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Author Topic: Which bands for state QSO party?  (Read 15318 times)
KB7QPS
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Posts: 18




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« on: July 22, 2015, 05:25:37 PM »

I'm looking at doing a portable station on a county line this year for the Washington State QSO party (Salmon Run).

I'm wondering which bands I should operate on.

How important is 160 meters? It will be about $100 more expensive for me to operate on 160 because of additional complexity in the antenna.

Right now I'm looking at a multi band Carolina Windom that works on 80, 40, 20, and 10 meters.

I'm wondering if it worth the extra effort to try for 15 meters (separate antenna) or 160 meters (more expensive version of the antenna I am looking at purchasing.)

Thanks
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 21753




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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2015, 08:00:38 PM »

I'd forget all about 1.8 MHz for this.

I'd think most in-state contacts with other counties would be on 40m and 80m, but if you want to work all the other states then add 20m during the times when the band's open.

Haven't checked at all, but I'd suspect close to zero contacts are made on 1.8 MHz for this.

Some are likely made on 10-15m during the day if the bands are open.

Field Day is a HUGE 'contest' of sorts and there's very, very little activity on 1.8 MHz.  Band is lousy and noisy in the summer months and it's a band for die-hards with fantastic antennas during the summer.  It becomes more of an 'everyman' band during the winter months when static levels are lower and the nights are longer...mostly maybe mid-November through late March or so.
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K3TN
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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2015, 03:45:29 AM »

For most state QSO parties, 20 is the big money band during the day, with trips to 15M. The solar conditions aren't favoring 10M, might not be much there. Later in the afternoon and into the evening 40M takes over, with trips back to 20M, and then everyone moves to 80M after local darkness, with trips back to 40. Agree not worth getting on 160.

If your rig has a tuner, that OCF dipole/Windom will load up on 15 - you should not need a separate antenna. I use a 135' Windowm at home, works fine on 15 with a tuner. As always, the key is getting  the middle of the antenna up as high as possible.

73 John K3TN
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John K3TN
KJ3N
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Posts: 376




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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2015, 05:11:53 AM »

If the Salmon Run were in the middle of December, 160m might be worth a little effort.

Looking over 5 years of Delaware QSO Party logs:

2010: 4 contacts on 160 out of a total of 505
2011: 3 contacts on 160 out of a total of 259
2012: 0 out of 145
2014: 0 out of 274
2015: 3 contacts on 160 out of a total of 731

Compare that with how I did on 40m:

2010: 325 out of 505
2011: 115 out of 259
2014: 183 out of 274
2015: 394 out of 731

I'd stick with 40, 20, 80. You can try 15 and 10, but I've never seen a decent run on either band over those 5 years.

YMMV
« Last Edit: July 23, 2015, 11:14:54 AM by KJ3N » Logged
N1EN
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Posts: 110




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« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2015, 08:24:09 AM »

You can glean general information like this by looking at reports posted to 3830 Scores.

Looking at the Q breakdowns for the 2014 SR, it looks like 20 was the money band, followed by 40, 15, and then 80.
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KB3LIX
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Posts: 1671




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« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2015, 11:26:41 AM »

I second the suggestion of only 20, 40 & 80m.
The solar flux is down and that makes 10 mostly
useless, and 15 sketchy at best.

Daytime, 20 will be the go-to band.
Approaching evening and after dark, 40 & 80
will be best.

160 is not worth the effort.


IF and that is IF

You are looking for a county sweep and states OUTSIDE
your state are not of interest, concentrate on 40 & 80.
You should find activity during daytime on 40 & 80.
Even though 40 & 80 are considered NIGHTTIME bands,
there will be activity there during daylight hours.
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KA4AQM
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Posts: 99




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« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2015, 04:18:56 AM »

40m.
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K0CBA
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Posts: 392




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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2015, 08:45:50 AM »

11 meters!
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NN3W
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Posts: 361




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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2015, 04:40:21 AM »

40 and 20.  Many state QSO parties are held in summer which means that 15 is affected by absorption.  You can do it, but its often not as easy.
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N3QE
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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2015, 07:27:26 AM »

I would expect from 7-land that 15M would be main band in the afternoon. From Washington state, you can work all over the east coast no problem on 15M with a very modest antenna. 10M could be open, maybe E-skip, but I wouldn't count on it. I would count on 15M action.

You sound like you really like to buy off-the-shelf antenna kits, but a 15M dipole is just 24 feet of wire, and it'd be a shame if you didn't give it a try. Chances are that your Windom would load up just fine on 15M with a tuner too.

As sun starts to set over east coast, you will move to 20M then 40M.

I would not put a lot of emphasis on 160M or even 80M unless you really like low bands. I happen to like the low bands but I would not expect to work a Washington state portable station on 160M from my home.
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