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Author Topic: Is 4W6A even trying to reach NA or SA ?  (Read 11331 times)
W2IRT
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« Reply #60 on: September 27, 2011, 09:18:25 AM »


Your frustration should be a message to new hams to put up a good antenna and avoid falling into the trap of being a frustrated ham.. (unless you live in a restricted neighborhood and not allowed to put up a good antenna)

When I had a 35 foot tower up and 2 el Lighting Bolt quad mounted on the tower I worked thousands of DX stations..

I know several hams that use poor verticals like the one you mention on qrz.com. These hams think their antenna with no ground wire system will net them great dx totals. I doubt that will happen unless we reach better propagation conditions. They always seem like frustrated DXers to me.

Jim, you've hit it dead on. I've been reading these forums for almost a decade and the ones who constantly whine and moan about not getting the rare DX in the log are invariably the ones with antenna issues. Most are self-inflicted problems ("I don't wanna p--- off the wife" or "I moved to a CC&R restricted neighbourhood" or whatever). Many are typical ham-cheapness, not wanting to spend the money on quality antennas and more who just can't break the "my G5RV should be good enough, since I can get a 1:1 SWR" nonsense. I also agree with Don, N4KC in his statement that a great number get frustrated because they won't even try working them on CW.

You can't work them if you can't hear them. For the most part, nothing beats a directional antenna and a little bit of height except a stack of directional antennas and a lot of height Cheesy. CW gets through where SSB does not. Since the scientific community is pretty-well unanimously agreed that we're not going to approach 1958-levels of solar activity any time soon it behooves many in our midst to either put something good up as high as possible or else accept and not be disappointed by the fact that you won't get in the log with severely-compromised antennas, stock power and a refusal to learn and operate CW.

In terms of Zone 5 stations working 4W6A, I did OK with 6 Qs total on 5 bands but only two modes. I didn't hear them on RTTY, 10, 80 or 160. Also, I didn't try them on 20m since I already had 4W confirmed on 20 SSB and it's rare enough (and they were weak enough) that my busting a pileup for something I didn't need wouldn't have been a decent thing to do.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 11:26:09 AM by W2IRT » Logged

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N3ZC
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« Reply #61 on: September 27, 2011, 11:13:34 AM »

I agree..

I really haven't tried for them myself..Not getting into the "antenna argument" thing either..if you know what I mean  Wink (lot's of sensitive folks here..in The Fortress of Solitude),  but I will say that if you have a crappy antenna..well..you know what I mean  Grin

                       73'..Tom N3ZC
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K4JC
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« Reply #62 on: September 27, 2011, 05:20:05 PM »

Gosh, all I did was mention that I didn't get through to 4W and I'm accused of everything but offing Jimmy Hoffa!  Tongue j/k Seriously, my "poor vertical" has helped me pick up around 200 countries in a little over 2 years running mostly 100 watts. I sure can't complain about that! No, I don't get 'em all (I didn't break the pileups for Glorioso or Annabon) but I've worked plenty of other DXpeditions. Also, contrary to what some may say the SE Asia/western Pacific region is very difficult for most folks in this area of Florida to work, so I was shocked that I heard 4W6A 10 over S9 at one point (on 40 meters around 1100Z. Unfortunately the frequency cops were just as strong so they could have come back to me and I wouldn't have known it.) Sure I'm frustrated I didn't get 'em. But I also know I'll get 'em next time.

BTW I've only been licensed for 33 years, so I guess I have a lot to learn from you old timers. Wink And who said I didn't try them on CW? I sure didn't say that!
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WB3CQM
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« Reply #63 on: September 27, 2011, 06:12:20 PM »

I have heard them on 4 occasions (phone 20M & 15M) and every time the signal was very weak but IMO workable.
My gripe is that if they never seem to be listening for stations on this side of the world.
IMO if they did more of us could get through but Instead I hear them working every ham in They work Australia, Italy and many other parts of Europe, lots in Japan but the only stations in NA or SA that get through are the ones in NA on the west coast, and they seem to be mostly the superstations that can break through the constant Italian pileups.

