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Author Topic: Is my signal going where I want it?  (Read 1166 times)
KJ4JQU
Member

Posts: 35




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« on: January 14, 2013, 06:28:21 PM »

Hello all and thanks in advance for your thoughts. I read an interesting article recently and it basically said you can target where your signal will end up by calculating incidence angle, hops needed to get there and antenna height. Well my main interest is hitting europe. So far in my log books Ive only had a handful of contacts from that way ( from my old qth) and would like to improve on that lol. Im only running 100watts so, of factors I can control, antennas seem to be the answer.

My QTH is Chattanooga TN, my fan dipole is up about 30 ft + (ground underneath slopes Sad ). It is oriented almost N-S, which is good (I think). I havent had much chance to get on during the day so I havent fully explored my current set up's ability, but after what I read Im doubtful that its ideal. I do however suck at math so I might have something to look forward to lol

Attached is a few photos of my antenna, the last photo is a satellite photo and the blue line is my antenna.

So I would appreciate any input you have--and I mean any-- on helping me reach my goal of hitting the EU hard! 73's KJ4JQU






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KJ4JQU
Member

Posts: 35




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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2013, 06:33:20 PM »

Sorry, trying to add clickable links


http://i46.tinypic.com/wjujw6.jpg

http://i48.tinypic.com/2nm3gg1.jpg

http://i49.tinypic.com/fjkc4l.jpg
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N4CR
Member

Posts: 1694




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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2013, 07:59:00 PM »

N/S orientation there really is across northern Africa if you have it up high enough to have a real pattern.

NW/SE would be better for Europe.

What modes and bands are you trying, and when?
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73 de N4CR, Phil

Never believe an atom. They make up everything.
WB6BYU
Member

Posts: 13486




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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2013, 09:14:33 PM »

Print your own map to check the optimum direction to different parts of the world:

http://ns6t.net/azimuth/azimuth.html


A dipole has a half power beamwidth of about +/- 45 degrees.  The difference
between N/S and NW/SE in most cases isn't going to make a huge difference
in the number of QSOs you can make into Europe.  If it is convenient to shift
the antenna, fine, but what is far more important is being on the right band
at the right time to catch the openings.

I tried the Combined HF Prediction / HAP charts from the Australian Ionospheric
Prediction Service, available here:

http://www.ips.gov.au/HF_Systems/7/1

It suggests that, at the moment, 1300Z to 1700Z seems like your best time
to work Europe on 20m, with some possible openings on 17m and 15m.

If the band isn't open, no amount of fussing with your antenna is going to
enable you to make contacts.  (But getting your antenna up higher may
allow the band to open sooner and last longer.)
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WD4ELG
Member

Posts: 877




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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2013, 10:07:49 PM »

WB6BYU nailed it 100%.

I am able to work EU with a hamstick mounted on the back of my car and 25 watts with no problems.  40 CW at night, 20 through 10 at other times.  You should be able to get into EU with ease. 

Something I just noticed, I see some BIG hills close by.  That could certainly be a factor with propagation for you to EU.

What band is that antenna for (looks like Alpha Delta for 10/15/20)  How are you feeding it?  What are you hearing with it?

100 watts is PLENTY. 
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M6GOM
Member

Posts: 993




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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2013, 03:43:00 PM »


Something I just noticed, I see some BIG hills close by.  That could certainly be a factor with propagation for you to EU.


Really it won't be.
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KJ4JQU
Member

Posts: 35




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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2013, 06:24:16 AM »

Thanks for all the ideas folks. Antenna is good on 10-40m.
The bands being open does seem to be the ultimate deciding factor regardless of equipment used so I'm gonna have to do some more reading up on that! Again thanks for the tips.
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WD4ELG
Member

Posts: 877




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« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2013, 07:14:07 PM »

M6GOM, please educate me on why it won't be an issue.  Using HFTA, he could find out for sure, but if those hills are blocking up to 15 degrees of elevation it could present a problem in my opinion.  (It sure looks that way).

KY6R describes why it's an issue for him and he is also in a valley.
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