Since my name was mentioned, guess I'll chime in
I do think that managing your expectations is
important, but you should also challenge "conventional wisdom". When I first
started, many told me that any kind of fixed station operation with attic
mounted antennas was folly. Many helpfully suggested things like operating
portable, roving from the car, and any number of disguised antennas.
In my case, none of that offered a real solution.
While I can and do operate mobile and portable, it simply doesn't fit my
lifestyle. I work full time, have college age children, and an XYL to consider.
I grab operating time when I can, and that means a fixed station. Fighting with
my neighbors over a hobby isn't attractive to me either.
So I plowed ahead with my original plan, and
accepted that the performance of the station would always be a compromise. Since
early July, I've worked eight QSO's for eight new grids on 2 Meter WSJT. Also
two other grids via JT6M.
I don't work a lot of six meters, not because I
can't, but because I'm focused on earning VUCC for all the four low bands. I've
got 149 grids on 6 Meters already, so my focus is now on 2 Meters and up. I've
probably attempted two dozen or more QSO that were not successful. Some will be
in time, but some may prove impossible to complete.
My advice is this, be respectful of the other
station. Has some have suggested it's like a dance...you and the other station
are partners trying to complete the contact. Those of us with compromised
antennas require our partner to do most of the heavy lifting...so be respectful
of that. If they tire of the time it's taking to complete, simply suggest that
you try another day. I always make it a point to thank the other station for the
I also try to honor any requests that I receive.
For instance, even though I'm not "into" six meters, a lot of folks are. I
always try to make time to attempt any QSO that I'm asked about.
I think you'll be amazed at how many stations you
can work! Get on the air and give it a shot.
My other big suggestion is that antenna placement
is critical. As much as height, you want a location that offers the lowest noise
possible for a given frequency. If you can, try listening to 144.140 on a small
radio, such as a Yaesu FT-817...and select the area with the lowest noise. Using
WSJT you can literally measure the relative noise floor by looking at the db
Sometimes a db or 2 is all the difference between
completing a QSO and busting it. Hope to work you soon, I need your grid!
Les Rayburn, N1LF
Les Rayburn, director
High Noon Film
Centerview Drive Suite 111
Birmingham, AL 35216-3748