Radio W4KAZ

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ARRL 160 Meter

Summary: Total: QSOs = 122 Sections = 38 Countries = 2

Total Score = 10,000

I only got on for a few hours of casual S&P this year. I had fun with it last year, and this year was no different. I’d really like to put in a larger effort into this contest next year. That just didn’t pan out this time around.

This year I spent the bulk of my time listening for the ghost QSO’s deep down in the noise level. Early in the evening on Friday, between the local east coast QSO’s I could hear guys down at the noise level out west making Q’s with their own locals. The DX window was useless for me on Friday night, but I managed to work PJ2 and HI on Saturday. Too busy watching the Bodacious Bigtime BCS Blowup(i.e., college football chaos)

Mostly it was interesting to spin the dial and listen when there is so much activity on 160. The propagation was interesting in the early evening on Friday. I’d have liked to spend more time operating Friday night and into the Saturday morning gray-line, but that will need to wait.

I think I’d like to try more experiments with receive antennas for this contest, and I’d also really like to lay out more radials for the inverted-L. Right now it has about 12 radials and all of them are very short.

I may also just ditch the 160 antenna entirely, as it is occupying a bit of prime real-estate in the available antenna supports(i.e., trees). I find 160m propagation fascinating, but it really requires more real estate to do it properly. Right now, keeping 160 through the end of 2008 is probably the plan, then I’ll try to improve the antennas for the higher bands as the sunspots begin to rejuvenate 15m and 10m.

I’ve been toying with a couple of ideas I have never tried out: Horizontal loops, a 40m or 20m 2 element delta loop quad(wire), an 80m vertical, and maybe a 20m half square. For playing with any of those experiments, I’ll need to start moving antennas around some to make room for the experiments.

Based on the success I’ve had with the K9AY, I’m looking into short and /or loaded Beverages now, mostly from curiosity.

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