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A random thought about DXing, hearing what you can't work...

Discussion in 'The DX Zone' started by WD4ELG, Oct 19, 2021.

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  1. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It seems to me that antenna efficiency is particularly important on 160 meters.

    Since moving to Virginia 8 years I have used three antennas on 160 meters. The first was a 270 foot OCFD up about 40 feet. Could hear some, could work some, but not particularly well. Mostly CW, mostly in contests.

    Then I went to an inverted L with 76 x 130 foot radials. Huge improvement in TX performance. Added some beverages so I could hear as well as I could TX ( most of the time ). Could hear lots on 160 meters and could work most of the stateside and some Europeans.

    I could hear lots of European and African stations in between all the stateside high-power stations, but most of the DX could not hear me, even with 1500 watts.

    So. I then installed the big DX Engineering mono-band vertical ( with 24 x 24 foot cap hat ) for 160 meters, with the same 76 x 130 foot radials. Suddenly I am working almost all those stations I can hear in the small spaces between the big signals. I assume that most of them have good RX antennas if they hear me. Funny thing is, that many of those other big USA signals and not being heard by the DX, or at least aren't working them much. At least that is my perception based on my operating last winter.

    The big difference, I believe, is that the DX Engineering vertical is simply more efficient. Based on ease of making contacts, I would infer that my 800-1000 watts is much stronger on the big vertical than it is on the inverted L. That's right, I even lowered my power level because I don't need the extra power much any more.

    So my philosophy is: put up the best and most efficient antenna I can. For each band.

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