On another note, 400 watts and Hexbeam do not give me the impression that they ever really planned to make lots of QSO in NA or SA.

First off these dx operators did not go to 4W to work just NA they went there to work everyone every where  and IMHO they did a amazing job under their conditions and few operators and stations put on the air. And you have no grounds for any gripe !

Africa 273/ Asia 14619/ Europe 14297 / NA 9668/ SA 457 / Oceania 2052 = 41,316  - CW 18,954 / SSB 21191 / RTTY 1216

Most DXpeditions only use verticals but these ops also used a Hexbeam. I highly recommend you buy "Array of Light " by Tom Schiller, N6BT . He go's in to great detail about dxpedtions and vertical antennas as well as yagi beams. The book is well worth the money.. I have many other good books in my library but Array of Light will really help out hams that use vertical antennas.

IMHO a very weak signal is workable but it is not a signal in which we have true propagation . And there for they are working stations that have the propagation .. And just because you hear them weak does not mean they hear us at all.. That is NA or East coast.. Fact is one AM on 40 SSB I heard 4W6A trying relentlessly to work the Gray line ( sun rise east coast ) and 1,2,3  .. With very little or no luck at all.

Just the same I had email exchange with a far off Asia station that said he could not hear USA and yet we would hear him S9 at his Sun Rise .. He would lose the path while we still had more than good copy on him for a while longer than he on us..  

You have no clue as to the QRN local ect... the DX station has...So I find your opinion just that, a opinion but mostly negative  propaganda. Not needed by new hams !  

West coast 3862 contacts or zone 3 / zone 5 east coast 1822 contacts .. So to say only west coast worked them is also incorrect. There is no doubt the path to east coast was very difficult and that was posted on the 4W6A web page. They were aware of it after a few days of operation.

If you look at DXpeditons in the Caribbean I am sure you would find that NA will far out number what Oceania does and Asia does compared to how many times they work this part of the world. The Caribbean islands  is our neighbor .. As with 4W  is the same to Oceania and Asia. Stands to reason Asia will nominate the leader board when 4W comes up again ..lol..

If it is any consolation to you , I have more than a average radio station and most likely more than average skills but found 4W6A to be one of the most challenging DX stations I have ever worked . And they  gave me a new country after being licensed 35 years and chasing dx... I am so thankful they chose East Timor for a DXpediton and sent CW OPERATORS !

Oh , When are you going to 4W ? Would you please go to 70 Yemen and few others I need ?? It will be interesting how well you do dxing on the other end.

73,

jim
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N4KC
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« Reply #64 on: September 27, 2011, 06:23:20 PM »

Vince, I wasn't picking on you with my CW comments.  I was talking about frustration in general and one possible suggested way to help.  East Timor is not the worst from here...about 310 degrees for you and me and not over the North Pole, which would make it worse...but it is in a difficult part of the world.  As WB3CQM says, I appreciate them being out there allowing us to even try to contact them.

But of course, I'm glad I was one of the 9668 from North America who was able to!

73,

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com
http://n4kc.blogspot.com
 
 
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WB3CQM
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« Reply #65 on: September 27, 2011, 06:32:52 PM »

Gosh, all I did was mention that I didn't get through to 4W and I'm accused of everything but offing Jimmy Hoffa!  Tongue j/k Seriously, my "poor vertical" has helped me pick up around 200 countries in a little over 2 years running mostly 100 watts. I sure can't complain about that! No, I don't get 'em all (I didn't break the pileups for Glorioso or Annabon) but I've worked plenty of other DXpeditions. Also, contrary to what some may say the SE Asia/western Pacific region is very difficult for most folks in this area of Florida to work, so I was shocked that I heard 4W6A 10 over S9 at one point (on 40 meters around 1100Z. Unfortunately the frequency cops were just as strong so they could have come back to me and I wouldn't have known it.) Sure I'm frustrated I didn't get 'em. But I also know I'll get 'em next time.

BTW I've only been licensed for 33 years, so I guess I have a lot to learn from you old timers. Wink And who said I didn't try them on CW? I sure didn't say that!

