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Ever since their introduction years ago, the WARC bands have remained the “WARC” bands and have never fully integrated into the original 6 bands we had for years. But this lack of complete integration is perhaps a good thing. The fact that the bands are always regarded as different is because they actually are different and many of us can take advantage of this fact.

The two main distinctions are that no contests take place on these bands, which makes them the place to go on many weekends, and there are not so many massive antenna arrays which makes for a slightly more level playing field. Of course 10MHz is also CW and data only which makes it a unique band in its own right.

If you can put up a dipole and run a 100W on one of these bands, you are likely to be reasonably competitive because many stations are also running simple antennas and modes power. Probably the most popular of these bands is the 18MHz because it has many of the attributes that 14MHz has. It is certainly less crowded and another bonus for those with a lack of space is that the antenna is a bit smaller than that needed for 14MHz.

I operated a station at the GM DX group meeting a few months ago and one of the antennas we used was a home made dual band vertical dipole for 18MHz and 21MHz. It was hung vertically and worked very well. These two bands are ideal at the moment because they are open for good periods of time and can offer some good DX paths.

Vertical dipoles are somewhat underrated in my opinion as they have a slightly better lower angle of radiation than a quarter wave vertical and do not rely heavily on the ground beneath them.

So if you have a small garden or want to get away from the contest QRM, try 18MHz and perhaps hang a 21MHz dipole in parallel for when that band opens up.

ICOM IC-7100 Price announced.
At last we have a firm price on the Icom IC-7100 transceiver. It will come in at £1249.95 which is well below the price that had been banded about by many. It is the first radio that has 4m fitted as standard and should help to boost the activity on this band. I guess there will be a lot of FT-847s coming onto the market now!

We will hsve one on demonstration on our OPEN DAY – Sunday 28th July. Peter G3OJV

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 17th, 2013 at 9:11 am and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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