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Rock Bound On 160 AM

Discussion in 'Amplitude Modulation' started by N8AFT, Aug 17, 2016.

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  1. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Greetings all. Looking to have my Viking 2 on 160 during the coming seasons.
    This will be my first year to have an antenna capable of it.
    Being rock bound what frequency is favored?
    Thanks for the replies. VY 73 lane de n8aft
    N6YW likes this.
  2. AC0OB

    AC0OB Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have a rock for 1.885 and was rockbound until I got a VFO 122 for my V2-CDC beast.

    Some other frequencies are: 1985 kHz, 1963 kHz, 1945 kHz, 1933 kHz, 1880 kHz, 1843 kHz.

    AC0OB - A Place where Thermionic Emitters Rule!
    Besides, when you're a Ham, you experiment with and improve boat anchors - that's what you do!. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2016
    N6YW likes this.
  3. K5UJ

    K5UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Lane,

    Well, there are two general areas for AM (from my observation--you may find out differently) which unfortunately are 100 kc apart: 1880 +-10 kc, and 1980 +- 10 kc. Around here, the guys up in Wisconsin and a couple groups down south tend to be on 1980 and hams over in Michigan, Ohio and maybe Indiana are on 1880. Some of us try to cover both.

    Have you operated 160 before? It can be a challenge, but we need activity on that band. If you can put up some sort of base fed vertical like an inverted L and a lot of radials, then that is very good. many many short radials is better than a few long. The downside is such an antenna will stink for receiving. Depending on your location, a low hanging dipole, or some sort of small loop is good for receiving. It's all about S/N ratio. 160 is not like 75 and up. You often do better with a separate rx antenna. I want to be encouraging but honest--you won't strap with 100 watts, but you will likely have good QSOs with guys inside 200 miles of your QTH most of the time. Hope to hear you this winter!


    N6YW likes this.
  4. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page

    OK Rob, Just the info I was hoping to find. Ant here is a MA160V for TX and a phased pair of Pixel loops for RX.
    The rigs I have to put on fone are a Viking 2 and a Valiant 2. RX is R390 and R388.
    I'll give it a try and TNX for encouragement OM. Primary mode here is CW but was very active on AM a few yrs ago on 40m.
  5. K5UJ

    K5UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    A characteristic of medium wave propagation is long slow fades. A good transmit setup is needed to overcome that. Everything needs to be maximized to the best of an operator's ability because of the noise level (in particular for QSOs that are beyond in-state) and QSB that often has to be overcome. If you can find a way to run 300 watts or more output that's great but don't overlook full audio and antenna efficiency. Guys with crappy antennas like low hanging dipoles, piss weak audio running Rangers or even 100 watts are often in and out of the noise but it partly depends on condx. But the less RF in the air the less likely good condx will help. It's a band conducive to ragchewing but no one wants to spend hours digging a piss weak signal out of the noise. Right now I run a plastic radio driving a leenyar which basically sucks, but the plate modulated rigs are either scrotless or set on 75 m. The upside is the plastic radio/leenyar allow me to run a lot of processed audio.

    Keep in mind, it may not always be you--the op at the other end may be dealing with high noise from appliance junk in his local environment. Note that a lot of this applies to AM. CW is a different situation in some ways.
    N6YW likes this.
  6. W2VW

    W2VW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    A good way to overcome long QSB is space diversity reception.

    Put up another antenna for receiving far away from the tx ant.

    On 160, 120 feet will work but 500 feet will work quite well. Fades appear at different times on the two antenna. Feed yer headphones with a pair of receivers. Far out.
  7. K5UJ

    K5UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Widely separate antennas and diversity reception would be wonderful but it can't happen on my 50 x 100 foot lot. But I have around 450 feet of RG6 for after I move to "land spreading out so far and wide" if that ever happens.
    N6YW likes this.
  8. W2VW

    W2VW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's too small. Can you get more dirt and expand it?

    My lot is 80 X 100 so I don't have a 160 receiving antenna any more either. Had one at the last place. Will have one at the next place.

    Small lots forced me to learn how to feed short doublets with relative efficiency. Relative to hambone tuners one can buy. Grow or die.
  9. K5UJ

    K5UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sure. A mound sounds like a good idea. Get my place 100 feet higher than the neighbors. :)

    You have room for small rx loops. I've tried different things: wires on the ground, random wires and small dipoles only 5 feet up, homebrew tuned coax loops, and hamstick dipoles. The random length untuned wire with a preamp would have probably worked okay were it not for the several 50 kw broadcast station plants in my area. One on 1160 and another station on 820 produced a nice signal on 1980 in my preamp :(
    The best reception was with the hamstick dipoles, but they are so high Q that they become deaf about 100 kc above or below the frequency they are adjusted for. but, no probs. with broadcasters. Anyway, all that was blown away by the Pixel loop antenna. Not cheap, but the antenna and preamp designed for it work very well. Looking forward to winter.
    W2VW likes this.
  10. W2VW

    W2VW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The only way to get on AM in a tight neighborhood is to get the antenna above the neighborhood.

    When I put my tower up 22 years ago the town zoning administrator was a licensed amateur.

    The only thing required here was a ham license. They did not issue permits for towers. Just use common sense.

    Times have changed.
    KD2ACO likes this.

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