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Thread: Propagation to Midwest

  1. #1

    Default Propagation to Midwest

    Why is it that I check the DX Watch site and everyone on both coasts are boasting how that rare DX station is booming in and yet when I tune to the frequency I hear nothing? I see very few 8's 9's and 0's posting on that site. Could it be that propagation dies before it gets to us in the middle of the country? Or is my dipole on the roof of the house the biggest culprit?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Elgin, Illinois
    Posts
    1,655

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    I think the Propagation is affected by the "E" Skip bouncing over the Midwest section although you didn't mention which HF Band this was happening on so I'm guessing it was 20 m. Yesterday April 6, 2016 I noticed that 20 m was noisy and considering we're on the downside of Cycle 24, working stations in RARE DX locations sometimes requires a better antenna system, i.e. multi-band beam at 70' to aim at the area that you want to make your CW contact or use a vertical with adequate radials as these are known for the ability to work DX.

    I had a G5RV up at 75' and that antenna really did a nice job except I was rebuilding it every year due to wind damage. In place I put up a Carolina Windom OCF Antenna 4 years ago but haven't had as many contacts. The broadside of my antenna is North / South which leaves Europe out of the area I would like to contact so there are trade-offs with every antenna. I've got a friend that live 2 miles west of my house, uses a 40 through 10 m G5RV inside the roof of his home, 30 Watts on CW and has been working stations all over the world on 20 m. BTW, I'm just outside of Elgin, Illinois. I'm using an Elecraft K 3 transceiver 100 W and an Automatic Antenna Tuner ... nothing earth shattering as far as a signal. I'm providing you with a website DXMAPS 2.7 which is suppose to be in real time for all the ham bands. This might help you determine where the openings are happening.

    http://www.dxmaps.com/spots/map.php?...XC=N&HF=S&GL=N

    73,

    Dan
    WA9WVX

  3. #3

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    Hey Dan Thanks for the url, that helps to show where the action is. It has been very poor condx for months now, and they say the next cycle may be even worse! I had a dipole erected in a tree oriented vertically but changed up for the fan dipole on the roof so I could also get on 40. I run the Yaesu FTDX1200 at 100 watts to the dipole. Been thinking about taking a shot at building a trapped multiband dipole that I could hang from the oak tree in the back yard.

    73,
    Dave

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Elgin, Illinois
    Posts
    1,655

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    Hi Dave,

    I was listening to 20 m on Thursday evening 04/07/2016, I think it was 14.268 USB and there was a South American station HC1xxx as I couldn't pull the last 2 or 3 letters out of his call sign because of the pile up. I could hear stations from Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, California, Nevada, New Your, Arizona, New Mexico and they all had booming signals which lead me to believe that those hams had beams and kilowatts to have 30 dB over S9 signals here in Elgin. My OCF dipole vertical portion is wrapped around my tower which won't allow me to load the antenna ... the automatic antenna tuner go nuts as if there's a very high VSWR. Up to Wednesday I had no idea that coax was wrapped around the tower but when my friend came over he informed me of the problem. I'm unable to walk out there and straighten the vertical coax drop as I'm missing part of my left leg and we've had so much rain and snow the ground is soaked. It would be an unbelievable challenge wearing my prosthetic as grass is a big enough challenge even when dry ... oh the health problems we face as we get older.

    You're right about Cycle 25, we'll be lucky to work hams across the street let alone DX contacts! Perhaps we'll be redefining what DX is ... What I've read about the HF bands is 20 m will be okay for 3 or 4 hours a day, 40 m will become what 20 m was, 80 m will become what 40 m was and 160 m will become like 75 / 80 m was so keep this is mind while you build your next dipole. For the most part CW and/or the Digital modes should ease the pain by allowing the ham population the ability to work stations farther away on HF. Who knows what the QRP community will do as they rely on the Sunspots for the most part.

    The ironic thing we all have to deal with is the antennas ... I learned about the antenna systems during the 1980s which taught me, if you spend as much money, time and effort as you do on the transceiver, even operating low power 10 Watts, the stations on the other end will hear your signals like you were operating a kilowatt so the Antenna System is the King Pin Top of the Heap of your ham station. I'll take aluminum up in the air to any RF amplifier. When stacking antennas (beams) will gain +3 dB which doesn't sound like much but it will show up on the receiving end whereas increasing 100 Watts to 200 Watts won't wiggle the "S" meter at the other station's receiver.

    Dan
    WA9WVX
    Last edited by WA9WVX; Fri 8th Apr 2016 at 17:54.

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