Are noise levels creeping up or are operators not taking notice of how deaf some commercial multiband rigs can be?
I operated for a while last night and heard dozens of UK stations calling on 6m. More than 25% of the stations I called with my 100W to 5 element yagi seemed not to hear me? Not even a QRZ!
I know that beaming north of west through north East from here on 6m the noise level rises by more than 10dB. I can see this quite clearly on my P3 display attached to my K3. This broadband noise is not so obvious just listening on the K3, but is easily seen on the display.
More worrying is that stations in a southerly direction from here, including Kent, were also having problems hearing me.
Now, I can see the signal levels on 6m on the display, I know the bandwidth so I know when a station similarly equipped to myself should hear me on a quiet band. Unless these 'deaf' stations are running considerably more than the UK legal limit, then they should be hearing me.
I should add that I have a low noise preamp on the K3 input ( not an ideal place for it, but it makes a noticeable difference).
So, is it that a lot of stations are actually 'deaf' on 6m or is the 6m noise level now getting so high that it is impacting our ability to work at typical terrestrial distances? SpE signal levels are generally so high that a 'deaf' receiver doesn't matter too much. Good performance on SpE is not really a good indicator of receiver performance.
In case you think this problem is limited to myself, I have discussed the observation with some other 6m operators and they seem to have the same complaint.
So, what is it ? Lack of attention to receiver sensitivity or increasing noise levels ( or both) ?
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