Interesting RBN performance today

Discussion in 'The DX Zone' started by NM7G, Sep 13, 2021 at 6:52 AM.

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  1. NM7G

    NM7G Ham Member QRZ Page

    I powered the rig on 20m CW at 1440Z today. I noticed moderately high atmospheric noise. It was annoying, but not a major hindrance to working strong sigs, but there were no strong sigs from the north-northeast. The band was not fully open to Europe. I copied a DL and a a French station or two. I then contacted a KA3 station operating POTA. The only excitement on the band was from C31CT in Andorra calling CQ. His signal was 339 at best. I tuned away as the band showed little sign of improvement.

    Near 1600Z I heard A60EXPO (the U.A.E., probably Dubai) calling CQ, and turned my yagi due north. In addition to many EU stations, he worked a very few VE and some W/K stations (but not many). At 1614 he went in my log. Post-QSO, his sig continued to grow, and briefly (minutes) he was 579. He was a skilled operator and kept a good pace. It surprised me that he worked few NA stations, although he called for NA. Propagation was poor but not terrible.

    Where is this story going?
    Before breakfast I searched the A6 call on the Reverse Beacon Network for recent hits. I chose to show 100 hits and found 100 skimmer hits between 1525Z and 1641Z. Guess what? There was not one U.S. skimmer hit in that 75 minute window, and only two Canadian hits, both from the same VE2 station. Some RBN stations have superb sensitivity to weak signals; far, far better than my simple station's. It was shocking that while A60EXPO was decent copy here, his sig was invisible to all U.S. RBN contributors. Furthermore, I knew he had worked several W/K and VE stations!

    I chalk this up to selective propagation, since I find no other explanation.
  2. WZ7U

    WZ7U Ham Member QRZ Page

    You mean the black hole of propagation (cn85) finally coughed up a nugget? Nice!

    Glad to hear of this, it means the sun is starting to cooperate again. Nice catch, thanks for the encouragement. 73
    K0UO likes this.
  3. VK3ELF

    VK3ELF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had a similar experience yesterday. I was calling cq with 40 watts of power.

    I am in Melbourne, Australia and was only being heard on the rbn in Queensland.

    Nowhere else.

    Then received a reply from Italy.
  4. K7GQ

    K7GQ Subscriber QRZ Page

    An explanation for this might involve antennas - specifically (presumably) your gain antenna versus the typical omni-directional antenna that most skimmers employ.
    K0UO likes this.
  5. NM7G

    NM7G Ham Member QRZ Page

    There's no simple way to normalize for antennas for dozens of skimmers, but I used my first beam in 1969 (4-elem 10m), and later beams on 40, 20 15m. On all bands there have been times when some regional local with a vertical whipped me occasionally report-wise because skip favored his QTH, or as with some of the skimmers they have astounding takeoff angle advantages due to being on a mountaintop or a high ridge (e.g., 8k feet in rural AZ or 6k feet in the CA Sierras). I built this 20/15 yagi for optimum F/B performance, and intentionally sacrificed 0.8 dB gain to get the F/B wanted. It has never disappointed though at barely 60 feet. I hear better than some because the front-to-back yields excellent QRM-QRN rejection.

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