Lopsided signal reports

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

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: OK1UUad-1
ad: Left-3
ad: Subscribe
ad: L-MFJ
ad: FBNews-1
ad: Left-2
  1. KC3JIN

    KC3JIN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I run a QRP portable station and if I'm not on 40(and between some trees) I'm running a STL..

    Of course I'm gonna hear you better'n you hear me :)
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  2. KM4DYX

    KM4DYX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Of course, padawan, and N0MAP is also QRP, but transmits better than receives...the force is strong with this one.
    N0MAP likes this.
  3. VE7PJR

    VE7PJR Ham Member QRZ Page

    VIZ vertical can do it. Vibroplex Original can do it, Champion or Zephyr would do it. It's right on the hairy edge, though. Better to do one of the mods: heavier weight, pendulum extension, VariSpeed or the ultimate mod: reach for the straight key. I've got to build a connector box for multiple keys. At the moment I just use the dah side of the bug if somebody needs to go below about 12 wpm. I call that "semi-cootie" mode.

    Once the snow's off in July :D I'm putting down a 400-foot receiving loop. Right now my receive is pretty deaf because there ain't a lot of copper out there. I usually get higher RSTs than I send. I know some of that is "5NN" is easy to send, but having a short antenna on most bands is part of it, too.
  4. N0MAP

    N0MAP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I worked most of this weekend's SKCC WES using my KX2, and this gave me some insight on this problem. I didn't break any records with ~30 Qs in 24hrs, but it was definitely more cw operating than I normally do. I noticed that I had many fewer lopsided reports when using the KX2 as compared to my TS520. You'd think this might have to do with the tendency to 5nn or 55n everything in a contest-like setup, but I don't think that was it. I think it's filtering.

    My TS520 doesn't have a cw filter nor any sort of noise reduction etc. In contrast, my Kx2 is loaded with these things. I normally run the cw filter at 500hz. When I'd get a response to cq that was faint, I could do one or more of these things: reduce the filter width, turn on the preamp, increase noise reduction, engage the peaking filter. Some combo of these frequently made a barely-audible, uncopyable signal easily copyable. I love it, but I am not sure I am going to use the 520 much after this experience.
  5. KM4DYX

    KM4DYX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think you're on to something. My quirky old SG has some ability in this regard but I bet your KX2 stomps it.
  6. G3YRO

    G3YRO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think there are two issues at play here . . .

    The first is that a lot of people just give 599 reports . . . this is the norm in any contest, and also with DX-redition stations. But I've noticed others do it too.

    The other issue is whether you are giving actual S Meter signal reports . . . or old-fashioned audio reports?

    If you have an S7 noise level, then someone who is actually S8 with you won't sound very strong . . . so maybe you will only give them S2.

    However . . . I believe it's WRONG to do that ! It's not the other guy's fault if you have a high noise level . . . he wants to know how strong his signal is arriving at your receiver.

    I ALWAYS give actual S Meter reports . . . and make sure the S Meters on all my rigs are calibrated as accurately as possible.

    If the other stations are giving proper S Meter reports, it's my experience that signal reports will almost ALWAYS be reciprocal, if the other guy is running the same power. (unless it's one of those rigs where they turn the pre-amp off, which makes the S Meter read 20dB too low ! In fact if I get a poor report, I then ask if that's the case)

    Equally, the kind of filtering in the receiver should NOT affect the strength of the signal . . . although it WILL affect how well you can copy him !

    Roger G3YRO
  7. N0MAP

    N0MAP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I didn't realize those are old fashioned. How do you measure readability (i.e. the first #) on a meter?
  8. AA4OO

    AA4OO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I normally give a signal report based on how well I hear a station rather than my S-meter. My favorite radio is my TenTec C21 and it doesn't have a S-meter and my KX3 S-meter is affected by whether the pre-amp is on and how much I have the RF rolled off, so I can't rely on it for a real signal report either. The only rig I have that seems to offer a consistent S-meter reading without regard to pre-amp or RF roll-off is my TenTec Eagle.

    In terms of lopsided reports, I think it's mostly antenna differences. I was working some stations today using my resurrected Heathkit HW-101. I was outputting about 60 watts through my OCFD which has been a good performing antenna for me. I was answered by a Canadian station running QRP through a inverted sloper. I sent him a 339 even though he wasn't moving my S-meter because although I could copy him it was tough. There was a strong adjacent station that wasn't helping. Should I have sent him the actual S-meter report? I was copying less than 50% due to QSB.

    He sent me a 599 and was obviously having no trouble copying and wanted to ragchew. I think that QRP combined with a compromised antenna will definitely result in a lopsided signal report.

    I run QRP with my other rigs and normally will cut a QSO short if the other station sends me a 339. I don't want to make the other station struggle to copy me in a ragchew.
    KC3JIN likes this.
  9. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a clothes line , wooden spring clip that I use to extend the length and therefore slow the oscillation of the dit pendulum, gets down to 12 WPM I can add a 2 inch wood screw into the end to get down to 10 WPM
  10. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Multiple Keys and Paddles Together
    Sending with half a bug, SIDEWAYS , sounds very awkward.
    I have my Vibroplex Champ, my J38 staight key and the output of a MFJ GrandMaster keyer, all parallel wired into my rig's front key jack and the HamKey paddles wired into the back jack to run the internal keyer in the FT990.
    That way I can INSTANTLY change from one keying device to another ! Don't even use a "junction box" with multiple plugs and jacks like some have mentioned. Just WIRE.

Share This Page