All of a sudden I’m loving 80M – and this I never would have expected
Because making DXCC on 160M (without using remotes) from the West Coast is so hard, I fancied myself as a real DX “Scrapper” being able to do so. For sure, its a great accomplishment – and one that DXers on the East Coast (or those on the West Coast who use remotes for that “propagational advantage”) will never understand. Too bad for them – but if you are on the West Coast and in a hurry to make DXCC – use a remote. Just don’t look at the ON4KST Chat and their “wall of shame” regularly skewering remote Top Band users. They always know when a West Coast DXer is the only one from the West Coast who worked say all of those recent African DX-peditions on 160M – and they call these people out by name. (I personally find that kind of silly – but then again – I guess that proves that I was a Top Bander only long enough to make DXCC – and now I could care a less).
Yes, I’m a “Fair Weather Top Bander” . . .
One thing I will admit though – this Top Band feat takes almost too much time and patience – after making 8BDXCC – which was actually quite easy on the West Coast (I did it in 3 years) – all of a sudden, 160M and 6M DXCC seems nearly impossible. I’m going to guess that 6M is even worse than 160M. Now that I have the SteppIR UrbanBeam, I’ll soon find out!
80M Spiderbeam fiberglass vertical – 60′ tall with Flexweave wire taped to it – and nearly invisible
For me, Top Band had a nostalgia that 80M never offered. Top Band is just above the AM Broadcast band – and is low enough to be “closer” to where the first radio inventors transmitted frequency wise. 80M wasn’t as “manly” a challenge as 160, and not open enough as 40M for long haul DX. Add in the jokers on 75M, and it was a band I’d rather overlook.
Well, now that we are where we are at in the cycle – I have seen days where 80M is as exciting as 40 and 30M, and where 160M was as dead as it usually is. And even better yet – putting up a pair of phased verticals using the Spiderbeam 18M (60′) fiberglass poles is something I thoroughly enjoyed and which makes me realize how much harder and frankly, a pain in the ass it is to put up something on Top Band from a small suburban lot on the West Coast.
Last night I had just one vertical wired up (and I heard 3C0W quite well but didn’t get through) – in the next day or so I will have the phased array on line. Then I will retry working 3C0W – it will be the best on air test I can think of. Also – the hornets are finally gone – they’ve moved on – but man, they took 4 or so hours to finally realize that “The Hive-ways jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive” . . .
In a word, 80M phased verticals using the Spiderbeam fiberglass and wire is MUCH easier and has a much bigger ROI than 160M on a small West Coast suburban lot. And that equates to more FUN!