You know what they say about conventional wisdom - that more often than not, it's wrong.
I got my QSO in tonight on 80 Meters, which was again practically deserted. Scanning the entire CW portion and only hearing a handful of QSO/signals is depressing. We have all that beautiful spectrum and it's like no one is using it!
Anyway, after a QSO with Burt K1OIK who lives on Cape Cod, I decided to do a little experiment. I wanted to find out, using the Reverse Beacon Network, what the difference in performance is (roughly) between the 88' EDZ and the Butternut HF9V on 80 Meters.
Since activity seemed to be light at best, I figured I could call CQ for a good amount of time without any takers. Unfortunately, my assumption turned out to be correct - even though that turned out to be good for the experiment. I wouldn't have minded being interrupted in order to have a good rag chew.
I called CQ for ten minutes using the wire and then ten minutes using the HF9V. I figured that would give ample opportunity to be heard by a variety of skimmers. My hypothesis was that the wire would be a better performer on 80 Meters.
My hypothesis seems to have been proved wrong.
There were some slight differences, but at most (at most!) the differences were only 1 dB. And that could have been due to normal QSB as the 1 dB difference was not always the same. By that, I mean the vertical wasn't always 1 dB lower compared to the wire - sometimes it was 1 dB higher. Of course, I was comparing reports from the same skimming stations. Many times the reports were dead even between the two.
My modus operandi up until now was to pretty much use the HF9V for 20 Meters and higher, while using the wire antenna for 30 Meters and lower. I think that will change. The Butternut has always been a solid performer and now I think I will be using it on the lower frequencies a lot more than I have been.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!