How Close Would You Like to Live to Another Ham on HF

Discussion in 'Discussions, Opinions & Editorials' started by N4UP, Dec 28, 2012.

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  1. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is not really a technical question, but more a matter of perception. How close ( or how far away ) would you prefer to be from another ham active on HF?

    Currently my nearest HF neighbor is 1.2 miles away ( LOS ) and although he has a strong signal on HF there is no problem with us working the same band at the same time.

    I'm looking for a new QTH, where I can replace my indoor dipoles with a tower and a much more directional antenna. A month ago, I found a somewhat attractive QTH with a next door neighbor who is active on HF ( thank goodness for the searchable database ). I didn't buy the property for a whole host of reasons, one of which was that I wouldn't feel comfortable being that close to someone who is active on HF.

    Now I am considering another, more attractive QTH, and I am mapping every ham QTH within the zip code using MapQuest.

    So. If you had a choice, and if you were very active, averaging 30 HF QSOs a day, what would be your preferred minimum distance from another ham active on HF?

    Or wouldn't it matter to you?

  2. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have found that being close to another ham, no matter HOW GOOD your rig is, means that when he is on with a kilowatt, your rig will be desensed if not blasted. I get blasted by my beacon and it is only 25W. I can remember the days back in the 80s, I had another ham not really that close to me, but I just had to turn the rig off when he was on the air. The rig was rendered completely useless.

    Luckily, I am the only active ham up here in Crest, so no problems up here. There are several others licensed but I never hear them on the air. Maybe with a rig like the FT5K, playing with attenuators could reduce the desensing by nearby hams, but most likely not. So I don't mind living near other hams as long as they aren't on the air with a Kilowatt!
  3. W5INC

    W5INC Ham Member QRZ Page

    If we are talking about a good looking, single and rich YL who works HF, the closer the better. For the old crummegeons that are on HF, the further the better. :eek:

    It would depend on who the OP is of the HF station you are moving close to, when considering proximity to another AR OP. If you moved next door to a open minded, easy to get along with person there wouldn't be a problem. Move close to a idiot that his self centered at best, you might just run into some problems. Good Luck on finding a QTH that works for you. :)
  4. N2ADV

    N2ADV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I live within a few miles of 5 or 6 folks active on HF. I have run into several of them on various bands usually in response to a CQ I have sent out on phone. I spend most of my time on CW and Digital modes so I rarely see anyone local there. Other than that, I never even know they are there.
  5. AC4BB

    AC4BB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sometimes"Would you isn't a choice."
  6. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    If I can walk to that ham's house that ham is too close.
  7. N6OIL

    N6OIL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Also watch out for "those" 11 meter folks!
  8. N9ZMO

    N9ZMO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Right now, where I'm loving there are hams about 2 miles from me. There are two of them, one very active. When we move 'Up Nort' as it were, there won't be any within 25 miles.
  9. KE3FG

    KE3FG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Tell me about it! When **ww is on for a contest, about 5 miles from me, fuhgeddabouit.
  10. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I live less than a mile from another ham who runs a big gun contest station. I have never had any problems whatsoever although I can sometimes hear the AGC thumping during contests. I have tuned him in a couple of times and listened to him with the antenna switch open and I can copy him 40 over on a four foot piece of ladder line.

    I wish I had his antennas.
  11. G4OTU

    G4OTU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was very active (mostly contesting)on HF from 1980 to 1995 and my nearest ham neighbour was about 150 yards away...he was also fairly active. I don't think we ever found it a problem even when on the same bands.
  12. K9ASE

    K9ASE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have some surprisingly close hams. One is about four blocks away. He rarely chases dx and is the closest thing to an elmer I have.
    There are a few others that are between one and five miles. They do chase dx and use amps. I switch on the attenuator and wait my turn to call.
  13. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    There are some 2K hams in my county and 190 in my Zip Code. Probably some are inactive, and some operate VHF-up. That reduces the QRM a bit. Having a rotatable antenna on 40 thru 10m helps more -- I can point it toward the station I want or away from the QRM. The narrower and deeper InRad roofing filter is the last item on my list to eliminate the peskiest local QRM.
  14. N8YX

    N8YX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Band-pass and band-stop filters along with modern, capable receivers are your friends when operating in close proximity to a powerful RF emitter.

    Your daddy's FT-101EE or TS-520 ain't gonna cut it, folks.
  15. N0NB

    N0NB Subscriber QRZ Page

    Right now I have one of the local club members catty-corner across the block on the other side of the street and I've never been bothered by him. Another is a few blocks away and no problems either, although I don't think he's active at all.

    When I moved to Enid there was one house between KA7GLA and me. After an initial introduction in early 1992 we managed to get along quite well. That lasted a bit over five years before I moved to Wichita, KS and was within a couple miles of K0RH. We'd hear each other on occasion and then he fixed that by having us do multi-op efforts from his place. :D
  16. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a ham neighbor about 2 blocks from me. I believe he is a HF DIGI operator.
    . He has one long wire antenna fed with ladder line so he could be on almost any HF band and I have never heard him on SSB or CW.
    He also has a ringo-ranger looking vhf antenna so he may be on 2M FM packet. I sometimes hear the repetative, slight desense on 80M that could be from AMTOR signaling.
    I think 1/4 to 1/2 mile from an active KW operator would be a good spacing.
  17. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    At one time, there was, on average, 1 active amateur radio operator every 4-blocks in any direction in the residential areas here in Richardson, Texas. During major contests, it was "wall to wall" operation. It really depended on the equipment used by each operator as to how significant the problems were. For the most part, those running solid-state equipment were left "holding the bag" and those who were running tube-type equipment operated pretty much without problems.

