This is (was) my favourite HF band. Was because these days it suffers from QRM at my QTH. It’s great for inter-G and further afield, depending on your aerial. I use a doublet fed with 300 ohm ladder line, cut for 80m, 132 feet long, which is only 30 feet high in the centre. The last 15 feet of each end is at right angles to the dipole but I get great reports, often 9 plus, from UK stations. Many stations use nothing more than a random length end-fed wire, but they put out good signals. Using ground wave propagation, 80m is also great for local contacts.
Back in the 1960s and 70s, the 80 metre amateur band was alive with QSOs day and night. The hours of darkness were best, of course, but during the day propagation was still pretty good for inter-G contacts. I had many contacts during the day on 80 metres. But now, the band seems to be pretty dead during daylight hours. Some of the problem is caused by noise. QRM is worse now than it’s ever been which is ruining the hobby for many.
If I had a day off work in the old days, I’d listen to the various nets on 80 metres. I was years away from retirement back then but, I often thought, when I retire, I will probably spend most of my time chatting on the band. I’m now retired and… I don’t think I need say more. Don’t give up on the band just because of my moaning. It’s really busy at night and there are a few nets during the day… if your noise level isn’t too high.
Aerials for 80 metres:
I use a 132 foot doublet antenna on 80 metres. The antenna is great on 80 60 and 40 metres but results are not so good on the higher frequency bands. I use vertical aerials for those bands.
More coming soon…