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Author Topic: Have you tried the 160m band?  (Read 2499 times)

gil

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Have you tried the 160m band?
« on: October 31, 2017, 06:42:16 PM »
Hello. I never have... Wondering about its utility in a prepping context...

Have you tried the 160m band? What is your experience? What do you think about it?

Gil.

cockpitbob

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Re: Have you tried the 160m band?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2017, 10:03:40 AM »
...and if you have tried 160m, what are you using for an antenna?

I have a 180' random length end fed on an MFJ-941 Versa Tuner (manual 200W tuner).  It will tune 160m, but I haven't listened to that band in years.  The best I recall was lots of QRN and not much activity.  I'll give 160 a listen this weekend.

caulktel

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Re: Have you tried the 160m band?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2017, 11:33:42 AM »
I can hear some stations on 160 listening on my 40 meter dipole with a tuner on it, but otherwise I don't have enough real estate for it. I saw a nice video yesterday, https://youtu.be/Al3ZJipFq6k using a Mag Loop for 160/80, it looks interesting.

Joel
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Re: Have you tried the 160m band?
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2017, 02:33:09 PM »
I have a 220 meter long line that I can set at 80m, 160m and 220. I used my 857 but never ever heard a thing. Used my vertical, my dipole, and my tower with the umbrella. still no luck.

gil

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Re: Have you tried the 160m band?
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2017, 04:16:06 PM »
Thanks guys. I'm still wondering if 160m is worth a try or not... Its ground wave penetration capabilities are interesting. I learned it was even used in speleology. It makes me wonder if a dipole laid on the ground could work... Other than that, I guess you'd have to use a kite antenna. Not so many prepping applications it seems. Not to mention that very few people use it.

What do you think? Try it? Don't bother?

Gil.

NavySEAL

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Re: Have you tried the 160m band?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2017, 06:06:11 PM »
Go for it, we need every band.

Quietguy

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Re: Have you tried the 160m band?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2017, 09:35:50 PM »
What do you think? Try it? Don't bother?

I haven't had an antenna up yet I could tune on 160, but I had a single eye-opening experience with it.   A few years ago I was running NVIS Pactor tests on 80m with some friends, and one wanted to try his NVIS antenna on 160.  He was about 100-ish miles north of me and running maybe 50 watts or less.  I knew I couldn't tune to connect but we decided to see if I could hear his call.  I was switching antennas and had the incoming antenna coax disconnected from the LDG antenna coupler, which was connected to the radio with about 15 or 20 feet of coax.  I was on the telephone with my friend when he hit the connect button early, and damned if his signal didn't couple to my IC-706MkIIG through that 20 feet of coax and my radio tried to answer.  Of course the SWR was through the roof so I hit the power switch to shut down the radio but I was in disbelief over that - his NVIS antenna was one of those run-along-the-fence-top affairs about 5 or 6 feet off the ground.  I don't know how long it was, but it put a strong signal into my radio through maybe 20 feet of coax as an antenna.

Ever since then a 160m antenna has been on my list of things to do since I have the space.  But, physical problems have kept me from doing any antenna work for some time now, so it is still just "on the list".

Yes - try it.  Otherwise you will never know.

Wally

gil

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Re: Have you tried the 160m band?
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2017, 04:02:16 AM »
I guess there is nothing to learn by doing nothing...

Gil.

LWolken

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Re: Have you tried the 160m band?
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2017, 07:46:57 PM »
My experience with 160 meters is fairly limited.  I was able to make a couple contacts with  group of guys from Louisiana and Arkansas one night.  The antenna is a 135 foot OCF dipole with FT-897 and matching LDG external tuner.  The same antenna will not tune up on any of my internal tuners.  Might help that the antenna is 60-70 foot up for better swr.  It may be extremely stable as a band but it won't do any good if nobody is there.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2017, 07:48:30 PM by LWolken »

gil

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Re: Have you tried the 160m band?
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2018, 06:30:02 AM »
This idea keeps nagging me... I can't push it out of my head, it comes back a couple months later...

My first choice as a prepping band was, for a long time, 40m. It still is the king of prepping bands, but I find myself liking 80m even more now because it works so well for regional communications. Of course, I keep wondering if 160m with its ground-wave capabilities might offer some advantages... I used to worry about antenna length for 80m but it turned out to be a non-issue with a horizontal NVIS antenna.

That said, one of my other favorite bands is 6m FM using military VHF radios, but I never heard a peep on that band (See my video coming out this Monday 06/28/2018)... I fear it might be the same on 160m after an SHTF event because not many portable radios have the option, a notable exception being the FT-817nd of course. I need to listen to it here to see if there is any activity. My KX2 allows listening to it, but not transmitting.

For the antenna, I would simply make an inverted V dipole with a BALUN at the center, maybe 1.5:1 or 1:1, and elevate it with my 12m pole.

Now I need to find a small 160m CW kit, which won't be easy.

Gil.

caulktel

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Re: Have you tried the 160m band?
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2018, 06:39:56 PM »
A QCX for 160 meters :) Could you imagine how many turns you would need to put on T1?

Joel
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gil

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Re: Have you tried the 160m band?
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2018, 07:19:12 AM »
Quote
A QCX for 160 meters :) Could you imagine how many turns you would need to put on T1?

LOL, 80m was hard enough!

Gil.

LWolken

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Re: Have you tried the 160m band?
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2018, 12:54:10 AM »
I've made a few contacts on 160m at night.  Not as many stations on 160 probably due to antenna restrictions via limited space.  Most definitely going to need a long antenna (bulky) or include a 10:1 tuner in your portable kit (bulky).  I think for those reasons alone it will never gain popularity.

gil

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Re: Have you tried the 160m band?
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2018, 02:53:33 AM »
Quite right I'm afraid, though a very thin wire can be used. 80m works wonders though so most people have no reason to try 160...
Gil

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Andywragg

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Re: Have you tried the 160m band?
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2018, 04:28:34 AM »
OK my 2 bits.....

Not to pour water on your bonfire Gil....

You need double the wire you already need for 80m, you need to lug around another piece of equipment to use the band, to find that when you get there there are very few stations active maybe the occasional submarine  (joke). And the size of the antenna needed means it's more likely to be discovered by any OPFOR/aggressor, and all that comes with that.

From a prepping point of view, I'd be looking to make the most efficient use of the resources I have available, that includes time. It doesn't seem very efficient to try and use a band that most operators either wont consider using or are unable to use.

Is it possible, yes, is it practical/resource efficient, not in my view.
Once a 'STAB in the Dark'
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