That is why that 6BTV works so well for you! You live in Florida next to salt water ...I bet you do not even have  radials ? lol ... Up here in the NE and other parts the hams I talk to are frustrated even trying to work Caribbean ... lol ... I was not trying to learn a old ham as yourself about anything like dxing you know ... Congratulations on your 200 countries .

Best wishes and DXing

73,

JIM
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N5MOA
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« Reply #66 on: September 28, 2011, 10:01:23 AM »


But of course, I'm glad I was one of the 9668 from North America who was able to!

73,

Don N4KC




Considering the number of people who worked them multiple times, my guess is the unique NA ops is half that. Maybe.

Just the top 100 US zone 3 totals 1243 qsos.
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N5UD
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« Reply #67 on: September 28, 2011, 04:54:52 PM »

I don't understand all this lambasting of vertical antennas for working DX. It is true that I
only worked 4W6A once. It was on 30M CW with JA's calling them. I am in east Texas.

I likely could have worked them on another band, but I was on a trip for all but two days of their operation. Also I have to have propagation when I am out in the mobile.

Since the first of the year running mobile with a TS-480, and screwdriver vertical. 4W made #214 worked. I certainly have heard several other DXCC countries I could not work.

Also I seldom if ever hear a LP opening to SE Asia from my mobile. The east coast almost owns that one.

Mobile from my pickup is my only HF station.

73 and good hunting
Tony N5UD/M
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WB3CQM
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« Reply #68 on: September 29, 2011, 07:20:44 PM »

I don't understand all this lambasting of vertical antennas for working DX. It is true that I
only worked 4W6A once. It was on 30M CW with JA's calling them. I am in east Texas.

I likely could have worked them on another band, but I was on a trip for all but two days of their operation. Also I have to have propagation when I am out in the mobile.

Since the first of the year running mobile with a TS-480, and screwdriver vertical. 4W made #214 worked. I certainly have heard several other DXCC countries I could not work.

Also I seldom if ever hear a LP opening to SE Asia from my mobile. The east coast almost owns that one.

Mobile from my pickup is my only HF station.

73 and good hunting
Tony N5UD/M

I think you miss the point of what I said , I am not lambasting verticals per say... More lambasting at being a frustrated ham using Poor antennas and or antennas poorly put up... If one wants to be a dxer and not miss out on working the real hard to get dx . It would make a lot of seance to put up a GOOD antenna and have fun in ham radio... Every one is restricted in one way or another when purchasing and putting up a antenna.. Rather it is money or property restrictions.. But I would like to make one thing clear .. A trapped vertical is not a vertical .. And as K4JC pointed out , he has worked 200 countries with his 6btv.... And without getting into a big antenna discussion here. I have field tested over 5 years more than about 25 antenna from G5RV,verticals , quads , beams and wire antenna, with up to 5 Rhombics which included a  750 foot Rhombic . I have a darn good idea on how to work dx with a poor antenna to boot..

I really think it is worth reading what W2IRT had to say about frustrated hams on page 5 of this  thread.

In 2000 N6BT using a antenna called "The Illumninator" ( a 150 watt light bulb ) worked 28 countries 41 stations and 5 continents it was the A.R.R.L DX CW contest as I recall. It was done to prove every thing works ! I highly recommend his book to the new ham that wants to be a DXer and understand Verticals , Yagi beans , trapped beans and what it takes to NOT be a frustrated ham radio operator.

Of course there is nothing about quads in the book but I can assure any one here going from a trapped vertical to a simple 5 band 2 el quad at 35 feet would put you in a world of ham radio you did not know could be so fun..

 Tony , Congratulations on your mobile country list.. That is cool no doubt .. But that is  not for me.. Life is too short to miss out a chance to work the last few I have to go for..

2 thoughts I will leave you with as I leave this subject ..

Once you have been behind a big antenna your perspective is never the same.

Once you work a station like BS7H in a 50 kc cw pile up your perspective of ham radio and dxing will never be the same..

Best of luck in ham radio and look for you in the pile ups.

