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Author Topic: How is 160M this Winter?  (Read 5143 times)
KY6R
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« on: January 06, 2013, 04:48:14 PM »

How has 160M treated you so far this Winter?

I have a Cushcraft MA-160V for TX (64 buried radials) and the Array Solutions K9AY Loops for RX. I'm up to 32 entities, and am now ready to get a bit more serious - I had been concentrating mostly on the high bands until now. I have 8BDXCC - so am trying to add band #9 . . . .

I expect that even at the peak of this anemic cycle that 160M is still pretty good (?)
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 05:12:59 PM by KY6R » Logged
N3QE
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2013, 06:27:54 PM »

I had put a good amount of effort into my 160M antenna in the weeks preceding ARRL 160, adding 1500 feet of copper radials on the ground (and across the driveway, and through the basement and crawlspace and through the other side of the house!) and a K9AY loop. The K9AY was going up during the first part of PT0S, and I was amazed, just listening to the pileup and flicking through directions. After I got it up... A quick payoff was working PT0S on 160M.

My personal highlight was RI1ANF on 160M in mid-December. In previous showings he had just been briefly peaking up above the noise at my QTH, but that night he was consistently loud and readable, and I got him first call after he went to split. I had been waiting, "there's no way I can hear him through this racket till he goes split", and then, Boom! Oh, that was glorious.

Had a lot of fun in the Stew Perry... conditions were substantially better than the ARRL 160. There were the strong stations... and a layer of weaker DX and QRP stations below them... and then if I listened through both those layers, underneath them was the interesting non-trivial DX :-). The wonders of psycho-acoustic processing.

Now I know... 160M DXCC is just a matter of time and effort. I am several dozen away from 100 but I now believe it is do-able for me. Probably several years away, but do-able.
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AD9DX
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2013, 06:28:03 PM »

It has been decent so far.  I have gotten three new ones this year.  Nothing exotic but since I am new to 160 any new one is good.  The band has been really quiet QRN wise.
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EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
AA6YQ
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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2013, 07:14:55 PM »

I've worked nothing new on 160m since winter began on 2012-12-21, but the fall of 2012 brought new ones TT8TT and PT0S. Both of these were confirmed, raising my 160m total to 237.

    73,

         Dave, AA6YQ
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KY6R
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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2013, 07:48:15 PM »

Just worked VP2MSW on 160M - which is really good DX for me on the West Coast. Asia / Pacific is easy from here.

I was surprised how I only needed to call about 3 or 4 times.
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W2IRT
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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2013, 08:29:41 PM »

This season has been OK for me but I've missed both the ARRL and Stew Perry contests this year due to other commitments both weekends. The three big new ones for me were PT0S, RI1ANF and A45XR, bringing me up to 166 worked and confirmed. I've worked a number of stations in Europe using only 200W over the last couple of weeks but nothing exciting. The band is definitely in decent shape for me this season, especially since the electric company replaced the flickering bulb at the foot of my driveway that was generating bursts of S9+ noise on both 80 and 160.
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Night gathers and now my watch begins. It shall not end until I reach Top of the Honor Roll.
KY6R
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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2013, 09:03:27 PM »

NP4A is S9 +20, and I just worked him too. I had my 160M TX antenna put away for a while - and just put it back up yesterday and tuned it this morning. The K9AY Loops have been up for years now.

Well - here is one good thing about a weak cycle - the low bands are still good - in fact, 160M tonight is as good as I have ever heard it. As others have mentioned - the signals are all above the noise.

Not bad - worked Vlad SU9VB for a new band slot with the stack on 17M this morning and now these on 160M at night. D3AA on a bunch of bands and some great stuff on 40M too.

Good DX everywhere! And we do have a load of spots today too.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 09:16:35 PM by KY6R » Logged
NI0C
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« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2013, 09:29:30 PM »

New ones for me this season: HK1MW, PT0S, and HL5IVL.  Still pursuing RI1ANF (only heard once briefly).  Have 134 entities and 29 zones confirmed on Top Band.
GL to all and 73,
Chuck. NI0C
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KY6R
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« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2013, 08:37:27 PM »

Wow - have added 5 new ones on 160M in just the past 2 days. And tonight I have been hearing EU stations right and left. I never thought I would hear EU on my K9AY loops out here in "The Bowl".

