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Lopsided signal reports

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by N0MAP, Feb 9, 2018.

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  1. N0MAP

    N0MAP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am asking this here as I am not sure if the problem is equipment related or op related, and I am almost 100% cw these days when not operating from the field.

    I've now had around 100 QSOs using cw, and I am noticing a pattern. To varying degrees, the other op gives me a signal report that is higher than the one I give him. This morning, for instance, someone gave me a 5nn and later in the SKCC sked page said I had a very strong signal. I, on the other hand, could barely hear him. His signal was faint and very QSBy. I would say that situation describes 3/4 of my QSOs -- more often than not for sure.

    To complicate things, that's not always the case. I had a couple of very nice chats recently in which the other op was definitely 599. I also hear stations all the time that are loud and clear.

    On the one hand, I wonder if being a relative newb makes me less tolerant for QRM/QSB? I.e. maybe I'm expecting much more than I should? On the other hand, I am actually starting to wonder about my equipment. Sensitivity of my receiver? Directionality of my antenna?

    I appreciate any thoughts you might have.

  2. W2OZB

    W2OZB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    New Ops here as well and experience the same phenomena. I sort of chalk it up to these following issues:

    1. Some guys are doing all the "heavy lifting" with their antenna array. I have a G5RV up 30ft.
    2. I may have local conditions that have more QRN (High tension lines, various plants nearby)
    3. I live deep in a major city, some live on a mountain top in the country.
    4. As a new op I probably am more sensitive to QNR and QSB.
    5. Some ops send a 5nn regardless of the actual conditions.
    6. with only a 350 filter on my IC746, I may could probably use some others to help...
    7. Life is not fair.

    Just my $ 0.02

    K2MOB likes this.
  3. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Signal Reports
    I get guys who say "SRI QSB" when I think they re new ops with a problem copying who should be saying "PSE RPT QRS".
    I think a lot of electrical noises from a multitude of sources are going untraced and never corrected that is hindering the reception of too may hams on HF.
    Yes, there are the guys who automatically give a RST 5NN report to all and then ask for repeats.
    I constantly work stations who are S9+ who give me a 55N report and guys I can barely hear give me a 5NN. Maybe there are more advantageous settings in receivers that are being ignored, like using the "ATT" button on 75M when working local kW stations and then going to 30M and forgetting to shut off the attenuator, using a filter that's too wide on a noisy band...ETC...ETC
    Who knows why.
  4. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    It could very well be lopsided propagation....something that is the NORM up here. I might suggest some more controlled experiments...but lacking that, I'm not in the least surprised.
  5. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    As others have said, it's not surprising.

    My belief is that this situation is exacerbated when a station using a very low horizontal antenna works one with a horizontal antenna at a good height, and the stations are far enough apart that a substantial amount of the signal is arriving at a relatively low angle. The station with the antenna at a good height will hear the other station perfectly well, while the other station will have a hard time copying anything other than high-angle signals.
    K2CD likes this.
  6. N0MAP

    N0MAP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Alrighty, I am hearing that this pretty normal, so I am going to ignore it and move on. One of the things I've noticed in the months since becoming a ham is that I often have to be told "yeah, that's normal." I think it's the sort of thing an elmer would normally do, so thanks for being my e-elmers!

  7. KM4DYX

    KM4DYX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    FYI, I've heard you a couple of times calling CQ. Once on 40 and once on 80. I tried to respond but you couldn't hear me. I'm now running 20 watts to a 80 M dipole at 35 ft favoring you. (Yes I know that a 35 ft dipole isn't all that directional on 80.) Could it be that your noise floor is higher than mine? I'm in a neighborhood that is located in a rural area, maybe not as noisy as some? More food for thought.

  8. N0MAP

    N0MAP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks Al. Awesome to know you heard me, but bummer I didn't hear you.

    No doubt my insane noise floor at my home is relevant. It's often S6+ so I imagine I am missing lots of copyable but quieter signals.

  9. N0MAP

    N0MAP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ha! I just put 2 and 2 together. Good to work you on 60m yesterday John.

    It's very funny to me that you say this because if I ask someone to slow down and they don't (or they do and then speed back up again) I usually bow out using that exact technique.

    No need for that yesterday though as I had zero trouble copying you. I want to know what kind of bug can slow down to 11wpm or whatever speed we were at and still sound great.
  10. W1BV

    W1BV Ham Member QRZ Page

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