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Thread: 160m ... what an amazing band!

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Southeast Wisconsin


    160's a blast! I've been operating on 160 since the 80s, when I was poor college student with a General Class license. Back then LORAN made anything above 1900 kHz a mess (with the exception of a few frequencies that were pretty much staked out as turf by a couple of groups that met on them nightly). Until recently, I've been neglecting 160, due relatively low activity here in the upper midwest. But, despite my 150 foot random wire being on the low side (it's my building's rain gutter, and it's only about 30 or 35 feet above the ground), for the past few weeks, I have been making an effort to do more 160 operating. 160 doesn't have as much of the operating shennanigans you hear on the higher bands. Also, despite the noise often decreases after 10 or 11 PM (when most people go to bed, shutting down their consumer electronics noisemakers).

    160 is full of surprises. I can remember times being on 160, when the noise was 20 over 9, and it didn't matter, because even the 50 watt stations were coming in at 30 over 9! As Tom mentioned, 160 can occationally surprise you during the daytime. Back in Aug. 1987 (a couple of weeks after I graduated from college), I held a nice ragchew with an OM in New Jersey while operating from W9YT (the Univ. of Wisconsin club station). The kicker - it started at 1:30 PM, and went until 4 PM! It was on SSB to boot, and I was operating barefoot with a TS-830S (the club didn't have a 160m amp).

    I hope to get in some QRV time on 160 tonight.

    Ellen - AF9J

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Central NY


    Quote Originally Posted by KC0W View Post
    We shall discuss domestic 160 QSO's only.

    Last month during the two 160 'tests I was working coast to coast (literally) at 3 PM local time from here in the upper mid-west. The loudest signals by far were coming outta California (2 PM their time) that afternoon.

    Obviously when the sun goes down is the best time to get on 160 if you want to work more than just your home state...........I see that you are in Oregon. There are a ton of guys out your way active on 160 meters. You should be able to work other fellow 160 enthusiasts until the cows come home in the two upcoming 160 meter 'tests.

    Without a shadow of a doubt the preferred mode on 160 is CW. If you don't operate CW I would then give the digi modes a try. The glory years of using JT65 on 160 meters have come & gone. The mode of choice for 160 meters is now JT9.

    My 160 transmit antenna is not typical due to its 3+ miles of wire under it. It's hodgepodged together from the remains of my two 140' phased vertical arrays which were lost recently in a huge ice storm. I'm also using a freshly installed receive circle array. Your millage may vary............Regardless, throw some wire up & get on Top Band anytime from 3 PM local time all the way up to 7 - 8 AM the following morning.

    Tom KCW
    Hmmm, I've been neglecting JT9 as of late - I will have to fire it back up and get on 160 and see what shakes out
    de Jim

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