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Author Topic: 75 Meter & Weak Signals  (Read 8903 times)
N5GLR
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« on: September 18, 2007, 11:50:39 AM »

It is apparent to me there are a growing number of folks attempting to operate on 75 meter using poor antennas and/or low power (100 watts or less).  When told to come back when they have improved their signal strength (in polite terms), some get upset and go away mad.  
Folks, the station you hear with a 20 or 30 db over S9 signal is probably running a proper antenna mounted at 40 feet or more and, more than likely, an amplifier.  
Remember, communication is a two way street ... you must transmit a readable signal in return.  An all band G5RV, a long wire, a 40 meter dipole, etc. is not a good antenna for 75 meter and if it's mounted low to the ground (lower than about 40 feet), it's even worse.  Even with some power, these antennas will barely get the job done.  You don't have to be the biggest signal on the band but, especially during the summer months (with Tstorms, QSB, and generally higher QRN), you must generate a strong signal to be heard.

Bottom line ... if you won't make the effort to install a proper antenna and have the other equipment necessary to communicate on 75 meter ... don't bother transmitting there.  You will just be a nuisance.

Don't break in to an on-going QSO/round-table with a weak signal and expect to be accomodated.
Do the work needed to improve your signal and you'll be very welcome.  

I know, I know ... there are folks running 100 watts and communicating well on 75 meter but, not for long.  Their antennas are designed for the band and are mounted at optimum height.  You'll also find that these folks eventually turn on their amp as conditions change for the worse.  

Do the work needed to improve your signal and you'll be very welcome.  Remember, it usually means a proper antenna and an amplifiere.

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KB9CRY
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« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2007, 05:50:28 PM »

some get upset and go away mad.


Maybe they'll eventually get the hint and get a better signal on the air.

For best success, especially for DX, an amp is almost a requirement.  Yes you can do it with less power, but you'll be calling more.
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N4MJG
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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2007, 06:32:17 PM »

i never have any problem or go away mad i have good reports that my signal are good  ! in my truck (100) watts and at home(150) watts  so both are good ,some day cond. are'nt good or bad weather !



73
Jackie
KG4ORX
WEBSITE http://webpages.charter.net/kg4orx/






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N3OX
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« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2007, 07:19:58 PM »

"Maybe they'll eventually get the hint and get a better signal on the air. "

It would help if you gave them concrete suggestions :

"get your antenna up another 10 feet"

"add some counterpoise reflectors"

Of course, "buy an amp" since an amp is the fastest way to get a buncha dB on 75m, so that's the simplest suggestion, but trying harder to get the rope over the high branches and laying a few wires on the ground are things that even the new ham on a budget can easily do.

I think that instead of telling them they have puny weak signals on the air when they break into your ragchew, just SHOW THEM what 100W sounds like.  Stick that amp on bypass and give them a taste of their own medicine, so to speak.  

It's a nice demonstration of what a difference of 12dB can do amidst the static crashes, and best of all, you're not bruising their ego and discouraging them by reminding them they couldn't buy that amp this year, and they can't play with the "big boys" without it.

I understand the impulse to tell someone to buzz off or just handing out a quickie contact because they have a 0dB signal to noise ratio, but you ought to do it gently and in an informative way, and shutting off the amp does that.

Dan



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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
NA0AA
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« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2007, 08:22:20 PM »

If this is not tongue in cheek I feel bad for the writer.

Although, it sure seems like it's Kilowatt alley most nights and getting into some of the round tables is like breaking into Gringotts.

I've never experience any sort of hostility, but then I don't go into conversations where they guys are all on VOX and seem to know exactly when the other guy takes a breath....<G>

I guess us 100 watts belong down near the QRP ghettos, right?
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ONAIR
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2007, 02:38:06 AM »

  It's not right to bad mouth the little guys with weaker signals.  Not every ham can afford a super antenna set up and a huge power amp, not to mention the electric bill!  What would the pioneers of radio think about this rude practice?  And don't forget how much these high power blasters are contributing to fossil fuel use and global warming!
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KC2RVD
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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2007, 04:49:34 AM »

All I can say is WOW...  I always thought that it was the the CB people who have the "more power is better" attitute... guess I was wrong...  SO I will have to take my puny 100w rig and inverted V fan dipole and play on the other bands...
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KA3CTQ
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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2007, 05:55:14 AM »

I have never run more than 100 watts on any band and probably never will. Even with that "problem," I have made hundreds of 75M QSOs in the last year (yes, even in this solar minimum). My signal reports are not always 59, but they get thru.

I guess I am not up to the 75M "Police" standards and will stay out of where they are patrolling. I'll see the rest of you on the air.
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N3OX
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« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2007, 05:56:22 AM »

"SO I will have to take my puny 100w rig and inverted V fan dipole and play on the other bands..."

You don't have to do that, just don't expect to be included fully in 75m roundtables if you have a 0dB signal to noise ratio in all the other guys' receivers.

Anyone who's calling CQ needs to suck it up and dig in the noise to work you... dig to get your name and QTH before saying 73...

... but if you're breaking into an existing conversation to add something and you get "KC2RVD you're 3 by 8, 3 by 8 covered up by the static crashes... sorry, but no one can really hear you very well" ... you can't really expect to be fully included in the conversation.

Now, I think this is not always the actual case, and the guys on 75m just want to blab on with their buddies being able to hear the beer fridge kick on and off in the background and every bug that runs across the floor, and if you're only deflecting their meter to S9+10 instead of S9+30, they've got  no respect for you.

But sometimes, you're S8 and buried in S9+5dB noise, and that's no fun for some people to listen to for a long period of time.  

