2015 ARRL 160 Meter Contest Results

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Well, there was a certificate in the mail today. In spite of what I though was a dismal effort in last year's ARRL 160 Contest, I apparently did well enough to score first place in Indiana in the Single Op, Low Power, Unlimited category! I almost forgot about it, which is easy to do when it takes 11 months before the certificate arrives.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Posted 2 years ago

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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Of course, there were only two Indiana stations in this category...
but I was 11th out of 18 in the Central Division. Nothing to brag about!
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Norm - W7CK

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Hey Ken,
I don't contest much, but I do like 160m.  I have a small lot and only have an Inverted-L for this band.  I use it for XMT and RCV.  A bit noisy, but it works ok.

Can you tell me what your using for antennas on this band?

Norm - W7CK
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I use either a 160 Offcenter fed dipole at 38 ft. Or an Inverted-L (35 up and 85 over) with two radials. It works better when I can elevate the radials about ten ft. Above ground. For receive, I use either of the antennas, or a home brew tuned shielded magnetic loop about five ft. Above ground. The loop is made of 20 ft. Of RG8 with the shield split at the top, with tuning/matching network tuned with varactor diodes.

The system works OK, but I have lots of hvac motor and other noise sources on 160 at the qth.
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Norm - W7CK

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Thanks Ken.  That's encouraging.  I'll keep working with my Inv-L for now and see what I can do to improve it.  Noise here isn't usually very bad but the Inv-L seems to be the noisiest. 

I have to admit, I hear things on the 6700 that I don't on the IC-7100.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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From what I have read, using as few as two or four elevated radials (about 8-10 ft. above the ground) increases efficiency over buried radials. until you get to about 32 in-ground radials.  

I have proven this on my 40 meter vertical with only 4 radials at 8-10 ft.
On the 160 inverted 'L', I can manage 2-3 temporary radials, even though they are bent to a 90 degree angle after about 65 ft.  I quickly angle them up to 8-10 ft for the first 10 ft. and then support them with 1/2 inch electrical conduit shoved about a foot into the ground every 20 ft or so to keep them from clothes-lining people in my backyard.  After 160 season, I roll the inverted 'L' and radials up on an electrical cord reel and store them until the next season....

When I just lay them on the ground, I don't get as good performance.  I haven't been able to fully understand the radiation efficiency difference, but it seems it has to do with ground capacitance, etc.... I still need to do some more study.  But I am contemplating doing the same thing with an 80 meter inverted 'L.'  I think I may be able to squeeze 4 elevated radials into the yard, somewhat bent, perhaps using two of the 160 radials as part of the system this winter.

Perhaps some of the other 80/160 experts will chime in with some suggestions?
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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Our club's field day results were similar. #1 (of 1) in Category=2AB and Power Mult=5 for VA and Roanoke. It just means we've scared the competition away. This year I sponsored the CQ WW RTTY SOAB QRP World plaque. It looks like it is going to go to RU4SS with an amazing score. I really enjoy some of these contests even as a casual participant.

That certificate is going to look real nice on the wall Ken. 

73,
Kev K4VD