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Old 09-08-11, 14:26   #1
IZ0IEN
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Topband Big Guns: Who worked STØR in SSB ??...

..one of the three giants that break with his voice the horrible QRN on the topband (in an african summer scenario we can call it "horrible" for sure...), was K1ZM, Mr Jeff.
I pose to him some question of general interest, part also of my interest because i was always attracted from the challenge, the extreme and the non-obvious things on the radio, and in the HF world only the top band resume all those thing together.

To beat the myth that only radioamateurs with a nuclear plant as a surge power can afford seriously the top band challenge, K1ZM tell us the history and the setup that has earned the point on 160M SSB STØR log.

Q: Jeff, can you please explain to readers the setup that made possible the SSB QSO with ST0R ?

I did work ST0R ON 160m ssb last night at 0326z - this QSO was from PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND (NA-029) from my station at VY2ZM in Maritime Canada.
Lowband Dx'ing is my passion and especially Topband where I now have 328 DXCC countries worked. Here on VY2, my 160M antennas include the following:

2 x 2 Element Phased Array - with about 8dbd gain for xmitting
3 x 3 Element Phased array - used for RX work
4 Beverages also for RX

The rig is an FT1000D and PA - 700w output
I will attach some information about the xmit antenna.

Q: How much time you spent catching him ?

I listened each night on 160M after K1LZ arrived in Juba as he is the principal lowband operator. I found him every night and managed to work him on 160m CW pretty quickly.
The 160M SSB qso was quite lucky however as he decided to try it near his sunrise time on 09 August (0345z) - and despite the severe QRN on his side, he did hear me okay.

Q: Generally speaking, how you plan the hunting on top band of any dx-expedition ?


In terms of DX pedition planning for Topband, we all have to wait until they put up their TOPBAND antennas as this usually does not happen until the middle or near the end of most dxpeditions - that is usually our best chance for Topband qso's - and in this case, it was not until 02 August that ST0R got on topband - K1LZ started on 03 August and I worked him the next day 04 August.

Q: When, in your ham life, you discover the top band?

I became interested in Topband as a young amateur but did not have a xmtr for 160M until 1983 - which is when I started my 160M DXCC work. I made DXCC 160M in 1985 and received WAZ-40 on 160M from K1ZM in 2007 I think it was. My last zones were zones 26 and 23 - which were hard to work from W1/W2.
I have also made WAZ-40 on Topband from VY2ZM - which was a bit easier with much better antennas than in the USA.


Q: A secret that you can tell to the members of our forum ?

You have asked about a secret for success about Topband - I suppose the best advice I would have is to put the best antenna up that you can - a vertical or phased verticals and try to listen on low noise RX antennas - the best 160M Rx antennas today are:

1) The K7TJR Rx four square and circular array
2) The Dx Engineering four square Rx array
3) The use of beverages - at least 880 feet long (approx275m long).

You also need alot of patience because 160m signals are often weak, and in the noise and QRNNNN - so you have to keep at it - success does not come every day like on 14Mhz - hi hi!

... a final phrase from Jeff go to the organizers and the participants of the Contest University Italy: "Many thanks again for your inquiry - best of success on Topband to my Italian lowband friends. Nice to meet many of you at Contest University Italy in March 2011......My wife and I were there and enjoyed your hospitality very much!"

I would like to thanks again Jeff for the courtesy and the sharing of some details of years of works.
Last but not least, he is the author of "DXing on the edge", a book about years of operations on 160m.
Hope to meet him in the "ZZZZZZZZ" of topband !

Thanks for reading es 73 de Cristiano IZ0IEN/AB3NT
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Last edited by IZ0IEN; 09-08-11 at 15:11.
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Old 14-08-11, 12:48   #2
IK7JWY
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Re: Topband Big Guns: Who worked STØR in SSB ??...

Very interesting tips, as usual with Jeff K1ZM.
Thanks to Stefano IK2QEI, now you can download here the presentation "Contesting from VY2ZM - Paradiso at –35C!!", held by Jeff K1ZM in March 2011 during the last Contest University Italy.

Click here to download (about 7 Mb)
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