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10 Meters, CQ CQ, is anyone on?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KG5MLS, Mar 13, 2017.

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  1. KG5MLS

    KG5MLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ok, you fell for it and looked! Honestly, I am a new HAM, got my ticket a year ago this month! I have only been on 2 Meter and 70 CM and I have enjoyed it and made lots of friends and contacts. But the real thrill and interest for getting into amateur radio was long distance contacts and QSOs. Recently I bought an old HTX-100 that I am eagerly waiting for it to arrive.

    As I understand it, the 10 Meter band is in its waning phase with the solar cycle coming down. I know that 11 Meter seems to be a hot topic with steady traffic. Honestly HAM is a simple hobby for me, I have a family, other expenses so I am doing amateur radio on a budget. I got this radio for a song and I am truly appreciative of the man who sold it to me.

    So for those out there with experience, what can you tell me as far as what I can expect? With the solar cycle on the down side can I at least make contacts in the continental US? Any suggestions on how to set up an antenna or what times during the day or night I should be checking or lurking on 10 Meters? What have you found or enjoy about the 10 Meter band?

    I am fascinated with how you can use such low power and simple equipment to make long distance contacts! I just wanted to see what the forum may have to say about the 10 Meter band, their experience or advice?

    Thank you and I look forward to hearing what you might have to share.
    This is KG5MLS
    KC5ULU likes this.
  2. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    So get that upgrade happening! :)

    Here's a trick I use for 10m: Tune from 28.200 to 28.300 any time you want to get on the air on that band. If you don't hear any CW beacons, go see a movie or mow the grass. You do NOT need to copy CW to do this (although it helps enormously because you can determine to which direction the band might be open). The idea is the more CW stations in the "beacon band" you hear, the more likely the band is open.

    Tuning 28.375 to 28.425 (prime real estate for 10m SSB) may or may not tell you anything. If everyone figures the band is dead, no one will be talking!

    The Beacons run 24/7/365 (mine is 28.2778 from CN87) - if the band is open, you'll hear lots of beacons. If not, you won't.


    [Hint: 10m is open FAR FAR MORE than people give it credit for - get on and call CQ! If you just want contacts, it's important to know that 10-Meters magically opens to somewhere during every single 10m contest!)
    KF5VGK, W1TRY, WQ4G and 16 others like this.
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    ^I agree with Dave.

    But "what you can hear" depends not only on timing and your location, but what antenna(s) you use.

    I have a beam at 55' above ground and that helps quite a lot (compared with a dipole or vertical) but with Sporadic-E propagation, there's no way to "guess" what direction will produce signals -- and that changes constantly from "nowhere" to "it's wide open, but only to New Hampshire!" and a zillion other places.

    Being able to copy code and listening to the beacons identify (they all send where they are, usually with a grid square -- some even send the town, county, state and other information) can tell you immediately where the band is open to -- right then!
    N1VAU, K7BOA and AD5KO like this.
  4. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Welcome to ham radio!
    KF4SCI and NK2U like this.
  5. KG5MLS

    KG5MLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you all, I am really excited to get this radio and try it out. Event across the country out of Texas I would be thrilled to make such a contact! I have a friend thats going to loan me a simple firestick antenna for now, but I want to make a jpole for it soon.

    Kevin KG5MLS
  6. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
    KA3CTQ, WZ7U, KD8OSD and 4 others like this.
  7. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Agree 100%

    2 years ago, for our club presentation, I presented "all about 10-meters for new HF hams" and to prove a point, I built a 10m dipole from only stuff found in the shop, and put it up at exactly 15 feet (level) - the highest point I could reach with my ladder. I ran RG-58u coax (Radio Shack brand). I did all of this right before a 10m contest.

    I easily worked more than 100 stations and probably 25 states, and a handful of DX.

    A J-Pole would be silly on 10m (it's actually pretty silly on any band IMO). Most anyone can make and erect a 10m dipole for virtually nothing, and when the band opens, work the world.

    When the band is open you can work most anything you can hear with just a few watts and a dipole. But if the band is dead, a 5-Element monobander and a kilowatt won't make it work.

    NL7W, K2EDM, N7ANN and 2 others like this.
  8. N6QIC

    N6QIC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hello Kevin,
    I checked into the 10-10 international net today on 28.800 here in California. The band is pretty dead and only the locals were there. But you as a technician can't go to 28.800MHZ. You are restricted to 28.300 to 28.500 for SSB. But you can try to listen for the 10-10 net on 28.380 MHZ at 1800Z everyday except Sunday.

    Bob N6OPR net control is in Arizona if you don't hear him someone may be able to relay you in. Try listening for them on the band and se what you hear.

    Here is a link to the 10-10 website.
    N1VAU and W7UUU like this.
  9. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Easy enough to build a 3 element beam, get it up as high as you can. Make it rotateable, either manually or electrically. Listen to the beacon part of the band. good enough ! Alternatively make a 1/4 wave ground plane (#14 wire is fine) and leave WSPR listening 24/7.
  10. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Even if you don't hear anything on the band, call CQ on 28.400 MHz. That is the "official unofficial" calling frequency on the 10-meter band. In fact, call several times. Often the band is open and there are just no people transmitting and, therefore, there are no signals to be copied.

    Just like the 6-meter band, the 10-meter band is open a lot more than people think it is open. As such, even if they are listening to the band, no one is transmitting and there are no signals to be received.

    Try aiming south, over Austin. All that hot air from the Texas Legislature should help the propagation! :rolleyes:

    Glen, K9STH
    located to the north of Round Rock in Richardson, Texas
    NL7W and KC8VWM like this.

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