eHam.net - Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net



[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

80/160 Meter Operation for Field Day

Mario D. Dianora (N2AK) on May 1, 2004
View comments about this article!


80/160 METER OPERATION FOR FIELD DAY

Field Day 2004 is fast approaching. Clubs and individuals are making plans and getting sites and equipment lined up for the big weekend. For the past 3 years I have been active in my radio club (K2AA...South Jersey Radio Association) We have been on top of the 6A category each of those years. I enjoy working CW on any band, but I especially like to take the late night shift on 80 & 40m and follow the propagation West, eventually hearing the sixes and sevens. Several years ago, we tried running some 160-meter CW, but the results were poor...only about a dozen stations were logged. This year, I think revisiting 160 will produce better results.

In the past, 20-meter CW has been productive until the early morning hours. With the decline of the sunspot cycle, I am not sure 20-meters will be good even into the evening hours. So we plan to have a greater presence on 80 and 160 meters to keep the number total contacts high. Setting up a 160-meter antenna is a bit more than stringing up a dipole on 40, but an inverted L of 130 feet will allow stations to be worked for thousands of miles. A Windom is a good way to get both 160 and 80 meters on one antenna with not much difficulty.

Getting a little ambitious, I hope to try a two element 80m Half Square array to get those western sections. This antenna was documented by L.B Cebik ,W4RNL, in his excellent article on wire verticals ( http://www.cebik.com/scv5.html ) It has a modest amount of gain and a low angle of radiation. It is fed from a top corner, so it does not need an extensive ground system. Being on the East coast, the broad pattern this antenna produces should be helpful in working the West. If my ambition exceeds my available preparation time, I can always drop back and use a single half square, and still get great low angle radiation, but at the cost of having a bi-directional pattern. I will also have a dipole on 80 for close-in stations, when the skip is short.

The fact remains that you can only work stations if they are on the air! So if you agree that the this sunspot cycle is near the bottom, make some plans to work 80 and 160 this year. I'll look for your score in QST in the fall.

Mario / N2AK

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
80/160 Meter Operation for Field Day  
by WB2TPS on May 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Some years ago we erected a large 160M loop at the WARA Field Day site. The specific dimensions elude me, but it was as large as the ball field (including the outfield) and was hung off the field light poles.
The antenna was a terrific performer on 80 and 160M, but June is the worst time of year for 160M. Propagation is bad and the QRN was horrible.
We worked few stations on 160 and it was used on the more active 80M band.
But, go for it!!!!! ‘ya never know.
I will look for you on 160M during FD.

Jim
 
80/160 Meter Operation for Field Day  
by WS4Y on May 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
OK Mario, We will be operating FD from the
wide open spaces of the Kansas tallgrass praiaie
and I will put up a 160 meter antenna and give it
a try. Hope to work you guys.
73 & GL WS4Y, Bill
 
RE: 80/160 Meter Operation for Field Day  
by NJ0E on May 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
i hope to operate 80m cw qrp during field day. i
don't know if we will have any 160m rigs. i wish
some of the kit suppliers kitted a 160m qrp cw
transceiver. there was a small wonder labs sw160 at
one time, but it doesn't seem to be available any
more.
 
RE: 80/160 Meter Operation for Field Day  
by W3JXP on May 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
We run high power on 80m and last year had a beverage receive antenna on 80m. It worked great, we had a pileup on us almost all night long. Look for W3YA again this year biger and better.

W3JXP, John State College Pa.
 
80/160 Meter Operation for Field Day  
by G0GQK on May 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Your group will find that daytime activity will be a complete waste of time because of the lack of activity and the noise and static crashes on the bands will drive you nuts !

The situation might improve during the hours of darkness but you will certainly know that you've been on the bands for a few hours when your head starts ringing ! Headphones are a must.
 
80/160 Meter Operation for Field Day  
by G0GQK on May 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Your group will find that daytime activity will be a complete waste of time because of the lack of activity and the noise and static crashes on the bands will drive you nuts !

The situation might improve during the hours of darkness but you will certainly know that you've been on the bands for a few hours when your head starts ringing ! Headphones are a must.
 
RE: 80/160 Meter Operation for Field Day  
by W4CNG on May 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
As a member of the North Fulton Amateur Radio League (NF4GA), we have had a 160 meter square loop up for the last several years. The last 2 years activity and scores have picked up on 160 and 80 at night. If we have decent weather this year, look for us on SSB. This year could be a real blast!
Steve W4CNG
 
80/160 Meter Operation for Field Day  
by W3JJH on May 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Last year, the Carroll County ARC (K3PZN) ran an 11A Field Day operation with dedicated 80 m phone and CW stations and nighttime 160 m phone and 80 m digital rigs. A significant portion of our total score came from 80 m QSOs. We plan to be back this year with a similar effort. We always need plenty of operators. If you're in central Maryland, stop by Freedom Park in Sykesville. The picnic's at 6pm Saturday.

BTW, our 11A is not the biggest FD site in our neighborhood. The PVRC operation W3AO is only about 4 miles from our site. Last year, they were a 38A.
 
