I tried to operate from the top of a hill on the property temporarily but I could never get the test working. Meanwhile I had been wanting to perform an HFTA as described in the ARRL Antenna Book. HFTA stands for High Frequency Terrain Analysis. That software program might tell me if I should move the setup to the hill top permanently. After an evening of working with HFTA I concluded moving would not make a significant difference. In the directions of DX like Europe and Africa the terrain continues to slope down even though I’m not at the top of the hill. In fact it slopes down toward Europe for more than a mile. That sounds like a pretty good location. Here are the two terrain plots toward Europe (45 degree azimuth). Terrain drops off at a sharp angle.
Figure 1 – Terrain toward Europe as seen from hill top ( red diamond is dipole at 39′ up).
Figure 2 – Terrain toward Europe as seen from original location ( down the hill about 45′).
My conclusion: there is a downward slope toward Europe at both locations so it doesn’t matter. HFTA is a fantastic tool. I must make note of the peak at 10,000 feet out. It is much more of a concern when I am at the lower position. This concern might be a reason to go up the hill later if performance isn’t what I hope for.