Pileups & amplifiers

Discussion in 'The DX Zone' started by KJ7ZEI, Jun 26, 2021.

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  1. KJ7ZEI

    KJ7ZEI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks all! Just making sure I was on the path heading in the proper direction. An amp is not affordable right now, considering new price on an amp in the 600w range costs more than my whole radio set up that I have at this time.

    My yard has minimal trees. With the tops at about 28-30 feet. I plan to build band specific dipoles with an inverted v configuration. I took the first step in buying a RigExpert antenna analyzer last week. A local electronics store specializes in stocking antenna building materials.

    Not to stray too far off topic. But for giggles I hooked up the antenna analyzer to my G5RV jr. and wow! No wonder that thing requires a tuner.

    I do have a better antenna than the G5RV jr. that I will put up this week. A Maxcon OCF 3k80.

    I should have more time for antenna building later in the summer.

    As a wise man told me the other day "DX is dumb luck and good propagation."

    Yesterday I hung up my new laminated world map. One pin for Spain. More to follow...

    Thanks again.

    73
    Brett in Boise
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2021
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  2. WN1MB

    WN1MB Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's around 1/2 wavelength on 20 meters, which is a good height. If you need a bit more height, think fertilizer, water, sunlight, and patience...or a guyed mast. heh.
    Reading that tells me you're going to do just fine in amateur radio! Good detective work.
     
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  3. N6RGR

    N6RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I will second and third the above suggestions. Spend your money on antennas! I was predominantly 100 watts and a wire for my first three years and then I splurged on a hexbeam (highly recommend for 20 thru 6 meters). As a casual rather than die hard DX'er I have found that 100 watts and a good antenna along with patience and perseverance were enough to snag some rare DX. I do have an AL-80b amplifier and have used it for a few rare stations that I could not snag with 100 watts. Generally I do not even bother turning on the amp. A rule of thumb I was told to follow was to spend at least half or more of your budget on antennas. A decent transceiver with good antennas will snag plenty of DX.

    Congratulations on getting your ticket, good luck and good DX, 73

    Roger N6RGR
     
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  4. KO4LMA

    KO4LMA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just put up on of Maxcon's OCFD antennas yesterday. Very pleased with it so far. Contacts all over with it so far.
     
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  5. KC7JNJ

    KC7JNJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    years ago I was running a simple dipole antenna. A friend of mine came by a Gap challenger. He set that up in his yard in a temporary setup. (as he rented his house) We would talk on 2meter simplex while we surfed HF together. He busted more pileups with that Gap antenna barefoot! I would try with my dipole I could work a few. But he would wade right into a big pileup and get heard. It always amazed both of us every time it would happen. More then a few times folks would ask how much power he was running. Antenna is everything.
     
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  6. N7WR

    N7WR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Secret to working DX in a pileup in order of importance"
    1. Operator skill which comes from listening and seeing how good operators do it. Refining those skills through practice. Things like how to effectively work split if that is what the DX is doing. Timing. How to give your callsign effectively emphasizing the letters that can stand out to the human ear
    2. Antenna
    3. Amplifier (but as another has suggested refine #1 and #2 before you invest in an amp. ) An amp may (but not necessarily) make up for deficiencies in 1 and 2 but eventually the amp advantage will have diminishing returns until 1 and 2 are mastered.

    I have 7 band DXCC confirmed. On 5 of those bands I did it with 1, 2 and 3 above. Just for the heck of it on the last 2 bands I decided to do it with 100 watts and a wire antenna rather than a KW and yagi. It was not that difficult. Good luck. Learn the right technique and it will serve you well in the pileups.
     
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  7. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    One of my operating skills is predicting when I'll be able to work a rare DX station. If a station is a All Time New One for a lot of operators I won't even listen to the huge pileup at 9PM EST. Instead, I'll wait until the wee hours of the morning and see if I can work it after most of my competition is fast asleep! I can also look through my log and estimate times that I can get through to that part of the world.

    Zak W1VT
     
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  8. KJ7ZEI

    KJ7ZEI Ham Member QRZ Page

    How is your installation set up? Such as inverted v, (off) center height, ends height.

    I have my G5RV jr.up on my Spiderbeam 40' (12m). But even with its light weight I have to leave the top two sections down, losing 8 feet of height. The Maxcon with its balun is much heavier so I will lose more height with less extended pole sections to keep it from looking like a fishing pole with a big fish on. The location of trees in my yard are not conducive to the length of the Maxcon. But my neighbor has a couple of good trees. I wonder if she'd mind? ;)
     
  9. K1VSK

    K1VSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Unless it is an expedition, it’s often more a function of when it’s the “wee hours of the morning”, commonly referred to a night, at THEIR end of the pileup than ours. That and propagation...
     
  10. KO4LMA

    KO4LMA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have mine almost flat top. The feed point is at 65 feet with the long end about 50 feet off the ground and the short end about 40 off the ground. Tuned up pretty well. 40 meters was a little high about 2:1 rest were pretty much on what they should have been.
     
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