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What would you pick for a band if you only could pick 1


mainehazmt
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If you were to pick a band in HF what would it be and why? my reason for asking is mostly due to antenna choices Im kinda leaning to a single band antenna to start(cost and no tuner needed to start)   (dont think the wife would like one of those long wire ones  either  lol

 

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In terms of propagation, 20 meters is generally considered the best band for DX and can be found open day or night. It's also the most popular band for PSK31 (if you like the digital modes).

You can also have good success with very modest antenna setups on 20 meters. A well placed wire or vertical is enough to work good DX - and won't require a lot of space to put up.

 

I'd definitely go with 20m. But 40m is also a valid 2nd choice if you can squeeze it in.

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When I first got HF privileges on my ticket (1992), I had a lot of fun on 15m. We were in a "dead" window in the sunspot cycle for 10m, and I found 20m to have more than its share of "ungentlemanly" conduct. 15 was a pleasant place for DX and just general SSB ragchewing... even had my one and only CW QSO there.

 

I've been off HF for several years though so lots can change. Maybe the nostalgia factor is worth something? :)

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  • 4 months later...
  • 6 months later...

If you were to pick a band in HF what would it be and why? my reason for asking is mostly due to antenna choices Im kinda leaning to a single band antenna to start(cost and no tuner needed to start)   (dont think the wife would like one of those long wire ones  either  lol

Ask yourself if you want to use the radio during the day, evening or both. Daytime, I'd to 15-17 or 20 meters, probably 20 if i had to pick one. But 40 meters works decent day or night.

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wow  the post is still alive!  :)   The foolishness of hf knowledge on HF on my part caused this post   since that time I bought 2 dipoles  after the first post I bought the 20 meter dipole   and wasnt good enough for me   flipping thru the freq I was missing alot.    I since then got a multiband dipole and have been very very happy  the freq I didnt get to tune up safe I bought an automatic tuner  for them  but havent had any luck   someday!I will figure it all out   Just wish I had started the ham adventure many many years ago   but then againyou have to figure Im just one of those Non code whackers  lol

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  • 6 years later...

Six years later...

My favorite band would be 30 meters due to my love for digital modes as well as CW, along with very good propagation most any time day or night. My second choice is 17 meters and my third would be 12 meters. As you can probably tell, I really like the WARC bands.

Warren, WQ1C / WRPC505

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Hmm let's see if this thread comes to life. LoL

 

If I could only pick one, it would be 20 meters. FM line of sight performance is great and many of my local friends have both mobile and base stations for rag chew on FM. During solar minimum, night time performance is trash for skywave, but you can work the planet all day with a fairly small antenna and just a few watts.  But that's only for a couple of years. As we roll into the new solar cycles, night time performance becomes very good, too; with very little Blackout time per day.

 

I would say 40m would be a ridiculously close second for me.  Only because I love DX and for the most part, I hear folks that are state side more than anything else.  There are a fair amount of DX stations on 40m, but nothing like you see on 20m or even 17m. The only reason 40m beats out 17m for second place is because of reliable NIVIS during most of the day. Even right now, at 10:30 PM Eastern, the MUF is over 7.5 and extraordinary is over 8.5.

 

Now that we are coming out of solar minimum, I noticed the MUF is consistently over 3.5... usually not dropping below 4 MHz.  During solar minimum, I had a hell of a time using anything over 1.9 within 2 hours plus or minus twilight everyday. 

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20 meters. The antenna length is short enough so a shortened antenna like an MFJ Hamtenna or coil-loaded whip is still reasonably efficient and covers the band without a tuner or adjustment. The only issue is that it's primarily a daytime band. 40 meters is my second choice since it tends to work better at night, but the antenna length can be a problem.

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@WRQC527 you did a much better job of saying what I was thinking.  LOL

 

I have only been working HF since November of 2019.  I have worked 90 confirmed countries from my Jeep, using an FT-857 for a few months, but primarily with a 100w FT-891 and a Diamond HF20CL hamstick.

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42 minutes ago, marcspaz said:

@WRQC527 you did a much better job of saying what I was thinking.  LOL

 

I have only been working HF since November of 2019.  I have worked 90 confirmed countries from my Jeep, using an FT-857 for a few months, but primarily with a 100w FT-891 and a Diamond HF20CL hamstick.

Phone, CW or digital? I've only had success with digital (FT8).

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27 minutes ago, BoxCar said:

Phone, CW or digital? I've only had success with digital (FT8).

 

All phone.  I am not a digital fan an I haven't done any CW since 2002.  Plus, it's hard to do anything but voice while driving.  Some guys bang the paddles on thigh rigs, though, which is pretty darn impressive. 

 

I lost interest in digital pretty quickly when I found out people set their stations up and then go make a sandwich, go to work or even go to bed and just let their computer rack up hundreds or even over a thousand contacts in a day.

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12 minutes ago, MacJack said:

This was a good read... post...  I like to see why you picked the bands...  I must be a lazy boy doing DMRoIP via BM and talking to the world...  

 

I wouldn't call it lazy. Just another part of the the community.

 

Every once in a blue moon, I'll do C4FM through a Wires-X node and do the same thing.

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23 hours ago, marcspaz said:

 

All phone.  I am not a digital fan an I haven't done any CW since 2002.  Plus, it's hard to do anything but voice while driving.  Some guys bang the paddles on thigh rigs, though, which is pretty darn impressive. 

 

I lost interest in digital pretty quickly when I found out people set their stations up and then go make a sandwich, go to work or even go to bed and just let their computer rack up hundreds or even over a thousand contacts in a day.

I believe that may depend on the digital mode used, but I could be wrong. Olivia, PSK31, Domino and others require conversation, while FT4, FT8 and others of that ilk can run pretty much automatic if set up that way. I have done a little CW and phone besides the digital stuff.

Warren, WQ1C / WRPC505

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We have spent many years working ten meter FM repeaters from around North America and one in the USVI while mobile and ❤️ it because the band opens most days, an eighth-wave antenna is short and fairly efficient, low power is fine because good repeaters have lots of receiver gain, the audio has FM clarity, it does not distract the driver, and we can speak to regulars every day from around the state who are too close to contact by skywave but too far to contact by direct wave.

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On 5/31/2022 at 10:07 PM, ldcarson said:

gonna show my age on one of these, but for phone I like 20/40 meters, for digital I like old school AX25 packet radio....

Let us combine the two:
Digital voice would work nicely on the ten meter repeater channels.

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2 hours ago, MichaelLAX said:

What does 10 meters FM, during a band opening, sound like to a distant station?

Like FM radio. A few weeks ago while listening to the 10m opening, I heard a guy loud and clear from Alaska who was supposedly running 50W. If you didn't know better, you wouldn't be able to tell it was 10M

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18 hours ago, WRQX963 said:

Let us combine the two:
Digital voice would work nicely on the ten meter repeater channels.

There are supposedly a group of guys that are doing 10M YSF on the 991As, and I would love to try D-Star on on 10M, just haven't lined up the time with anyone yet.

On the commercial side, there are a few VHF-Lo band repeaters, one based off Kenwood's NX5xxx lol band deck, supposedly will do P25 and NXDN. 

I'd love to put up a 10M digital voice repeater.

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