73,
JIM

« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 07:37:03 PM by WB3CQM » Logged
KD8MJR
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« Reply #69 on: September 29, 2011, 09:34:08 PM »

Just my 2 cents on this  Grin
I heard them almost everyday from the start and I know on phone for the first four or five days they mostly worked VK, ZL, Europe and Asia, near the end they started to work a lot of NA & SA but I think those first few days kind of killed the chances for lesser stations to get through in all the panic that developed.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 09:35:41 PM by KD8MJR » Logged
W2IRT
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« Reply #70 on: September 30, 2011, 04:06:02 AM »

Just my 2 cents on this  Grin
I heard them almost everyday from the start and I know on phone for the first four or five days they mostly worked VK, ZL, Europe and Asia, near the end they started to work a lot of NA & SA but I think those first few days kind of killed the chances for lesser stations to get through in all the panic that developed.
Conditions also had a lot to do with this. If that's all they were able to hear easily then that's what they're going to work. Caribbean stations will work more NA than Europe and more Europe than JA and more JA than VK/ZL/Oceania. South Pacific will work a ton of JAs, then VK/ZLs, then west coast NA, then east coast NA, then EU. Whoever has a long polar path is going to get the DX table scraps.

I worked them first-day on 15 SSB (fairly-easily I might add) but then not again on phone until almost the end of the operation. I worked them on CW on various bands on the 19th, 20th, 22nd, 23rd and 24th. They simply did not have a very strong signal to the east coast of NA for whatever reason, be it propagation, path, their gear or location or some combination of these factors.

What "killed the chances for lesser stations" as you put it was more likely their insistence on using SSB instead of CW, the degree of "lesser" involved (a low-mounted G5RV probably wouldn't cut the mustard, especially on the east coast) and the fact that the sun was still groggy and hadn't fully woken up yet, as it finally (and briefly) did last weekend. There are a lot of DXpeditions whose choice of location and equipment will hear even the most modest of NA stations--verticals/wires and 100W, etc. This wasn't one of them. 4W6A was one you needed power and aluminum on your end to snare if you were in NA, especially W1/2/3 and the eastern VE provinces.
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K3STX
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« Reply #71 on: September 30, 2011, 05:07:59 AM »

4W6A was one you needed power and aluminum on your end to snare if you were in NA, especially W1/2/3 and the eastern VE provinces.

Not true. I am in MD and I worked them with 100 watts and a dipole on 30 meters. But I used CW. THAT is the difference, guys!

paul
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W2IRT
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« Reply #72 on: September 30, 2011, 05:22:55 AM »

30m really is the great equalizer in DXing. I'm glad I bought a Mark V with 200W; that extra 3dB sure helps. I find it quite amusing when I listen to a sprawling 30m pileup and hear the number of amps being tuned up, as well as certain 30- and 40-over S9 signals calling.

I'm sure a handful of guys in our part of the world snared 4W6A with compromise gear, but they were the exception, I would wager. Congrats to all who did (and in fact to everyone who got 'em in the log).
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WW3QB
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« Reply #73 on: September 30, 2011, 06:21:17 AM »

4W6A was one you needed power and aluminum on your end to snare if you were in NA, especially W1/2/3 and the eastern VE provinces.

Not true. I am in MD and I worked them with 100 watts and a dipole on 30 meters. But I used CW. THAT is the difference, guys!

paul

I am not far from you and I did hear them on 30m once but they QSYed soon after. I missed the opening you got them on. They were on SSB an awful lot, which I never heard. They rarely used  the optimum bands at the right times and mode that would have helped us. Sadly, with my dipoles, I never got them.  Sad
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K3STX
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« Reply #74 on: September 30, 2011, 07:53:28 AM »

I find it quite amusing when I listen to a sprawling 30m pileup and hear the number of amps being tuned up...

I actually used my amp on 30 to go from 100 watts to 200 watts once in the past when I THOUGHT I needed the boost (maybe it was ST0R)! While I was tuning up I was thinking "I wonder if people think I am trying to run 1 KW?". Grin

I made the contact, probably would have done so with 100 watts too. I guess the extra juice made me feel MORE confident that I could make the contact. They say for lil' pistols that if you FEEL loud and "act" loud people will think you ARE loud.

paul
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