[OhQP-mail] 160 Meters in Ohio QSO Party?
James M. Galm, W8WTS
jim at w8wts.com
Tue Apr 14 23:48:31 CDT 2020
I would argue against including 160 m, for a variety of reasons. First, while there are stations that one can work on 40 m that are not possible on 20 m, and there are stations on 80 m that are not possible on 40 m, there is absolutely no station that one can work on 160 m that cannot be worked on 80 m. That is just a fact of mid-summer D layer absorption. It is true that 160 m would add the potential for additional QSOs (QSOs counting once per band per mode) for those who have access to 160 m, but that tends to be the larger stations. 160 m does not create any new multiplier opportunities, since mults are once per mode. It seems unlikely that the mobile stations would get much traction on 160 m. Consider starting with a mobile 80 m setup, then take half of the effective antenna aperture and double the losses.
Worse of all, adding 160 m skews the playing field in favor of big stations, at the expense of everyone else. The big stations can go on any band, be S9+20 dB and command everyone’s attention. They will do so on 160 m and run their scores up even higher. Small stations cannot command attention, they have to S&P people to work. Adding another band will spread all of the participants out, making it harder for small stations to find QSO partners, particularly on SSB. In an ideal world, everyone would be on one band at the same time so that it would be easy to find each other. The world of propagation is not ideal, so we have to hunt more than one band. Adding 160 m makes hunting less productive and being loud more productive, decreasing the low scores while increasing the high scores. It might instead be better to level the field so that more stations can be competitive.
Regardless of what the committee decides, I look forward to seeing everyone in August.
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