
Nov 21st 2011, 21:53

K1ZZ

Joined: Apr 23rd 1996, 00:00
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Alan, 80/75 meters is the best bet for logging close-in SS sections. A low dipole may not snag much DX on that band but is ideal for this particular purpose. Sometimes 40 meters in the daytime will be OK as well, but with conditions on the higher bands as good as they were last weekend I'm guessing there wasn't much activity on 40 at the times that would be best for shorter distances. Glad to hear you had fun! -- 73, Dave Sumner, K1ZZ
Nov 22nd 2011, 01:56

Macromancer

Joined: Jun 1st 2011, 01:11
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K1ZZ, many thanks for the 80m/low dipole tip.

FWIW, b/f the contest I was trying out my recently strung 40m dipole and was able to work a NFL station early in the afternoon, so was hopeful that 40m would work close in during daytime in the actual contest.

It didn't work out that way, but I did manage to snag PAC on 40m very early Sunday morning, so on balance no complaints.

73
KK4CIS
Alan
Jun 30th 2012, 11:22

gw0nvn

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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As has been mentioned the use of low dipoles for 40m/80m will help. By low I mean about 20ft. This results in most of the transmitted and received signal radiation is at high elevations. In effect the signals go straight up into the ionisphere and are reflected straight down. (NVIS). This can result in good signals for about 200 miles. In many cases more.

At home I worked a station on 80m who was using an 80m dipole 3ft off the ground. I was using an 80m 1/4 wave length of wire horizontal at 10ft. We were 25 miles apart but there were three mountains in the way. On 2m we had to use 25W and a repeater station. But with 5W on 80m we had Q5 contacts.

One year for SS I found a 40m inverted V at about 25ft fed with ladder line worked a treat on both 40m and 80m. Plus all the other bands.

It is not just low dipoles, You need to study the rf propagation for the contest, where the population is and what time it is in their zone.( Are they sleeping when you want to work them) There are some very good resourses on the ARRL Website. Also this presentation from Dayton helps. http://www.kkn.net/dayton2006/N6BV-Dayton-2006.pdf.

It's a fun contest. You can learn much about hf radio by doing it.

73's

GW0NVN N1XIH
Jul 5th 2012, 22:41

gw0nvn

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Just found my Sweepstakes information pack I made up for the 2010 Contest. Other than the the rules, it contains some antenna construction articles. Which I hoped to try out.

There was also an article from the ARRL website entitled:-

The Doctor is In: Antennas for Domestic Contests by K1SFA

73's GW0NVN N1XIH
Nov 25th 2012, 00:38

K7EVI

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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I will agree with the idea of low dipoles on 80 and 40 m. AND also 25 feet up seems to be ideal. All 39 WA counties, most worked on both bands in the QSO party. Plus several in OR. 20m gave a bunch of DX at the same height.

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