It won’t take long when operating on the HF bands to hear comments such as ‘You’re in the mud!” or ‘You’re in and out.”
Such comments remind me of a joke I heard years ago about a couple walking together holding hands in the park. One person says to the other, “Your palm is sweaty.”
I can’t remember the punch line of the joke, but I’ve always wondered how a person can tell whose palm is sweaty when your holding hands.
The joke does remind me of some of the explanations offered on the HF bands when hearing other stations. Explanations for someone else ‘…being in the mud.’ such as “The noise floor is high today.”, “The band is up and down.” or ‘Maybe you can up your mic gain.”.
I’ve mentioned this idea to a few Ham friends including Bill WA2OO, Tony N2KJS and Joe AD2AH.
They have helped me to create of list of some of the possible factors that can affect the signal we receive from another amateur radio station.
Those factors can be organized into a few simple categories relating to equipment, time and propagation which are included in the .pdf document below titled: Variables affecting 80-meter transmission and reception.
The categories I’ve identified so far are:
- Noise Floor
- Antenna Related
- Radio Related
- Time and Date Related.
I’d welcome any comments or suggestions about the list below and the methods we can use to help determine what is actually causing any given listening experience between two stations.
Please provide any references or resources you know of that relate to this issue.
All you have to do is to start writing in the ‘Comment’ section below this post or start your own post in this category called ’80 Meter Study Group’.
Perhaps you have personal experience or would like to try out some experiments that can help me and others to learn more that will either help us to optimize our own stations, improve our operating skills or at least understand the most probable ‘root cause’ for specific communication issues we encounter.
I will be adding posts myself to this category of the HV 80 Forum based on my own continued inquiry and research and hopefully experiments with some of you to learn more about the characteristics and idiosyncrasies of the HF 80-meter band and how it compares to the other HF bands in our amateur radio operating neighborhood.
Over time I hope this 80 Meter Study Group may inform the reports we provide to one another while operating on the HF bands.
Looking forward to continued learning with and from all those participating on the Hudson Valley 80 Meter Net.
Click the box below for a .pdf file of the document "Some Variables affecting 80 Meter transmission and reception" referred to above.
As a ‘teaser’ for my next post I include the graphic below from the website of ‘Basu’ VU2NSB of New Delhi, India.
I have a lot to learn from this chap.
The graphics I’ve used in this post are from the VU2NSB website at https://vu2nsb.com.