I dont think its a  mode  / use problem,  I used to  have  regular contacts with the  USA  east  on 7  MHz using  amtor , long back, 
running  round  240 watts  carrier power , one guy even  asked me 'which state liverpool was in'  , unexpected  dx ..

the new  generation  of  data modes , reduced the  power needs to something like  25  watts  , a good  + 10 db gain , to  do the  same thing 

That was when the  bands where in  good  condition , I do  know from  tests  on 476 KHz , the  latest vara HF modem is  as  sensitive 
if not  more so, than the slowest  olivia mode , but  many times  faster and provides a  amtor like  fast  turn  round  qso  , using the  chat  module , interesting  test with  station  200  miles  south  of me , on MF  

73 -Graham

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