We're well into the fall months. The geomagnetic field will steadily quiet down as we move away from the autumnal equinox. Shorter daylight hours cause a reduction in D layer ionization. That makes for the right conditions for propagation of signals in the 160 meter band (1800 kHz to 2000 kHz).
How's DX? What are you hearing? What sort of station are you running? What antenna systems do you have in place for 160?
I haven't done anything on 160m yet this season. The only antenna I have for that band is an 80-meter quarter-wave sloper that can be loaded on 160 with a tuner. It is strictly a high-angle/low-efficiency arrangement . I get surprizingly good reports, but my best "DX" is generally only out to 1000 miles or so.
I finally have some room to put up an antenna for 160 so I thought I would give it a try.
I'm running 100 watts and I started with a double-size G5RV and managed a couple of contacts in 8- and 9-land, and the other night worked NP4A. But overall, I did not feel I was getting much with the antenna. I kept seeing 160 meter spots and hearing stations within several hundred miles of me working Europeans, but I could not hear the EU stations at all!
So over the weekend, I took down the G5RV and put up a full-size dipole. One problem, I am sure, is that it is barely 30 feet high and one end slopes down to about 10 feet at the end. That is as high as I can get with the trees I have available.
After putting the new antenna up, I worked FP/VE7SV early and heard FM5BH later on, but I am still not hearing Europeans.
So the question is, will conditions improve so I will have a chance to pick up a few EU multipliers in the CQWW at least on CW or is my antenna still just not good enough for anything beyond the NA continental borders?
Thanks for any thoughts you can share.
While nothing is impossible, I would say your antenna has too high a radiation angle to be good for DX such as Europe.
You have two possibilities:
(1) A horizontal antenna for 160 such as a dipole would have to be extremely high to have a low radiation angle. Thirty feet is not even close to being high enough.
(2) A vertical antenna is a low radiation angle antenna to begin with, so they are quite common among 160m DXers. The problem here is that vertical efficiency declines as the length falls below 1/4 wavelength. A "full sized" vertical for 160 would have to be about 120 feet high or so. Any smaller, and efficiency falls. Also, for ground mounted verticals, there is the issue of ground radials which you will need a lot of to be efficient.
Let me point out that I am no expert on 160. I have so little space that I am lucky to be able to have any antenna that even loads up well on 160, let alone work great stuff. I get on 160 maybe once or twice a year, and typically only work stations within 1000 miles or so of my QTH.
Perhaps someone with a bit more experience on the band can give you some better ideas.
1.830-1.835MHz is suppose to be a DX window, right? So I'm confused........
I hear a couple of regular stateside stations calling CQ in this window, for
what seems 24 hours a day. An exageration but not by much. It really
effects us here in the midwest, be it the left coast or right coast stations,
as we have to get through the CQ QRM to hear weak signals from here in the
Is this window for working DX you hear or can anyone call CQ as long as the
goal is to work DX? I'm not trying to pick on anyone, but I am curious as to
the latest feelings about this 5KHz of space-
3 KHz wide stateside signals running legal power in this window really make
it a waste of time for central located USA stations hoping to hear any EU or
Pacific DX. Trying to break in on a DX QSO is either taken as QRM'ing the
left coast/right coast station or we are ignored as we are not heard- Not
every night, but trust me, you can cut the tension with a knife-
Welcome to the Topband radio propagation section! In this area, you will find a variety of tools which will hopefully help you improve your chances of succeeding at Topband (160 meter) DX. This is an experimental server and will be under construction for some time as we strive to establish predictable correlations of propagation conditions on this chaotic band. Feel free to check back as frequently as you would like. Algorithms used to derive these predictions are subject to change without notice. We make no claims as to the accuracy or useability of these predictions. At the present time, we are restricting our predictions to high latitude paths that would normally cross the auroral zones from the low or middle latitudes. North America to Europe (and visa-versa) and North America to Japan (and visa-versa) are the primary circuits for these predictions. Trans-equatorial predictions are still under investigation and will be made available here as soon as possible.
You must be a member to post in this forum