Yes, My QTH Really is That Bad!

Google Earth Terrain Analysis

Recently I had two prominent Bay Area DXers visit and pick up some gear I was selling. They had both attended at least one of my presentations where I described my QTH as “being down in a bowl”.

Azimuthal plot of take off power at 14 degrees elevation in all directions using HFTA Sweep

The NE direction shows why my ATNO’s to rare Middle East and Africa on the short path is so difficult – and why it was necessary for me to learn about the Long Path and how to exploit it – with higher take off angles at the West Coast sunrise.

The best part of these visits were that both had the exact same comment:

“I saw your presentation but could not imagine it was this bad. What you have done from this QTH is amazing”.

I guess this is my one big bragging right – making Honor Roll from this QTH (the easy stuff was worked from my old QTH on 5 acres and on the side of a hill with no neighbors and underground utilities). Doing it in 11 years is one thing if you live in a great location, but from this one – it really was a struggle – but one where I can sit back and bask in the glow of two DXers who are a lot more serious than I validate my accomplishments.

It another words, for DXing, this QTH sucks(*) – and in a weird way – it frames and defines success.

(*) – This is one of the absolute best QTH’s for cycling. Its better than anything I have seen in Marin, the South Bay or the Penninsula. Its also awesome if you work in SF and BART to work.

While we are on the subject of QTH – I can’t remember a time when Orinda was 44 degrees at night when its almost May. We barely hit 60 the last few days. We did have several days that were around 80 – 85 a few weeks ago, but the cool snap came back. Its not a big deal – but it is noticeable.


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