I have a very weird odd shaped lot – framed on 2 sides of a “sort of” triangle by a creek. The nice thing – its not a typical boring sea of square “grid tract” houses, and there are lots of trees around so it feels secluded and quite amazing for being only 20 miles slightly north east of San Francisco, and 5 – 7 miles from Oakland and Berkeley. Its even more amazing that there are the “usual” deer, hawks, coyotes, owls, bats, many different kinds of birds, wild turkeys, but there are a few more “exotic” animals – red fox and bob cats.
Its a very hilly area, and there is a large steep hill in my NE direction – which sometimes has shunted the Middle East and Africa, and sometimes not. The one thing that seemed to save me from certain failure was that the DX over the pole had to have been higher angle, or in other cases, my Long Path to EU and AF on 40M is stellar every morning during the Winter, and ZS every day of the year. In fact, because both the LP and SP to ZS is non polar path, I can work ZS stations every evening and morning on the two paths on 40M. That never gets tiring since I still find it amazing that I can communicate that far away right from my back yard and with modest antennas.
Speaking of antennas, I have all fine tuned now. The 96 buried radials on 160, 80 and 30M help, and the Inverted L is more of an Inverted U, and it also has gain and directivity towards Bouvet on 30M – because (just by accident), its dimensions model as a 2 element phased array – with the vertical the reflector and the wire hanging back down the director. The other antennas just work gangbusters for what they are, and they let me work the world and do it with 500 watts easily – 1500 even just a tad bit more easily.
The Elecraft K-Line is by far my favorite ham radio station gear, and my antennas work very well on the low bands. The Wellbrook ALA1530LNP phased through the DX Engineering NCC-2 are simply amazing. Its really a simple setup that provides tons of fun.