160M has really mysterious and cool propagation. I can see why it is addicting.

The MA-160V, while surely a compromise, but with 64 buried radials and a 200 pf transmitting cap that I added to the base, it seems to be working "well enough" to get me to 160M DXCC and snag that 9th band (9BDXCC).
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K3TN
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2013, 02:42:57 AM »

It has been the best of 160 and the worst of 160 for me so far:

 The Best - worked my first VK and first JA on 160. I've worked DXpeditions to the Pacific but these were the first times I've gotten through to "normal" stations. Also picked up A45XR, V5/DL3DXX and a few other ATNOs.

The worst - I still need LotW confirmation for a lot of easy ones and the EU stations on 160 most nights are either the ones I've worked before or ones that don't do LotW. The CQ WW 160 might bring some opportunity.

The QRN level has generally been very low and signal level pretty high on 160. I'm using a 51' T antenna with about 12 radials out, will add a few more this weekend. Usually run 500W, but can switch to 1.5KW when the pileups on 160 are fierce.

I'm up to 91 confirmed LotW - hoping to get 160M over the DXCC hump this season.

73 John K3TN
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John K3TN
WD4ELG
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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2013, 10:00:48 PM »

I am fairly new to 160.  I have been told by the OT's that 2009-2010 was the best so far (my first season).

This winter seems pretty good so far.

11 ATNO since September on 160: RI1ANF (September), HK1NA, PT0S, D4C, Z38N, KH7X, 5T0SP, YT5Z, EU3AR, V5/DL3DXX, TG9NX

These have put me at 92 worked.  Also heard but did not work: D3AA, 9K2MU, ZS6EZ, A45XR.

Using 1/4 wave inverted L in rural location, and added a HiZ 4 square.

So conditions seem pretty good from where I am at.

Lots of folks love that MA160.  I had the MA8040, and it was wonderful...simply no comparison to my half square on 40 and low wire on 80 (as expected).  Similar to the MA160.  You should be able to get DXCC on 160 with the pacific activity and some of the EU stuff at their sunrise.

Unfortunately, I have yet to hear JA, VK or ZL on 160.  Hope springs eternal...
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KY6R
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« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2013, 04:48:14 AM »

K3TN and WD4ELG - great work and you guys are so close. I had only been goofing around before, but now have been working Caribbean stations each night for the last several nights. I have heard EU and even a ZS station - but I am an alligator on 160M - so I will only call when all of the "big guns" aren't calling that same entity for the 100th time (just to prove they can beat everyone else  Grin). I have to step aside for such ops . . . Being a 160M "pop gun", I have to go after the DX that the big guns don't bother with.

Its a shame there isn't nearly as much 160M activity in OC-PAC and Asia as there is from the places "you'se guys" can work from the East Coast, but (unlike Honor Roll), I want to take my sweet old time with 160M since this is the last DX achievement that I am going to bother with - (besides HR #1 - which I also will take my sweet time with). 

160M with morning coffee at 4 AM is my favorite ham radio activity these days. Now - I just OC-PAC activity!
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WD4ELG
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« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2013, 06:02:35 AM »

Agreed, Rich.  I quickly learned that 160 is a night owl band.  Fortunately (or unfortunately), that describes me perfectly.  Kinda groggy this morning after only 6 hours of sleep again, but it was worth it (it always is).
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N3QE
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« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2013, 06:51:53 AM »

Unfortunately, I have yet to hear JA, VK or ZL on 160.  Hope springs eternal...

I too am "new" to 160 (more new than you!), and can tell you, there was this astounding opening yesterday AM where I heard and worked VK6LW. So yes it is very possible from East side of US to work VK. I never would've believed it until I'd heard it myself, he was clear as day, and I worked him easy.

After that I did a little research with reversebeacon... and on many winter mornings, around dawn +/- 2 hours, there seem to be occasional brief openings where VK is being picked up by the east coast skimmers. See e.g. this filter: http://www.reversebeacon.net/dxsd1/dxsd1.php?f=38988

Tim.
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PE5T
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« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2013, 07:17:35 AM »

Worked several west coast stations the last days, W6OAR, K7ZV, N6ML, N6VR, N6TR, WS7L. Also KL7KY in my morning and also in my afternoon.
So there are openings, not many and with qsb.

Kees, PE5T
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