K9JY CQ WW SSB 2008

This is the first CQ WW SSB Contest I have listened to from this location. And the comparison to my previous location is striking.

This location is much worse for ham radio than the one I had about four miles from here — it is lower, on the side of a hill, with another hill due west from me. Signals arriving from the northeast and east have to go through a pile of dirt into a vertical antenna. Not pretty.

It showed, too, during the weekend. DX was few and far between — and, for that matter, so were signals of any sort. Where I expected tons of signals on 20-meters, I instead heard few. Nothing on 15 meters. Nothing on 10 meters. Forty was OK Friday night and Saturday morning, but not spectacular. I heard Europe, Japan, and other stations in the Pacific in my short time on the bands.

So the net of this location: for ham radio, I’ll need lots of sunspots and good openings to work a decent number of stations in a contest. A true “little pistol” in a geographically challenged contesting area.

I didn’t move here for ham radio. But I sure wish it was better.