Some additional thoughts on yesterday’s QRP DX session

Did some calculations this afternoon to try and discover what went right during yesterday afternoon’s QRP session. The homebrew buddistick antenna is somewhat directional. The single radial points to the direction of highest gain. When I set up yesterday the direction of the radial was randomly picked and somewhat limited by where i could drive the stake that supports the radial 4 feet off the ground. I thought i was pointing generally in the Northeast direction but it turns out the opposite was true. I was roughly pointing at a bearing angle of 297°. The directivity of the antenna gives me pretty stable gain 90° on either side of that. So the swath of best coverage was between SSW and NNE. So here are the bearing angles of the DX contacts from my QTH:

  • Japan: 318°
  • Brazil: 128°
  • New Zealand: 230°
  • Argentina: 162°

The contacts from Brazil and New Zealand were will within the swath of main directivity. The South American contacts must have been just outside the 180° main coverage. Now what was interesting is that I was also picking up clear stations in South Korea and Australia (though I did not make contact with them). The South Korean station never heard my call at 5W. For grins I ran into the house to try and contact him on my main rig at 100W but I could not hear him on the FT-450D. Not the radios fault! Remember that my main antenna is a horizontal end fed antenna running north south about 20 feet off the ground. I simply do not have enough gain in that direction to pick up that station.

The other observation is that I was not picking up any contacts in Europe during that time as they would have been deep in the null created by the antenna.So when all is said and done the theory matches up with the practice! Looking forward to my next session with this rig and seeing what happens when i point it in different directions by moving the radial around.

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