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HF -- No one hears me!

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by AC1LL, Jun 16, 2021.

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  1. AC1LL

    AC1LL XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    New to Ham Radio. Have an ICOM 7300 and a 102' G5RV. Antenna center is up in a tree about 40' with the legs in an inverted V down to about 10' each. On 20 and 17 I can clearly hear transmissions from Europe, South America, etc., but no one seems to hear me! I've done some FT8 with mixed success. QSO's as far as France. One thing I've noticed is that incoming signal reports are often +13db while the ones I'm getting back are down at -11db or sometimes lower. I'm going to try and get the antenna legs higher, but wondering if that will help.
  2. KC3PBI

    KC3PBI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you haven't already discovered it:

    Do an FT8 session, call CQ for a while, make a few contacts if anyone comes back. Then go search for your own callsign on

    Theoretically you'll be presented with a map of who heard you (with signal strength) even if the operators didn't respond.

    A self-check like this can be a HUGE help when troubleshooting an antenna, because you'll be able to see changes in the data almost immediately and without having to rely on anyone else.

    Good luck!
    W4HRL, KY4GD, WN1MB and 1 other person like this.
  3. W7HV

    W7HV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Raising the ends of an inverted V antenna helps very little. Get the center higher, but you should be doing OK with it at 40'. From your description it sounds like some other problem. Perhaps mic gain and processor settings in SSB?

    The signal reports you cite are not usual. Signal strength reports are given in an S number ranging from 0 to 9, usual said, "You're S7". S9 is the highest S number so sigs over that are reported as S9 + X dB. Usually said, "10 dB over S9" or you're plus 20." Using S units, there are no negative signal strength reports. 0 is the lowest.

    The B in dB is capitalized because it's someone's name, Alexander Graham Bell. Units named after people are usually capitalized. Volts, Amps, Watts, Farads....
    WN1MB and AK5B like this.
  4. AC1LL

    AC1LL XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I know about pskreporter and have been looking at it. Followed your suggestion to be a bit more scientific. Best response (as far as distance) on 20m. Reports out to US west coast (I'm in Maine) Europe as far as Finland. Reports consistently low even for stations within New England (did get a QSO with Dominican Republic while testing). Other bands are weaker. On 80m get very little distance, but strong reports (+13) locally.
    My question is whether the low elevation of the dipole ends might be the issue. I will probably try that, but wondering whether to try a OCF Windom as alternative.
  5. N3RYB

    N3RYB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I was just looking at your spots on pskreporter right now and what you are seeing is pretty typical for the time of day. I'd say your antenna is working okay, band conditions are just what they are.

    You're not going to get any distance on 80m during the day, just regional. Do 80m DX in the night. Same with 40m. Stick to 20m and up if you are looking for DX during the midday :)
    PU2OZT likes this.
  6. AC1LL

    AC1LL XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks again.

    I will get back to this tonight. My real issue is that I'm not getting heard on SSB at any time of day.
  7. SWL37632

    SWL37632 QRZ Member

    Suggest you get a basic book on antennas and associated propagation characteristics of the various bands.
    AK5B and KU3X like this.
  8. W4HWD

    W4HWD Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You also have to remember that FT8 is a shouting match and many stations run well in excess of 100w. There have been times when I've called stations repeatedly on 20 and 40, at the busiest times, and nobody would come back to me; other times I'm beating them off with a stick, or working the Seychelles on the first call. Point is, you're antenna is fine and while putting the feedpoint up a wee bit higher will net you nothing, getting them legs up very well might (I too run a G5RV on 80, 40, and 20, but mine is flat-top at 56'). Pick an online receiver, tune the receiver and your rig to a clear spot on the dial and press the TUNE button on the software. You'll find you're getting out fine. Working DX is a snap if you and the DX are the only ones on the frequency...but that rarely happens on other modes, and never happens on FT8.

    By the way my G5RV stunk on 17m (lots of lobes/nulls and SWR >5:1) so I built and hung a separate doublet to cover that band.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2021
  9. W4HWD

    W4HWD Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    True for 80, not true for 40m. From sunrise to about 9am local 40m is open to Asia - most of my YB/JA 40m contacts occured during local daylight hours in the morning.
    N3RYB and AK5B like this.
  10. N3RYB

    N3RYB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is what I get for not operating on 40m at that hour. By that time I've usually moved up the bands :)

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