January 26, 2021: Matthew Bennett AC6X: Elevating your DX and HF contesting performance, literally
It's a well-known fact that raising the height of an HF antenna will extend the range and strength of your signal, but obtaining optimal heights at one's home station is not always affordable, achievable, or even allowed under community restrictions. While it may feel like a mountain you just can't climb, climbing a mountain may be the solution you're looking for! Matt Bennett discusses how your local mountain or foothill make even a modest antenna perform like a "boomer", and how tools like HF Terrain Analysis (HFTA) can be used to evaluate and optimize your station's propagation performance for any location.
Matt Bennett AC6X has been a ham since 1999. He was primarily involved with amateur satellites in the mid-to-late 2000s, building ground stations at several universities and high schools to support small satellite missions and ARISS contacts. He also managed two university CubeSat projects, designing and manufacturing the antennas for both missions. His experience helped him get his dream job at JPL in 2010 where he has been designing instruments to study elements of climate change from the International Space Station. Matt's main interest for the last five years has been HF contesting and finding new ways to be more competitive through experimenting with indoor, outdoor, and mobile antenna designs. Matt is a regular at Field Day, CQ WW SSB, and CA QSO Party contests.