40m Strategy

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KK5JY, Jul 6, 2017.

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  1. KR4IS

    KR4IS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I make pile ups on 40 into eu and middle east with a simple wire beam ..from 9pm till 3am is prime time..qth is virginia
    KK5JY likes this.
  2. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    The antenna(s), that you have available, play(s) an important part in what you can accomplish as well as the season of the year and the type of contest. According to the QRZ.com map function, I am 217.1-miles virtually directly south of you (I am in Richardson on the north side of Dallas, Texas). Although not that close, conditions, on 40-meters, should be pretty close between you and me.

    The 40-meter band has been my favorite for the entire 58-years that I have been licensed (my very first contact as a Novice Class operator was on 40-meters). My primary antenna(s) for the band are a HyGain HyTower and a full sized, home brew, 40 / 30-meter vertical. I do have the capability of phasing those 2-vertical antennas. Since I live on a suburban lot, I can only get the verticals about 35-feet apart. This means 90-degree phasing which produces a cardioid pattern with about a 4.5 dB gain in the desired "in line" direction, about a 3 dB gain at 90-degrees away from the "in line", and about a 20 dB "null" off the "back". I can reverse the phasing and, as such, "flop" the pattern.

    Due to the constraints of my backyard, the maximum gain is towards either Japan or South America depending on which way the antennas are phased. However, no matter what the phasing, I have about 3 dB gain towards Europe and Oceania. I can also use either vertical by itself which produces an omni-directional pattern.

    During DX contests, when there is activity for the entire 24-hour period, I can usually work some part of Europe between 20-hours and 24-hours of the day. As for the rest of the world, anywhere between about 4-hours to the entire 24-hours depending on the location.

    One thing that helps is the ground conductivity is the best in the United States and the fact that I live 1/2-block from the highest point in the City of Richardson. It is "downhill" for over 300-degrees of the compass and "uphill" for less than 10-feet and then "downhill" for the remaining less than 60-degrees of the compass. Looking at the ground conductivity map used by the FCC for broadcast licensing purposes, you can be in the very good ground conductivity region or in pretty bad ground conductivity. Stillwater, Oklahoma, is located right on a dividing line! I have attached the segment of the map that includes your area. This map segment just happens to be the segment in which I am located! The "X", in the lower "30" segment, is where I live.

    ground conductivity Collin County.jpeg

    It is possible to phase trap loaded verticals and get significant gain over a single such vertical. Using elevated radials, even if only a couple of feet off the ground, helps the efficiency of the antenna(s) considerably with only 4-elevated radials being equivalent to about 120-buried radials.

    Having a fairly low horizontal antenna, like a dipole, is very useful for "close in" contacts. That is, working stations out to around 1000-miles. Beyond that, the lower angle of radiation from vertical antennas usually produces a stronger signal.

    the 40-meter band is usually open 24-hours a day to "somewhere". Propagation is best for the "closer in" stations during daylight hours with the band starting to "go long" just before dark continuing "long" during the nighttime hours. However, as my European experiences show, with better antennas it is possible to work DX during daytime hours.

    Glen, K9STH

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