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Lopsided signal reports

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

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  1. N0NB

    N0NB Subscriber QRZ Page

    This seems to have always been the case. Back when I got serious on the air as a Tech to take Element 1B in the summer of 1985, I quite often would be answered by a station that was quite weak yet they most always gave me a strong signal report. The effect seemed more pronounced when I was using a vertical with no ground field. On 80m with a low dipole (now known as NVIS) reports were quite reciprocal.
  2. AA4OO

    AA4OO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've never understood why many stations using a vertical hear me better than I hear them with my windom. When I work a station reporting that they have a vertical they are almost always an s-unit or even two lower on my end than they hear me. I guess verticals hear better than they send.
  3. KM4DYX

    KM4DYX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm surprised that comment didn't generate a lot of hate lively discussion from the vertical antenna aficionados.
  4. G3YRO

    G3YRO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Obviously Readability is ALWAYS subjective . . .

    But the OP was talking about Signal STRENGTH reports . . .

    If your antenna is Efficient, then Signal Strength reports will normally be reciprocal, if both stations are giving proper S Meter reports.

    However, if your Antenna is NOT Efficient, then it may be OK on Receive, but not radiate well on Transmit. (a good example of this is a vertical with a poor radial system, or an end fed with no decent ground system)

    Roger G3YRO
  5. KM4DYX

    KM4DYX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    OK, N0MAP, you need to push some buttons on that fancy KX or something because I'm hearing you at 559 with QSB here in NC and you're not answering my call. Surely this quirky old SG 2020 of mine can't be filtering better than your KX?
    N0MAP likes this.
  6. N0MAP

    N0MAP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ha I swear it's not personal. I am equally opportunity deaf to stations! I kid you not, my noise is currently at s7. I have heard a couple of stations respond and tried to dig them out to no avail. I just had a QSO with a station from SC that was copyable, so it can be done.
  7. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    What kind of antenna are you using, and how high is it?

    If you are using a low (less than 1/4 wave high) horizontal antenna, your results are pretty typical.
    K2MOB likes this.
  8. N0MAP

    N0MAP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Horizontal loop that is nowhere near high enough (one side is 30' and the other 15'). I live in a national park with lots of restrictions, so height is never going to be an option, sadly. And my backyard is not large enough to support the radials for a vertical etc. The frequent S7 noise floor lends itself more to remote operating than optimizing the antenna at home :D
  9. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    It almost certainly is large enough. In the case of in/on ground radials, many small radials are better than a few 1/4 wave long ones. Radials need only be approximately 1/4 wave long if they are elevated. If you can put in 50 radials 15 feet long, it will almost certainly work better than what you have now. Even if the radials can only cover a 180 degree arc, it will still almost certainly be better than what you have now.

    In addition, it is best if the radials are laid out in straight lines; but on the medium wave and longer bands, many people lay their radials out in a swirl. As long as they do not cross each other, this can work surprisingly well. There is traveler's information station about 18 miles from my house that uses a shortened, compromise vertical. It's supposed to have a range of maybe 5-6 miles, but I can hear it clearly out here, 5/5. I asked around and found out the engineer installed it with 120 full-sized radials, laid out in a swirling pattern so as to not take up much room. Its field strength is good enough that I occasionally hear it all the way out here after dark, competing with Radio Rebelde out of Havana, which has a pretty good signal into eastern Central Texas.

    To be frank, I realize that you are stuck with a compromise antenna, and you have my condolences; but the one you have chosen, while easily constructed and operated, is about the worst one you could build. When one is limited to low supports, an inverted "L" is usually a much better compromise between local and DX work than a low horizontal loop.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
  10. N0MAP

    N0MAP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Alas, my backyard is about 17'x45' and it contains: a 12'x12' garden, a concrete porch with table chairs, and a bunch of landscaping. I.e. it doesn't make a very good radial field either buried or elevated. I don't have a picture handy, but think like this:

    No condolences necessary! The horizontal loop gets the most wire in the air I can given my space. In the last 6 months I've WAS outside of AK, some DX, and made 100s of QSOs. It's waaay not optimal, but when the noise is down (i.e. 5am, my fav operating time) it works well enough to tide me over until the next trip to a hilltop etc. Totally agreed about the invert L btw, but afaik they require radials.

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