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Re:This is probably a dumb question

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  • Les Rayburn
    Since my name was mentioned, guess I ll chime in too. I do think that managing your expectations is important, but you should also challenge conventional
    Message 1 of 12 , Jul 29 12:05 PM
      Since my name was mentioned, guess I'll chime in too.
      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 effort.
      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 indicator.
      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
      100 Centerview Drive Suite 111
      Birmingham, AL 35216-3748
      205.824.8960 fax
      205.253.4867 cell
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