Been off of the air for awhile - curious about how the solar cycle is...

Discussion in 'The DX Zone' started by WB9LUR, Dec 19, 2017.

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  1. WB9LUR

    WB9LUR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Have been off of the air since I moved in mid 2016 ... life.

    Finally finishing my new antenna install now - hoping to be back on in the next week or two - and wondering if the declining sunspots have been affecting DX...

  2. NM7G

    NM7G Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sunspots always affect DX, and likewise for the geomagnetic field. Short answer to your query is for the see-it-on-the cluster, then start calling gang, things are pretty poor above 30m. Low bands are the place to be these days. Nevertheless, in late November (CQWW CW Contest) heard at least 102 DXCC entities on 20 and/or 15 meters. A modest beam with 100W and 35-year old rig worked 94 with the listen-then-listen-then-listen-then call method.

    If you've patience, there's dx to be had. 73, Gary
  3. AF7XT

    AF7XT Ham Member QRZ Page

    eh? Speak up! ...

    I don't hear Europe from CN87tm but I never did. Well rarely anyway. I have made it into VK a bit recently.
    One point many will reinforce, so many say the bands are dead and DX just died. Until a contest weekend and ...
    I've recently been using websdr and as a reverse beacon to see where my signal lands. Likewise the web based sdr's help when my local noise is overwhelming.
    N6QIC likes this.
  4. AF7XT

    AF7XT Ham Member QRZ Page

    @N6QIC @WA7FKI
    Lisa meet Karilee
    Karilee meet Lisa

    Lisa, if not me , you and Karilee may have something in common.
  5. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been a ham for just over 10 yrs. , and made lots of contacts , WAS and lots of DX from MN , WAC , then found out my radio was damaged - the lower in the bands the less output power about 2 1/2 watts on 10m & down to about 1/4 watt on 160m .
    Then I learned that the sunspot cycle was bad ;(
    If I would have known how bad I had it , maybe I should not have tried so much ;)
    W4IOA and WB9LUR like this.
  6. NM7G

    NM7G Ham Member QRZ Page

    The cycle was okay for part of those 10 years (though not great). So, you didn't waste much time. You honed your QRP skills. Believe it or not, 2 1/2 watts on 10m can do wonders when the SFI is well above 100, assuming you've a quality antenna.
  7. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    There is DX to be worked on the low bands. 80M was open this morning to Japan. I've been able to work Europe just about every night I've been active this month on 160M. I've been able to work DX on 10 and 12 meters during the daytime this month, but it is likely that it will be years before I work a new band country on either of these bands, as I've worked over 250 countries on both of these bands since 2012.

    Zack W1VT
  8. W7DCM

    W7DCM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I came back last April after a QRT of several years, having left to band conditions and other things going on in life. I kept my license active during my time off, always meaning to pick up the key and mike again.

    Conditions seem to be much worse than when I left, but on the bright side I'm having much more fun this time around. I'm doing some things I've never done before, like six meters and the WARC bands (I didn't own a WARC-capable rig until last May). 17 and 30 have been my new playgrounds lately. I've worked some DX on both.

    I plan a return to 40 in the near future, though since I've noticed openings to South America on 15 that might be where I head next.
  9. N7WR

    N7WR Subscriber QRZ Page

    Having been licensed continually for nearly 60 years this is not the first declining solar period I have been through though it could be my last....there is always some DX to work. You just have to be time and band agile to find it. As others have said this is the time to be on the low bands although I find plenty to work on the higher bands--even 10 and 12 meters at times. Having 7 BDXCC and needing only P5 to have them all I find it much more pleasurable to work the WARC bands. There seem to be fewer on those bands that are DX novices who jump into every DX pileup spotted on the internet---whether they can hear the DX or not. If you work CW there is PLENTY to work. Many are using digital (other than CW) like FT8 to work DX. That's not for me. SSB or CW only.
  10. NM7G

    NM7G Ham Member QRZ Page

    For those of us in the northern hemisphere, one positive issue concerns the winter solstice. Since the shortest of days, (i.e., fewest sunlit hours) occur very soon, if one uses this week as a benchmark for bad propagation, realize that in several days the amount of sunlight (thus opportunity for ionization from the sun) will start growing again. Now, that doesn't mean solar flux will definitely improve, but it's like leaving a window curtain open a little more each day. By January there could, might, hopefully be days with better high-band prop than right now. Anyway, this is my "glass is half full" day.

    In NW Oregon tonight, near 0200Z, heard a BG7 and a JF1 on 20m. The stronger was peaking S1, and they were the only sigs heard with beam on the Far East, but no, bands aren't closed guys.

    Here's an interesting link showing how much sunlight we may expect this week as a function of latitude. Gee, I feel for the northern VE and KL guys. Scoll down the page for the map. 73 all
    W7DCM likes this.

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