This Sporadic-E season I’ve been using my Icom 7300 to operate from home. Last year I really got into 6m but could only operate when I was out portable and often conditions were hit or miss when I happened to be on a hill. This year I am QRV from the new QTH and can jump in the shack when conditions are good and make a few QSO’s (normally during my lunch hour when working from home!).
The Icom 7300 waterfall display has really helped quickly see 1. if any activity is about 2. jump on signals quickly. It’s easy to miss stations when just tuning up and down by ear, especially with the rapid nature of Sporadic E contacts.
I’ve been operating on 6m using two less than ideal antennas:
1. Western HF-10 which is a modified half size G5RV using a 30m RG58 coax run (quite lossy on RX/TX at 50 MHz)
2. Diamond V2000 colinear using a 20m Ecoflex 10 coax run
I was interested to see how they compared during a recent opening on 6m, so I hooked up an antenna switch so I could compare the two side by side:
Interesting results – as you can see on this HA signal the V2000 came out as being 5 S points better than the Western HF-10. Not to say this would always be the case, especially for Sporadic E signals from either nearer in or further out – but interesting nonetheless! Further research needed – especially once I’ve upgraded the coax on the Western HF-10 to Westflex 103 – too much loss at 50MHz using RG58 🙁