On 8/11/2017 9:33 AM, Mike Parkes wrote:
I  took my setup to a nearby park and the bands were
definitely quieter. So the local manmade noise level is an issue (and one
reason I chose the KX3 was the hope that its rcvr and filtering could help
with that.)

Have yet to make a single contact, so I am just wondering if I just
happened to choose a really lousy period of solar conditions for HF? Or is
the base loaded vertical a joke?

Band conditions ARE lousy, virtually all residential and industrial areas are full of noise from electronics of all sorts, especially switch-mode power supplies, the antenna you've chosen requires radials or a counterpoise, and short base-loaded verticals are seriously compromised antennas.

A wire thrown into a tree with another wire a few feet off the ground connected to the rig chassis is a far better antenna. I use #22 for the kind of operation you do in the park.The same wire can also be taped to a telescoping fiberglass pole if there are no trees. The closer the length is to a quarter-wave the better. :) If there are hills or mountains around you, head for the top of one of them. The ground slope will help your transmitted signal, and if there are no buildings or radio towers around, it will probably be a lot quieter.

Another problem is that, except for contesting and DXing, CW band activity has fallen over the years. 30M is a very good band for QRP, and sometimes has more daytime activity than 40 CW; 20M daytime activity tends to be greater, but the higher you go in frequency, conditions get worse. :)

As to noise -- you're probably going to have to give up on operating from your apartment. The likelihood is that every apartment has at least a dozen nasty noise sources, and many have a lot more.

73, Jim K9YC


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