    The late Joe Johnson, W5QBM, lived across the golf course, less than 0.5-miles away. He had a 4-element mono-band 20-meter yagi at 60-feet above ground and I had a 3-element mono-band 20-meter yagi at 55-feet above ground. Since I live 1/2-block from the highest point in the city, my yagi was slightly higher above sea level than his. We could both be working on our antennas and be able to "wave" to each other. W5QBM was running a Collins 32S-3A, 75S-3C, and one of the rare Collins 30S-3 linear amplifiers. I was running a Collins 32S-3, 75S-3A, and Henry Tempo 2001 linear amplifier. On a "normal day" (no contest), we could easily get within 10 kHz of each other on SSB and have no problems. During a contest, with the considerably higher level of activity and resultant QRM, we could easily get within 5 kHz of each other and have no problems.

    There are a number of operators within a few blocks of me right now. K5CQ's tower is less than 150-yards straight north of me. However, Tom is not usually that active so I don't really have any idea as to how much of a problem his operation might cause. He does have a Collins 32S-3 and 75S-3B receiver but doesn't usually run an amplifier. I can easily see several towers when I am working on my main tower and there are even more operators with verticals and dipoles of which the antennas are not readily visible.

    Only one operator ever even causes me any problems and that is usually on 6-meters. However, that amateur radio operator is infamous for over-driving his linear amplifier and also causes a number of interference problems with his neighbors. Unfortunately, he cooperates with no one and goes his own way. Fortunately, he is not that active and, even when he is transmitting on the 6-meter band, I can usually still get within 30 kHz of him without losing contacts.

    Glen, K9STH
  18. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have active hams running high power to good antennas on HF who are within a couple of miles.

    Closest is probably K6SMF, who is about one mile away and very "line of sight," especially since he has monoband beams on towers for 10-12-15-17-20-40 meters, as well as VHF. Five towers. His 17m beam is 92' above ground and has a 40' boom, I can see it from my driveway.

    No problems at all now, since Neil ditched his FT-1000MP MKV and uses other stuff (K3, FTDX5000, etc). That Yaesu really made operating within 20-30 kHz of Neil impossible, but it's gone and now I don't even notice he's on the air unless I tune within 5-6 kHz or so.

    Mike W6YLZ is 2 miles from me and has a big SteppIR 40-10m yagi at 70 feet, driven by an SB-220. Zero problems there at all.

    Dave WA6DKN is very active, mostly on 17-20-40 and although he's 8 miles from me, we are very line-of-sight to each other, as he's up on a hilltop and with binoculars you can see my tower from his backyard. I did have some proximity issues with him years ago, but Dave now runs an IC-7800, FTDX-5000 and K3 (with various amplifiers including the big new Alpha monster) and I must say I can creep up within 3-4 kHz of him before I notice he's on the air. He had an issue with his Icom PW-1 SS amp for a while and it was generating spurs that were quite strong, but he sent it back and they fixed the issue; had something to do with the microprocessor circuitry.

    Spectral cleanliness of the transmitters used makes a big difference.
  19. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks to all for responding. Some very nice/helpful insights.

    Thanks to the QRZ database and MapQuest I have learned that there are 237 hams in the county and 74 in the zip code. Of those, 15 are within 5 miles ( LOS ) of the home on 10 acres that I will be looking at on Wednesday of next week. But from the look-up data I infer that only one of the 15 are active, and he is technician class and almost two miles away. There seem to be only a handful of active hams, i.e., with more than 1,000 look-ups, in the zip code, and all but one are more than 5 miles away and most are around 10 miles away. So I am now thinking this might be a good QTH for me and my two FTDX-5000MP's. I will be prepared to add band-pass/stop filters if needed.

    I still have to check the elevation angle to the mountain ridge-line to the west and verify where on the 10 acres I can place a tower ( shouldn't be a problem, but I might have to clear some trees ). I will also visit the County zoning, planning, and permitting folks, as this is my first QTH-hunting-visit to this particular county. The nearest neighbor's house is about 260 feet away from the most likely tower location, and there are plenty of trees for privacy, and while there are deed restrictions, there are none that mention antennas, so the only possible conflict would be the standard "nuisance" clause. This potential QTH is in Virginia, on a ridge line that runs more-or-less northeast-southwest, and given the population density I should be able to put up a 72' crank-up tower consistent with Virginia's PRB-1 which allows 75' or 200' towers depending on population density.

    I have already considered and rejected over 60 potential new QTHs in a five-state-region and this is the only one left after a two-month search, so I am somewhere between guardedly hopeful and guardedly optimistic, as none of the other 60-odd properties met my ten criteria.
  20. KC8YLT

    KC8YLT Ham Member QRZ Page

    My next door neighbor. They are a retired older couple and very nice neighbors. Neither of us run over 100 watts of power. There are 2 other hams here in my little town that are active they are usually on vhf and I hardly ever here a peep out of them on HF. We all get along and if there is any problems all of us is in the phone book.
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