You not only receive but you ARE a stronger signal when portable!

Being active both as a chaser and an activator, I find that getting out with lower power and a smaller antenna than I have at home often pays dividends.

From home I have the 40m full wavelength horizontal loop at 9m AGL (and a vertical and a mag loop antenna) and can run up to 350w of RF-speech-processor compressed SSB. Portable I have 20w of SSB and a linked dipole at 5 m or a loaded whip (HF-PRO-2-Plus-T) on a photo tripod. (I also test other antennas portable from time to time)

That is quite a difference in potential signal, however, the number of times that I am able to call in and get on the first or second call, a DX station while I am portable is incredible. OK, with some pile-ups there’s no chance however many times I get as good a report as I am giving (which may be subjective) and I get noticed as “the portable station”.

Some of this “advantage” is the kindness of the DX station wanting to help portable operators but I wonder how much of my transmitted signal from the home station is being “absorbed” by the neighbour’s houses and other rises in the land around me?

We all know that going portable improves our reception by getting away from all of the electrical noise but I am beginning to think that there is also an advantage when transmitting from being away from other structures.

I wonder if others have found the same thing.

73 Ed DD5LP.


Hi Ed,
I have been very much aware of the influence of of local absorption of my transmitted signal for many years. I remember well my first experience of a big (HF field day winning) station in the 1980s. The bands were buzzing and wide open. That was from a station with a big beam at 20m. But it was also because it was located at “Beacon hill”. There is a clue in the name to describe the takeoff.
On occasions, on hilltops, I have been unable to erect my usual inverted vee link dipole and resorted to a very low dipole. The radiated signal is several S points lower. This phenomenon we call the"takeoff" is real and equally important for transmitted and received signals.



Yes, observed the same. Nothing beats sitting on a cliff edge with almost vertical drop-off when it comes to radiation angle! A medium size vertical can turn into a dx-magnet, at least in one direction.

73 Heinz


I’ve always thought it’s the tail-ending without actually tail-ending.
“Delta Golf seven Alpha Charlie Foxtrot stroke portable” would be that long that all other transmissions are already over and my “… portable” would get through on a then clear frequency.