My earlier dreams of settling in on 160M at the end of my DXCC pursuit has hit a snag. It was very hard work getting to 100 on Top Band, and then “IT” happened. I listened to what the East Coast could hear on my friends remote station in Tennessee, and OMG – it was night and day. In fact, so much so it has got me thinking a lot about DXCC and location, location, location!
First of all, unlike some others whom I have seen post about how DXCC is dead due to remotes and now – how FT8 is the end of (something), I don’t think so. I have seen these comments on the ON4KST Chat quite a bit.
The real problem for me is neither of these things. Its variety.
There simply is not enough DX on 160M on the West Coast. I have gone several months with Zero new one’s on 160M (many many times over the past 6 or 7 years) that I am now giving up on any notion that Top Band is all that. DX and 160M Contests are now so boring to me – in fact I curse them because when they happen 160M is useless – sure there is more activity – if you like working the same contest stations – and all in the US and maybe a few in the Caribbean.
Another wider thought popped out of this 160M on the East and West coast issue. If you really look at this, just living on the East Coast gives you a big advantage for DXCC Challenge and 10BDXC. And I mean a Yuge Bigly advantage. So much for “level playing field”, and this is also why DXCC can never be a contest. But I digress.
I got so bored with 160M, I went up one band and found to my great surprise 80M humming, and this has happened a lot lately. The other thing that is important is that I have such little space in my yard for antennas, I have to pick and choose carefully. I have barely enough room for 3 antennas and I’m already crowding in more than that as it is.
We are sliding fast down the cycle, and I am betting that 80M with my phased vertical array (DX Engineering DV-80-P) will be a “new” band for me – that along with 40M will dominate my activity at the very bottom few years of the cycle.