RE: 80/160 Meter Operation for Field Day  
by KE4MOB on May 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
There's nothing during Field Day like sitting on 80M at about 4:30 EDT Sunday morning, and watching the dawn break and getting hammered by 40 stations calling you.

If only the coffee was better....
 
RE: 80/160 Meter Operation for Field Day  
by KA4KOE on May 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I say we all go to Manassas, VA and Raleigh, NC and work all BPL subscribers during the field day weekend, and then claim how the system interfered with our emergency preparedness exercise.

1500 watts baby, Yeah!!!
 
80/160 Meter Operation for Field Day  
by G3VGR on May 2, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
We tried 160m from W1SRG in Massachusetts a couple of years ago. During daylight hours, it was impossible to hear anything due to the QRN. After dark, we made around a dozen qsos, which seemed to be all that was on the band. 80 metres had similar operating conditions but we made more qsos. Due to the eccentric scoring system of Field Day, you're probably better off operating from a shopping mall, getting visited by a politician, having a welcome desk or any of the other ARRL self-publicity schemes which give out more points than actually making qsos.
 
RE: 80/160 Meter Operation for Field Day  
by K3AN on May 2, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Late June, summer static, inefficient temporary antenna, hmmmm. For a 2A station plus a GOTA position, is it worth dropping down to 160, given that once you make a QSO, that station is stuck there for the next 15 minutes? (We DO adhere to the rules, don't we? ;-)

Seriously, what kind of QSO totals have some of you achieved on 160 in years past?
 
it's all in the antenna  
by KZ1X on May 2, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I'll be there on top band: big monoband magnetic loop made of Andrew 1/2" hardline, suspended from the bucket of a commercial electric company service truck, super high Q vacuum cap resonator, narrow bandwidth, low noise.

5W battery QRP CW, running a K2 to a Faraday Loop exciter coil.

10 points per Q adds up. Just 10 Qs and I have 100 point plus the band bonus. That's worth the effort.

We also have a full-sized 80m quarter wave with 30 radials.

W4EZ, first-place finish for several years, other years #2 or #3, battery QRP.
 
80/160 Meter Operation for Field Day  
by NL7W on May 3, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Unless there are solar and/or geomagnetic issues, concentrate on 40 and 75/80 meters during the evening and night hours. Personally, I've always found 40 CW to be the killer band for points throughout the day and night with only an inverted vee at 40 to 50 feet. Forty meter CW always rules when it comes to field day points totals - bar none. This experience comes from operating at clubs that place in the Field Day "top 5" every year.

It boils down to this: 40 Meters is KING on Field Day.

73.

 
80/160 Meter Operation for Field Day  
by WA7NCL on May 3, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I agree 40m CW will be top producer this year. But we also plan to hit 80m hard. We will try 160 this year as well.

Great minds think alike. The planned 80/160 meter antenna will be an inverted L of 130ft length with auto tuner at the end. Some ground radials will be added as well for 160 meters.

Out FD site is at 5000 ft overlooking a cliff that drops away to the east and south east. The canyon is probably a thousand feet deep.

The antennas are not far from the edge strung from 70 to 80 foot trees. Ham radio heaven!

We will be using a buddies call, N7QT. See you on the bands for FD!
 
RE: 80/160 Meter Operation for Field Day  
by NO9E on May 4, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I tried K2 QRP portable at the CQ 160m SSB contest last February near Palm beach, FL. The antenna was 2 x about 80ft trees from a window at about 10ft to trees at about 20ft. In an hour I made about 10 QSO as far (or close) as TX, TN and NC. So definitely one can make portable QSOs on 160m with QRP and on SSB, just not easy. As others pointed out, QRN in June is much worse than in February. It may make sense to have a portable short loop just for receiving, to null QRN.
Ignacy, NO9E
 
RE: 80/160 Meter Operation for Field Day  
by N9AVY on May 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
RE: Manassas, VA & Raleigh, NC BPL & FD...

We can now add Cedar Rapids, IA to the casualty list. Word from friends in the area says that interference from BPL is horrendous.

So, let's roll out the heavy artillery... anyone have an amp with a pair of 4CX25000's ????
 
RE: 80/160 Meter Operation for Field Day  
by KT4XF on May 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I, too, wish there were QRP kits available for 160; just simple CW or SSB xmtrs running on batteries. I would go for it If MFJ had one like their line of QRP xcvrs!
 
80/160 Meter Operation for Field Day  
by N2JZ on May 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Mario:

This should be fun! I'm looking forward to Field Day. Maybe we can give the 40 meter CW station a run for their money hihi. See you on Field Day!

73,


Mike N2JZ
 
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to discussions on this article.

Subscribe!
My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

Other Recent Articles
Radio Enthusiasts from 25 Countries Compete in Borovoye:
Radio Hams Can Encrypt, In Emergencies, Says Ofcom:
Emergency Service Organizations Open Doors to Visitors:
Floyd County Hams Talk About Their Work In the Community:
Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club: