Carl Neidert wrote:
"I have 4 towers from 60 to 180' and a fifth is in process. I tend to get carried away a bit "
The local DX experts will tell you that anything over 65' high is wasted. Presently, my DX ant. is a 20M dipole up about 30'.
Given enough time anybody can work them all on 20M with a low dipole; its been proven over and over again. Ive no interest in that type of operating, life is too short and there are many other bands to enjoy and interests to persue.
When my station was setting new DX contest records for about 10 years it was the antennas that played a big part. I was competing with many that didnt care about FCC power regs and beating them with 1200W.
With 4 high, 4 el individually rotatable stacks, on 10, 15, and 20 that could be switched in several combinations and a 4 over 4 on 40M it was easy to control a frequency as well as work stations others didnt even know existed. The big tower also supported antennas for 80/75 as well as 160M phased verticals.
If you have K6STI's YO program or the ARRL Antenna manual version my QTH is featured in TA (Terrain Analyzer) or HFTA as an example of being able to maximize performance on all paths and at all elevation angles based upon the local terrain out to about a mile. My negative horizon in all directions is superb for VHF and above but is the gradual slope into the far field that reinforces the signal at HF to the max. Height DOES matter if you intelligently exploit it.
To me FUN was working 140+ countries and all 40 Zones on 10M in one weekend or WAS and 100 countries on 160M in a weekend. Or working the first JA on 160 from NE or the first 5BWAZ from NE, etc, etc.
Or run a pileup of DX back in February in the ARRL CW DX contest on 80M with a PP 211's oscillator on a breadboard.
I sort of lost DX chasing interest once I was on the top of the Honor Roll CW, SSB and Mixed and up over 325 on all bands except 160 and that is over that now. These days most of the aluminum is down and I have one homebrew yagi per band including WARC except for a 2/2 on 40.
The enjoyment now is 6M and above up to 10GHz ( I hold one end of the 432 MHz North American tropo record) as well as recreating several period stations from the 20's to the 60's that are fully operational. I can often be found on 30M with a 1939 Meissner Signal Shifter at 7W and 1934 National FB7-XA receiver to a 3 el yagi at 90'.
Ive no use for the current DXCC rules or respect for the standings. All mine are within 25 miles which IMO is the only thing that should count.
CW and SSB only; if I cant hear it and copy plain text or voice, it doesnt exist, no damn computer is going to do the work for me!