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Thread: no contacts on 20/40m

  1. #1

    Default no contacts on 20/40m

    Hi,

    I'm in Northern Ireland and have an Icom 706MKII and seem to be able to make zero contacts on 20/40m.

    I've had some success on digimodes which tells me something is going out. My power meter peeks at about 60w on 20m and 100W on 40m when making calls. Does 100w not cut it these days? I hear people talking about their 2KW rigs.

    Any advice and tips would be appreciated. I'm trying throughout the day. I have a 20m dipole, with ladder line, probably 8m of feeder cable.

    Ta,

    Chris

  2. #2

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    I took down my HF antennas because the level of QRM was creeping up and it just wasn't fun and the response rate to my calls was dropping.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator pmh's Avatar
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    Bands can be up and down. You can check here http://www.bandconditions.com to see which are open.

    I don’t run more than 20W on JT65 or 30W on FT8.

    DX Heat is also a good site to see where the activity is.

    On the data modes you can use PSK Reporter or Ham Spots to see how well you are doing. For phone, you could check th3 many SDR sites and see if you are showing up on their waterfalls.

    With regards to power, I’ve never ran more than 100W.

    Kind regards,



    Phil

  4. #4

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    Yeah, I don't do much 20 meters, but 40 has been in pitiful condition for the past couple of weeks. Seems to be coming back around though. Don't give up on it, the bands are just like that... up and down often. Like the previous poster mentioned, there's a number of places on the web that you can use to check how propagation is at any point in time. Good luck.

    Brian

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

  5. #5

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    what are you using for antennas?

  6. #6

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    Despite protestations to the contrary, latitude makes a difference but that is not a reason not to try. Keep trying!

  7. #7

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    Well, not living in Ireland, I can't speak for conditions there. But here in Massachusetts, 40 meters has been unpredictable. I use a 706mk2g with an IT100 LDG tuner in my car and am amazed in its performance, most of the time. I work, 20, 40 and 80. There are many stations around the world that can be listened to on websdr.org. Just select one a few hundred miles from your QTH and listen on the computer as you put out a call. This will, at least, let you know you are transmitting. Another option is a fellow ham. I've had QSO's to Ireland and the UK from here fairly regularly. Haven't tried in the last few weeks though. Have you watched your SWR? Is your antenna resonant? Is your noise floor high? Good luck and 73. Mike WA1MAD

  8. #8

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    Here in NC I have made contacts in Ireland and England before with my little setup, so I know it is possible at my latitude. However, in recent weeks, I have not been able to hear the activity on those bands I normally hear. I usually hang around on the 40 meter band, but the noise level was so high, I moved up to 20 meters a couple weeks ago, but I have made very few contact there as well. Once in a while I can hear European calls, but they fade in and out so quickly, I'm often not fast enough or strong enough to reach them. Just taking across a few hundred miles has been difficult for me recently. Hopefully conditions will improve.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris.percol View Post
    I have a 20m dipole, with ladder line, probably 8m of feeder cable.
    If it is possible, lengthen your 20 meter dipole to a 40 meter dipole and increase the elevation. I am assuming that you have some sort of tuner.

    The ARRL International DX Contest, CW occurred this last weekend, and 20 and 40 meters were crazy busy. I used an old Carolina Windom (10 through 40), an MFJ manual tuner, and my old Kenwood TS-440 (100 watts) and worked 150 DX QSOs, give or take a few, without too much effort. I'm located in the southern U.S.

    My antenna is one half wavelength long for its lowest frequency, and it is suspended between a couple of trees in my back yard. It is about 15 to 17 meters above ground level. If it is possible for you to do so, I would suggest lengthening your antenna to 1/2 wavelength at the lowest frequency (40 meters) and elevate it higher above ground. 100 watts should work.

    73 es gud luck!

    JohnD

  10. #10

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    it is true that conditions are not prime at the moment, but there are still stations out there to be worked and you never know when the bands might open.
    Here at my office at work I have an old Icom 756 Pro III with a tarheel screwdriver antenna mounted on a tripod on the roof of my office... I work mostly digital with PSK31.... again conditions are not optimum, but in the last few days, running 30 watts I have worked several countries in your part of the world...
    Polland, Estonia, Germany, Italy, France... my office is in Houston, Texas ... so DX is out there...and it does not take a big beam to make it happen.
    Just hang in there and play.

  11. #11

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    Another SDR realm to investigate for your listening pleasure can be found at

    http://sdr.hu/?q=kiwisdr

    Click on "receivers on a map" to find one closest to you so you can check your signal

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