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Author Topic: Propagation and Lattitude  (Read 655 times)
K7KCS
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Posts: 27




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« on: December 12, 2002, 02:00:55 PM »

I live in Seattle (WA) and have a friend living in the LA (CA) area.  He is working mobile with a 706 and a screwdriver whip.  He calls me all the time after working some juicy DX and lets me listen to the signal on the phone . . nice 57 signals.  I have even spotted for him using a cluster and listened to him work the stations I spotted.  Here is the question.  I have a 756Pro2 and a GAP Challenger in good working condition.  Sometimes I cant even hear the station he is working and at others it is in the noise, rarely is it as good, never better.  Some one told me that HF propagation is better at the lower lattitudes.  Is this a fact or an Urban Legand?   Anything written on the subject?

73's  Tracy K7KCS
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20636




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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2002, 04:56:56 PM »

I don't believe it's "better," just different.

Besides, LA is not that much farther south than Seattle, in the grand scheme of things; LA is farther east, and farther south, and has a different "view" of the ionosphere, at different times of day.  

Could it be that your friend's mobile installation is working so well because he's driving through advantageous locations, like along the beach?  Or that he may be driving up over some high mountains, or even parked atop one?

Or possibly your particular home location, along with your antenna installation (position), just isn't very good.  I've owned and installed GAP Challengers lots of times: They are GREAT 40 meter antennas, so-so 80 meter antennas, pretty good 20 meter antennas, and not much good above 20 meters.  What band are you using, when you're doing the "comparing?"  Note the Challenger, like most high-Q structures, is easily detuned, and performance degraded, if you don't follow GAP's instructions to the letter regarding how it's mounted and where.  In my case, I had one work horribly simply because it was only 22 feet from a chain link fence.  Once I moved it farther away from the fence (about 40 feet), it's like someone flipped a switch and the bands opened.  I had coincidentally installed the Challenger in exactly the wrong place in my yard, and had to re-install it elsewhere.

Also, "location" surely makes a huge difference, when you're mobile.  When I was more active on HF-mobile about 10-12 years ago, I used to go out of my way to drive along PCH (the Pacific Coast Highway, which parallels and is very close to the ocean) or up over the tops of the Santa Monica Mountains (2000-2800' above sea level, just directly above the ocean) specifically to work DX on the way home from work.  The fifteen minute detour allowed me to work long-path into the Middle East at Grayline (sundown), which I couldn't even do from home with a beam, at the time!

WB2WIK/6

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N6AJR
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Posts: 9921




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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2003, 09:28:46 PM »

Ahhhh  the truth is  like they say in real estate...location, location, location.

I have friends in the concord area (30miles away) and friends in the San Francisco Oakland bay area ( 50 miles and a range of hills) and a friend in Pacifica (70 miles and right on the side of a 800 foot hill looking over the ocean. I live in the area next to Travis AFB.


We will all tune in to a signal, and you would not belive the difference.  The pacifica fellow does better on pacific rim stuff, but so does the concord guy, amd I ma usually 3rd or 4th in S strength.  On U.S. calls, I usually do well an concord #2, Pacifica #3, and SF bay area guys 4th.  If you are talking about east coast , africa, europe etc, the SF guys are usually 3 s units better, then concord, then me , then pacifica, but sometimes the pacifica station recieves the best.

I think some of it is location, and local noise level and structure blocking a specific direction, and some of it is jusy wacky propagation. For instance one nite I was working a guy in Kuwait, and a friend in Kwajalien caled me and I worked them both, not 2 minutes apart, and that is  weird propagation, unless they were both coming over the poles, but it didn't have that echoy sound to it.

My reccommendation is to put up as much antenna as you can and enjoy what you do work  ( do an elmers search on FAN DIPOLE here.) Wire antennas are cheep and effective.. tom N6AJR
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