In other words, don't stack the deck against yourself so heavily.

Reminds me of CQ article. The author took a 1 w rig, buddipole and a beach chair to the shore. After two days he made no contacts. He said he had fun. So maybe fun isn't all about making a ton of contacts-- perhaps the scenery at the beach was enough.

If contacts are what your after, Frank's points are all well taken. In these days of low sunspots bring the highest power/power source you can lug to the game. It's the opposite of the usual expression. They have to hear you to work them.

73 de Brian/K3KO

On 8/11/2017 18:47 PM, donov...@starpower.net wrote:
Hi Mike,


You're in a perfect storm of
- high urban noise,
- QRP power,
- inefficient modulation if you're using only SSB voice
- low sunspot activity,
- a very inefficient antenna, and
- an urban environment that makes any antenna much less efficient


Spokane is surrounded by beautiful rural parks and public lands
w here you can easily escape your high urban noise environment.


You didn't mention what modulation you're using. If you're using
only SSB voice, you've chosen the least efficient modulation method.
CW or the highly efficient digital modes such as FT8 or JT65 are
far better choices for QRP power.



You'll enjoy much better success if you focus on the 40, 30 and 20
meter bands which are much less affected by the current low sunspot
conditions. 17 meters can also be a good choice for QRP power and
simple antennas on days when when propagation is favorable.


While y our vertical with a minimal ground system could be an adequate
antenna on the ocean front hundreds of miles from your QTH, its a
terribly inefficient antenna in your urban environment


Any horizontally polarized antenna would be a much better choice.
A half wave horizontally polarized dipole or a properly engineered
half wave end fed antenna are much better choices. Horizontally
polarized antennas at least 15 feet high are fairly efficient for
domestic contacts. They perform much better for DX contacts if they're
on a hilltop, mountaintop or steeply sloping terrain.


If you're a member of a local radio club they can help you quickly
gain some success.


73
Frank
W3LPL

----- Original Message -----

From: "Mike Parkes" <mspma...@gmail.com>
To: Elecraft@mailman.qth.net
Sent: Friday, August 11, 2017 4:33:41 PM
Subject: [Elecraft] Is it my KX3/antenna or is it lousy band condx?

Okay I am reaching our to the Elecraft enthusiasts here for some feedback
if anyone cares to chime in.
I am just getting back on the air after years away from the hobby, so I am
not that familiar with band conditions in general. It looks like the
sunspot cycle is heading for the cellar (if it isn't already there).

Recently bought a KX3 and a Buddistick vertical (like, 2 weeks ago). Love
the KX3 it is a great radio... however... so far my efforts to hear much of
anything, much less make a contact with someone, has been frustrating to
say the least. I live in an apartment and am surrounded by power lines for
one thing. The background noise level on 40 is pretty bad varies but is
s7-9 mostly. 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?

I would love to be able to find another ham even close by just to try and
get some sort of an HF QSO even if it is with someone down the block.
...I can tune down to the AM broadcast band and was able to hear some local
AM stations. :)

Mike AB7RU

(On a side note the tuner in the KX3 is great!. That thing was able to get
a match for 80 meters on the Buddistick which was showing something like
25:1 swr. The KX3 tuner clicked and rattled for a while and found a match
to <2:1. Not sure how much actual RF is going out, probably not much... but
I was amazed it could tune to that high an SWR.)
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