Band conditions

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K5GI, Jul 14, 2019.

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  1. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    They are worse now, since we are at solar minimum at this time. An upturn? Probably late this year or early next year. The first sunspots than have been convincingly identified as Cycle 25 spots just appeared. One caution? 24 took a couple of years to crank up once it began. ;)

    And as WN says, even at solar minimum you can work plenty of stations including DX. It's a time for good antennas, certainly, and a time for running more than 100 watts if you want to work phone. A good thing? All the tools we've got now to keep us alerted like PSK Reporter, the Reverse Beacon site, and all the spotter sites.
     
  2. WA4KCN

    WA4KCN XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Time and time again hams off the air for several years or more are surprised by the lack of activity they find today. This has little association with sun spots but rather is the new normal in ham radio. Consider the lack of activity on 40 and below where low SF numbers improves SN ratios. It’s is a very sad thing to see.
     
    K8BZ likes this.
  3. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's not the new normal. There's plenty of activity, but you actually have to get on the air to find it. Did you pay the CW segment of 20 a visit yesterday, by chance? ;)

    This is the way it looked in my shack yesterday before things even really got rollin'. Today there were wall to wall signals on 6 during the morning opening. :)

    iaru.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
    K8BZ likes this.
  4. KC3EPA

    KC3EPA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just got in my stationary mobile with a MFJ 1979 17 feet with loading coil when needed.
    Ten meters 28405 Mississippi was right here on my rig in maryland.
    Twenty meters s9 all over band
    About 6 or 7 strongies on 40
    AM 80 meters 3875 super strong.

    Not the correct time but I can go 160 with coil and tuner but efficiency is like single digit efficiency.

    In any case 10 meters is open now more than last year.
    Twenty is open later in the day than it was in winter and lasts to about 9.


    I am 70 and wish it was filled with sunspots.
     
  5. WA4KCN

    WA4KCN XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Rodney CW is doing ok. Better than fone. That is where I spend most of my time. Yet the average age of a cw operator is 74 from my log and even cw is in decline. That screen shot was during a contest.
     
  6. WA4KCN

    WA4KCN XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    This has been the best sporadic E season I have witnessed in over 40 years. The 10 meter refractions are not F2.
     
  7. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    There are quite a few older hams on CW; that goes without saying. HOWEVER...I'm seeing interest from the new arrivals. I'm doing a Morse code class this September, and it's already filling up--mostly with millennials and 40-somethings. So I think CW will live on after me and my fellow boomers exit stage left. ;)

    Now, as far as phone, it can be slim pickings here at solar minimum. It's hard to have a decent ragchew or even a quick DX exchange with 100 watts on the bad days. 600 - 700 watts is better (with a good antenna, natch), but on these spotless low-flux days even that doesn't always help. Phone will come back, but I'll admit it does my heart good to see the CW segments crowded, even just on contest days.

    Oh, and I know the name at the top of my Zed page is indeed "Rodney," but my friends call me Rod, and I consider you and all my fellow Zedders friends. :)
     
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  8. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Welcome back to Ham Radio Ken,
    You did not mention what bands you are working on, When the sunspots are low I move down to the lower freq bands, but in the summer storm season the lightning noise can be a discouraging factor. Winter evenings are the prime time for those bands.
    Then there is the sesonal Sporadic E skip that comes in late spring and is just about done now, back again in the early winter . This can open 6, 10, 12 and 15 M bands for short spells in the daylight hours..Things go from Dead to Delightful when that happens.
    I never have a lack of signals to work , day or night, any part of the year or sunspot cycle. Sometimes it's regional, sometimes it's DX , you have to choose the band to find the QSOs.
    And if you REALLY have to work DX , ALL the TIME, you need a tower and big antenna. (that makes it easier)
    I get by fine just with several well designed, homebrewed, wire antennas in my trees ! Also, I am a CW op so that helps a LOT ! :D
     
    W4NNF likes this.
  9. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page


    There's certainly something to be said for CW. And especially now. Yeah, FT8 is great. I like it and all. BUT.... for example, I found it easier to work the 13 Colonies stations on CW than on FT8. :)
     
  10. K8BZ

    K8BZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    You were most likely seeing the IARU World Championship HF Contest that was yesterday for 24 hours from 1200z on the 13th to 1200z on the 14th. You will not see that level of activity on the bands today but it's not because the bands are not supporting propagation. Spaceweather.com reports no sunspots at the present time. It doesn't get any worse than that. But your observation proves that the bands will support propagation if the users are there.
     
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