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Author Topic: WAS on 10 Meters  (Read 1469 times)
KC0IUW
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Posts: 8




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« on: December 18, 2001, 05:05:39 AM »

During this weekends contest I heard a number of people claiming they had WAS.  In the two contests I have done on this band I have had huge coverage gaps in the 100 - 500 or so mile range.  I am using a GAP Titan antenna and running 100 watts.  What are these people doing differently that allows them to contact the intermediate distance states?  More power?  Different antenna setup?  Any hints and suggestions would be appreciated.
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K4OJ
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2001, 07:45:32 AM »

A variety of antennas always helps...a mix of CQing plus Search & Pounce operation is a must for catching them all.

As the band is closing is a good time to look for locals...less activity on the band makes it easier to work those marginal low level signals.

I got WAS but missed DC!


73,

Jim, K4OJ
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N2MG
Administrator

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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2001, 09:22:00 AM »

The 10meter contest is a great place to finish off that 10m WAS.  Everyone wants to work you - so calling that guy in the next state, even though you are both puny weak can work out.

Certainly more power helps...but different antennas (high and low beams), learning to work backscatter, and as 'OJ says, be on the band as it's closing.
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20666




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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2001, 09:36:59 AM »

It is true that with a vertical you can miss a lot.

This past weekend, in 4-3/4 hours of operating (2 hours Saturday afternoon, 45 mins Sun morning, 2 hours Sunday afternoon) I made 468 QSOs in 60 ARRL sections and 55 DX entities, obviously averaging 98.5 QSOs per hour.  Not exactly a record, but great fun.

I have a 6 element beam at 51' and a roof-mounted vertical, with a lot of radials, so it's more like a ground plane. I switched between them, a lot. Sigs 5000-10000 miles nearly always stronger on the beam.  Sigs 1000-5000 miles: Toss up, sometimes the vertical wins.  Sigs 50-500 miles: The beam totally blows away the vertical, no comparison.

I worked about all the California sections, half of which are 350-800 miles away, during the brief time I had to operate the contest, using the beam.  Mode was likely tropospheric forward scatter, a common propagation on 10 meters (as well as VHF-UHF), which has considerable path loss over such distances but is quite workable. It also occurs whether the band is "open" or "closed," it doesn't really matter, since the ionosphere isn't involved. The beam makes it happen, the vertical just doesn't.

If a beam is not an option for you, try a horizontal dipole, or a loop antenna, to supplement the vertical.

73 de Steve, WB2WIK/6
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K0RS
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Posts: 788




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« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2001, 02:04:37 AM »

A friend of mine used a Gap and always complained that he could never hear the stuff I could with my tribander at 60 feet.  We kidded him that "Gap" meant the gap between what he could hear and what was actually on the band. ;-)  Seriously though, remember that signals arrive at many different angles and with different polarization.  It's tall order to ask one antenna to cover all the bases.  Contesters make a living from working the weak ones, and many have way serious hardware in the sky.  Two or more beams to allow the operator to switch directions instantly are very common.  Stacked beams cover signals arriving at various angles quite well and are not at all unusual, especially on 10m where the physical size of high gain antennas is managable.  Backscatter is usually the trick to working stations inside your skip zone and beams will excel there.  It's very common here for me to beam west from Colorado in the evening and hear USA stations inside my skip zone working Japan, Australia and New Zealand on 10m.  The domestic stations are invariably weaker than the DX, but nevertheless quite workable.  Their signals are being reflected back to me off the F2 layer somewhere out over the Pacific ocean and often have a hollow, echo-y sound.  I've worked many California hams with the stations on both ends beaming west so we could catch a reflection "backwards" to the USA.   E-layer skip can be quite short (and very localized) on 10m too.  When E-skip is very short on 10m, 6m is frequently open.  When E-skip is short on 6m, you might get lucky and catch an E opening on 2m.  Keep listening!
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KG6FUT
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2001, 02:24:13 PM »

I live in a apartmint on the first of three floors. Because of school I have not been able to get on the air but I have worked alot of difernt states. The only ant. I have(or could put up) is a 10m 1/4 wave wertical in a tree. If QRPers can use 5w or less then you don't need a triband beam to work the world.
                73,
              Jeremy-KG6JAD ex KG6FUT
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KC0IUW
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Posts: 8




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« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2001, 04:51:43 PM »

The issue is not working the world.  I have not made a concentrated effort to work DX except in contests.  I have 79 countries on 10 meters in a year.  I do not have 10 states on 10 meters - most within the "bubble" I was talking about.  I live in NE Kansas and the states I do not have are AL, AR, KY, MI, ND, NM, OH, OK, SC, WY.  The only one not in the "bubble" is SC.  It is the 150 to 500 mile straight line states I have trouble getting.  The funny thing is the last state I needed for WAS (all bands) was NE and I got that during the 10 meter contest!  It is only 60 miles to NE from the house!  I was just wondering what was different for the people able to WAS during the contest time period.  Thanks for all the answers.
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MORSENUT
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Posts: 7




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« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2001, 11:48:15 AM »

I am working on 5 Band WAS as a mobile operator (see my post in the "Mobile Ham" forum) and during the ARRL Ten Meter Contest, I worked 45 states in all, several in close in what you describe as "a bubble."

The trick, I believe, in working the states that are close in to your QTH is to copy WEAK signals (at least on 10 meters, on that band, states that are within say 300 miles of you will often be VERY weak, unless their is some kind of E Layer Skip, in which case they may be VERY strong) using CW, and a good 500 HZ filter.  DSP filtering is also a good idea.

The Antenna on my truck is a High Sierra HS 1500 Screwdriver.  Its pattern resembles a fat balloon
around the antenna showing some high angle lobes..the vertical you are using almost certainly radiates a greater percentage of your RF at low angles..great for working DX...not too great for close in contacts.

I would recommend simply trying to put up a low horizontal dipole....such an antenna radiates practically straight up, at very high angles, just what you need to bag those close in contacts in your "bubble."

I am in PA...if you need PA for your WAS, I would be happy to have a sked with you...let me know.

73 and Happy New Year!

Tim
N8LXR
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MORSENUT
Member

Posts: 7




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« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2001, 11:59:44 AM »

Just read the other posts....and Yes, the propagation mechanism for close in contacts in ur bubble will often be some sort of backscatter...these signals have a fluttery, hollow, ringing quality, and are most easily worked using CW.

Tim
N8LXR
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KC7MAW
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Posts: 73


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« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2001, 12:39:13 PM »

I'm surprised that you didn't rack up a bunch of states on 10 meters during the contest.  My antenna is an inverted V dipole with the center up about 28 feet. Not very elaborate at all! I run 100 watts and feed it with a 50 ft stretch of RG-58 (Lots of loss, but it's all I got at the moment). I live in Washington State and racked up 44 states and a bunch of DX

I use a 33ft MFJ pushup mast for a support. I recommend giving the inverted V a try on 10. Very easy to put one together.

R/KC7MAW
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WA7KPK
Member

Posts: 129




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« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2002, 01:16:51 AM »

One other angle to try would be to check into some of the 10-10 nets, especially ones based in states you might need. I did this trick for a while back in the seventies to build up my state count and even if you aren't interested in "paper chasing" (collecting the certificates given out by the clubs that sponsor these nets) it's a way to make a few more contacts on 10. (Of course back in the Seventies my QTH was in Montana. Sometimes that's almost as good as being DX. Smiley

73, Creede
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