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Dish siting question for VK conditions



Hello All,

Over the past few days I've heard AO-40's beacon (at up to 6 S points 
above the noise) many Japanese stations, as well as a few locals plus Leila on 
a few occasions this morning. I'm now keen to permanently mount my 1.8 metre 
dish. Sheltering my radio under sheets of plastic in the rain while trying to 
reposition the dish on it's rickety wooden box is starting to wear thin.

As I mentioned in previous e-mails, I'm surrounded by a wall of trees. The 
beacon is down three S points through the trees and voices are a little 
difficult to understand. Even the normally strong SSTV signals are noisy. 
However, the situation is not as hopeless as I at first thought.

The trees are tallest to the north and north-west but the satellite is at 
better that 50 degrees in elevation during that phase of the pass. Towards 
the end of a western pass, the trees and rising ground limits my view of the 
satellite to about 20 degrees in elevation. The outlook to the north-east may 
be a lost cause. The trees are closer to the house and generally, my view is 
obstructed below 40 degrees.

It seems unlikely to me that I will ever hear Western European stations and 
that I have no chance of hearing American stations.

The most convenient location for a 3 metre tower is down hill close to the 
trees to the east. I can't decide whether I should sacrifice some convenience 
and build a tower further back from the trees or go ahead and forget about 
hearing anything from the north-east anyway. I can gain an extra 10 degrees 
but I don't think it's worth the extra trouble.

Are operators generally satisfied to work stations in a particular direction 
(in my case, north and north-west) or should I sacrifice some convenience in 
the hope that I might work Hawaii, for instance? I can't decide and it's 
frustrating hearing operators endlessly calling CQ and not getting a reply.
  
-- 
Regards,
Phil
phil@spiderweb.com.au


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