I remember just in the last few years people moaning about "where are the sun spots?" as old Sol turned with nary a spot in sight.
Originally Posted by KG4LLQ
73 de w8nsi/nnn0uzw jim
Registered Linux User: #503832
8-15-1972 to 8-15-2012 = 40 years in ham radio
US Navy - (1968-1972) Vietnam Vet
Are you a turtle?
Remember the parable of the vineyard owner, the morning and the afternoon hired hands, and equality of pay.
I have been a ham only since 2009. Although conditions have been, in trhe words of one of my QSO's "the worst in 40 years". I have managed to get WAS, and work Japan, Russia, Cambodia, Brazil, Chile and Argentina on 100w from a vertical ant. There are times when it's dead but I have averaged nearly one new contact evaery 2 days, not to mention chatting with already established ones in between. So it's a matter of getting on the air and digging a little, while we hope for better condx. It ain't easy, but if it was, it wouldn't be as much fun. Rocky, KI6WPI
Well the answer to your questions are enigmatical as can be demonstrated by history and the mini ice age and the Maunder minimum . I have been qrt for 13 years but come back to the hobby and agree with you but also get a lot of fun working sporadic e which may be a bit different on your side of the pond but its around on this summer on 15-6m and a lot of fun especially using digital modes such as PSK . Facebook is Ok but its not the same as the mysterys of HF and yes if you have a good space to put up nice antennas fine . Lots of us dont have the space or the inclination to annoy our neighbours . You can still have fun using other bands and modes such as D star when HF is really shut down . Yes D star is contraversial and debatable as a mode for actually working dx in the purist sense . But I know I can work the other side of the pond on d star at crystal clear quality providing the internet is not clobbered by heavy storms either side of the pond .
To conclude be pragmatic as to how you approach the hobby and investigate different antennas and modes .
BEST WISHES KEN and have fun De G4WCP Stu
Last edited by G4WCP; 07-18-2012 at 11:42 AM.
Reason: dyslexic check
Hi Ken, Maybe you could consider CQ100, ok, it's not 'real' radio but you need to prove your ticket to join just to keep the idiots off but the advantages :- total reliability, no qsb, nor qrn, no climbing to erect antenna system, dx on tap and even get your daily fix of cw, plus no concerns abt band conditions. Works for me when bands are unusable. All you need is an internet connexion and you are up and running. 73, Nigel 'G0IIK'
Try tuning in to the NCDXF/IARU beacons located around the world:
I think you'll be surprised to see how much of the world is workable from your location at any given time.
Good luck and have fun!
Yes, but notice you have no bona fide EU countries on your list (Russia probably Siberia or asiatic); in decent solar max conditions you could work 80-100 countries in a WEEKEND with your set up; and make 500-800 contacts in a WEEKEND with your set up. It's not just a matter of being there--propagation is quite poor at moment.
Originally Posted by KI6WPI
Originally Posted by W8NSI
You bet your sweet (*))*_) I am!:-)
Well.....it's been interesting to have read all the replies to my original "Post". A special thanks to the "powers that be" at QRZ for locating it on QRZ's opening page. Many of my fellow hams have written valuable replies, comments and ideas. One ham even took the time to send me a personal email for which I am very thankful.
My original comments were obviously written out of much frustration at a time when my efforts to join friends on the SCARS net was all but impossible. That has now passed as I know there is little I can do about what "ole man sun" decides to do for or to us!
Now, let me clarify some of my original thoughts. Back in early 1960, when I was not a ham but a devoted "SWLer", I could tune my first short wave rig - a National NC-60 "Special" (the special had a couple of connotations neither of which was a compliment!) - to the 15 meter band on a winter's day and copy QSOs from all the world over. What a special treat it was when on a snowy day I could look outside and see 12 inches of snow, sit at my desk and listen to hams in the US communicating with fellow hams in Europe and Africa.
What I miss now is tuning to the same band on a July 2012 day and hear virtually nothing during the week and little more than contests on the weekend. Perhaps that will change when I listen on a winter's day later this year and early in 2013.
In any event I bide-my-time now listening for beacons and QSOs. If the "pickings" seem slim, I power-up my SignaLink USB sound card to enjoy some PSK31. Sadly enough it gets through, often better than CW!
Perhaps I'm remembering the "good ole days". But maybe, just maybe I am conjuring up what really wasn't all that good back then. Remember I was only an SWLer then and worse yet, I was monitoring 15 meters on an NC-60 "Special". As young people "tweet" OMG!
Thanks to all of you for your thoughts. 73, Ken - KG4LLQ
Why in my day I used to work all kinds of DX while sitting at the bottom of a coal mine. I usually used less than half a watt and my antenna was nothing but an aluminum foil chewing gum wrapper. And 90% of this was on 160m phone.
I got both facebook, youtube along with IRC, reddit, twitter, QRZ...etc etc. Yeah, these aren't ham radio. But they're not challenging. I'm a ham because it's challenging -- it gives me something to do, something to learn about, someone to talk to, and such in ways the internet can't. I never know what country I'll hear tomorrow, who i'll meet, or when and where 6 meters will be open to. CMEs and flares blackout HF, but maybe that's the big man telling you to go do something else, perhaps.
HF is at the will of the sun and storms. That's the way it is, and if you don't like it, join us on 6 meters where more flux means more fun! Or learn about digital paradigms on the VHF+ bands.
Unpredictable and unreliable? That's why I love it!!! No youth is going to use ham radio in place of the internet. The closest thing to ham radio is omegle, where you chat with a stranger. But you don't try to talk to as many strangers as possible in a short amount of time, nor do you try to copy message traffic in adverse conditions on omegle.
Perhaps in this age of "instant communications" one reason why many young people aren't interested in Amateur Radio is because it is so unpredictable and unreliable when compared to email, Twitter, FaceBook & Utube.
Most young people aren't hams because they don't know about it. Sometimes it just doesn't interest them. If more youth knew about things like talking directly to satellites, contesting, and radio orienteering, the age of the average ham would be much lower.
Sterling Coffey, N0SSC, ARRL Youth Editor, WØEEE President and EE Junior
Missouri University of Science and Technology