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Surfin’: Contesting One Extreme to Another

12/03/2010

By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, Surfin’ considers contesting from one end of the HF radio spectrum to the other.

Talk about extremes: This weekend is the ARRL 160 Meter Contest and next weekend is the ARRL 10 Meter Contest. In the past, I worked both contests -- 10 meters, many times; 160, once or twice.

Ten is my favorite band, and when I was chasing DX and contesting on 28 MHz, I had a 5-element beam (a converted CB antenna) up there. I will never forget one Saturday 10 Meter Contest morning, working UK stations via aurora before the band started opening up to that part of the world. With the five elements, I was one of the first stateside stations into Europe and one of the few that caught the aurora. It was a thrill.

The Top Band is a different story -- a story too ugly to talk about during the holiday season. I’ll save it for Halloween.

Tooling around the Internet, I find that Wikipedia has entries for both 10 and 160 meters.

Steve Ickes, WB3HUZ, writes about simple antennas for 10 meters, while Hector Espinosa, XE1BEF, has a page full of links to 10 meter antenna how-to articles all over the Internet.

Hector does the same for 160 meters, and Mike Toia, K3MT, writes about his inverted ‘U’ antenna for those who (like me) “find it hard to get on 160 meters because of the antenna.” Mike also has some other unusual antennas on his Web page.

Of historic interest is a History of 160 Meters (including W1BB Stew Perry letters), put together by Tom Rauch, W8JI.

Until next time, I hope to work you during the contests, so keep on surfin'

Editor’s note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, writes Surfin’ 5200 times a century. To contact Stan, send him e-mail or add comments to his blog.



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