73,
Dan
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
N3OX
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« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2007, 06:01:21 AM »

By the way, I in NO WAY condone bad treatment of weak-signalled hams at the hands of long-established 75m crews...

But I think that BREAKING IN to a S9+20dB ragchew on 75m for signal reports with 100W and a G5RV is asking for abuse...

We all know the way it is down there, and expecting these guys to turn their RF gain up enough to let in even a little noise is ignoring the nature of the beast.

Go work some DX in the DX window... or some PSK or CW ... those guys LIKE pulling out weak signals.

75m fone is about BIG LOUD SIGNALS and inane conversation, isn't it?

73,
Dan



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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
KB9CRY
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« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2007, 06:15:26 AM »

"75m fone is about BIG LOUD SIGNALS and inane conversation, isn't it?"


You know I never tune above 3.800 Mhz unless the DX says they are working split up there or sometimes during the SS contests.  I don't do Inane conversations and therefore stay away from that part of the hobby.


"Maybe they'll eventually get the hint and get a better signal on the air. "

It would help if you gave them concrete suggestions :

"get your antenna up another 10 feet"

"add some counterpoise reflectors"


How can I give concrete suggestions when I don't kow their setup.  They have to be the ones to recognize that they have a marginal setup and poor antennas and improve that on their own.  There's been enough discussion here on eHam with these folks for them to get the hint or get the hint that their setup is the same as those asking the questions.

OK, general good setups for 75 would be:

No G5RVs, only resonant dipoles up at least 75 feet.

Ground mounted vertical with 45 or more 1/4 wave radials.

Vertical arrays.

Amplifier, at least 600 watts.

Receiving antenna that is different from transmit antenna.  Beverage, or loop/flag/pennant and maybe a low dipole for receiving also.

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N3OX
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« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2007, 06:49:07 AM »

"No G5RVs, only resonant dipoles up at least 75 feet."

You HAVE read W8JI's page on this, haven't you?

A 102' G5RV and an 80m dipole at the same high height are practically identical antennas.

75 feet would do it though ;-)

"Ground mounted vertical with 45 or more 1/4 wave radials. "

Not the best for blasting the ragchew guys out of the water... a dipole at 40' and a few wires on the ground under the antenna probably way better.  

No one is telling the DX or the DXers that they're too weak, Phil, except by not coming back to them.

"Amplifier, at least 600 watts."

That'll help... that's easy dB, like I said before...

But you're talking a lot about DX/contest type stuff, and I don't think DXers and contesters have to worry about some guy telling them they're weak and making them feel bad.  There, the low signal becomes self evident.  You hear RA6AX on 80m CW and you call and call and he's 59+10dB, coming back to a bunch of other stations, and not coming back to you... you figure it out.

At the same time, persistence can make a bunch of DX contacts possible at signal-to-noise ratios that would make a 75m roundtable just go QRT in disgust... so while the amplifier is really a huge asset in getting through the pileups, I can tell you that for me, it mostly would have got me through FASTER... that is, I still got through.  

I did miss OJ0B last night but that was largely because I was calling intermittently and half-heartedly because every time I called, he'd go into a deep fade so I couldn't hear who he was coming back to.

Don't get me wrong, I know that for successful 80m DX in the long run, I need some watts... but I'm going to make 100+ countries easy with 100W.  I called CQ and got some EU coming back.  A good antenna can do good things... not as good as a good antenna + 1500W, but sometimes you work with what you've got.

I still probably wouldn't go breaking into S9+30dB ragchews and expect my S9+15dB signal to impress anyone!!

Dan







   
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
KC2RVD
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« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2007, 07:01:18 AM »

"I still probably wouldn't go breaking into S9+30dB ragchews and expect my S9+15dB signal to impress anyone!!"

Who care if you impress anyone... it's about making contacts isn't it...  What ever happend to "An amateur must use the minimum transmitter power necessary to carry out the desired communication"...  in my book S9+30dB is not what this means
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W3SCM
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« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2007, 08:01:47 AM »

Maybe we ought to set up some band plans to make sure you big guns never have to give out less than an S9 report.  

I feel for ya, I really do.  Interrupting the Lord's work that you find all over 80 with a weak[er] signal is akin to sacrilege.  Guys who try to get into an existing QSO with less than 600 watts ought to be reported to Riley, and the OO's ought to be out there aggressivaly looking for this.

I must have the most powerful darn 100 watts into my monster high gain dipole at 35 feet, since I have no problems making Q5 S9 contacts on the band.  Yeah, there are times when someone says to me <You're just too far down in the noise to make you out, OM" at which point I quit trying.  There are times when I say the same thing to other stations.

This very morning, I was in QSO with 4 kilowatt, one 500-watt, and 2 100-watters.  A W4 in the group told me I was 10 over and coming in great while he told a kilowatt station in North Jersey that he wasn't cracking the noise floor.

I realize that you big guys make your own skip but for some of the rest of us, propogation conditions, not just output power, might control who hears us and how well.

Anyway, thanks for the warning and the sage advice and I apologize in advance if I ever try to contact you - of ocurse, you'll never hear me, will you...
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KB9CRY
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« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2007, 10:58:03 AM »

but I'm going to make 100+ countries easy with 100W


Getting DXCC on 75/80M is very easy with any wire and 100 watts and some effort; there are 100 countries right in our own hemisphere.

Now going across the ponds to either side presents a whole new ballgame.  I know this from my own personal experience.  Yes, I got DXCC with 100 watts and until I upped the anty with amp then antenna was I able to really compete.

Now I have no experience with these blather nets nor do I care to.
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