Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Where have the 4m operators gone??????

Lately I have been re-posting other people's achievements and experiments on 4m here on my blog. I was reading through them and realize something, I am not half as active as I should be.
I am surrounded by a great collection of 4m radios, Simocos, Cleartone and an Anytone, also have three antennas outside, a folded dipole, an open dipole and a Sirio 5/8 wave vertical, I still am not as active as I should be.....(I hope to be putting up a 4 element beam next year).
I do operate on 70.400 FM and have been known to call out on 70.450 from time to time, I am not making the contacts that I should be.....
It is too late in the year to try SSB (I do not have any SSB gear at the minute but hope to have something for next year).

Yaesu FT-847 (Earth Station).
I find that whereas there is a lot of activity around the country on 4m I am restricted by my antenna and location in hearing it. There was once the time I used to have regular QSO's into Wales and the UK, but they seem to have dried up, have the operators over along the west coast stopped using 4m???
Maybe since more of Europe has opened up to using the 4m band have all the UK stations started beaming east and turned their backs on the EI's???
I also noticed that the EI's over here operate in small pockets of activity, not all use antennas of any gain and normally the 4m antenna is a dipole or folded dipole which is much lower down the mast than the 2m or dual bander antenna...
4m Folded Dipole.

4m Open Dipole.

My Sirio 5/8 wave antenna beside my Dualbander.
I sometimes get messages from people who tell me that they can hear very little on 4m but hear plenty on 2m..... well that goes without saying, if all of us had a 4m vertical antenna, with a bit of gain, up as high as our 2m antennas then you might hear the difference..
I am not saying that everyone should go out and spend their hard earned cash on a good antenna but if you want to be heard then think about your antenna and how high it is up, also remember that 4m is VHF and use good coax, not the light mobile coax, there is too much loss.... get the good stuff!!!!
If you want to be heard as well on 4m as you are on 2m then you will need to have your 4m setup as good as your 2m setup.
Now getting on to what 4m radio you should use, well that also goes without saying, the better the output the more you will be heard, but having said that, a nice 25w Simoco/Cleartone or Ascom will do perfectly, after all I made several contacts into Eastern Europe on an Ascom using my vertical antenna at 30 feet to the base of it.

Ascom SE550.
Simoco PRM8020.
I would like if any groups could send me times and frequencies of their activity nights if you have any and I will post them here and see if we can get some skeds up and running....
Also to those that have 4m gear in their shacks, or put away under their beds, get it out and on the air, lets see if we can breath life back into 4m for the winter.......

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