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Bands open/closed?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by G8LXI, Jul 9, 2016.

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  1. G8LXI

    G8LXI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use as my guide to the condition of the HF bands, but I am increasingly finding that when the guide say the band are dead if you put out a call you can get a contact. I know conditions can vary from minute to minute but I am sure the majority of hams just don't bother to try calling CQ if the various band condition web sites say that the bands are closed. A good monitor use to be SW broadcast stations, but now a lot have closed down and gone to the Internet. I wonder just how many hams rely solely on "Band Condition" web sites as a guide to the bands, maybe we should take a chance a call CQ. Len.
    FLYINGCROWS, W2VW and N7CGN like this.
  2. MW1CFN

    MW1CFN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I couldn't agree more, Len. 12m is a band I specialise in, which is almost universally 'dead' - until one calls out and gets a good DX return. Only when the cluster gets a report of a QSO does everyone then follow like sheep!

    I get frequent DX forecasts from my membership of the ARRL, which I never read because, as you say, the fine detail of what happens during the day just can't be captured.

    Perhaps the most unexpected QSO I had this year on a chance CQ to a 'dead' band was a difficult but successful contact with Hawaii via PSK-31.

    So, suck it and see!
    FLYINGCROWS and K8EF like this.
  3. K2WH

    K2WH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Bands are only dead if you believe they are.

    Try the weak signal mode called JT65. The bands are never dead using this mode. Very interesting contacts can be made with signals BELOW the noise floor.
    W2VW, KD4AYU, W5LMM and 1 other person like this.
  4. K0RO

    K0RO Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I agree. I often listen in the CW portion of 20 meters and hear nothing until I send a CQ. Then I'll get several responses in a row. The old saw about doing more listening than sending is good advice until everyone just listens. Then, no QSO's.
    WD0BCT, K3RW, KD4AYU and 3 others like this.
  5. KP4JM

    KP4JM Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I agree with you Len .
  6. 2E0XET

    2E0XET Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Absolutely agree- and reverse beacon often confirms this.. 5 watts out will east coast USA/Canada response on an apparently 'dead' band..

    30 metres seems to suffer from this paralysis and a lone PY on 17 metres the other night suggests the same -

    John M6KET

    PS talking CW here!'

    PPS where is everybody?
  7. KD8TNF

    KD8TNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hams go the internet first, actually operating their equipment is down the list. If a stats expert somehow determined hams are actually looking for a excuse not to operate, I would buy in to that idea based on my observations alone. Contests prove this idea, today the IARU contest is under way, and 15 and 20 is busy with guys who actually want to operate, regardless of any report of conditions.

    I have a Shasta Beckman WWV receiver I use for a handy snap determination on propagation if there is any question, like the military still may use.

    Always something to work, 20m opens every single day to a certain and varying extent. Got Seychelles S79V first call on 20m phone under bad conditions reports. Step back from the internet space weather and propagation reports, its too much information now certainly inhibiting activity.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2016
    KD4AYU likes this.
  8. KJ6ZOL

    KJ6ZOL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I simply look at the MUF frequency when deciding when and where to operate. I also check to see if there's been a solar storm that has wiped out HF at the moment. Everything else is just blah blah blah. I looked at once, and it was simply too complicated. the MUF and solar storm alerts are all I need.
  9. WR2E

    WR2E XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Really? I think it's the most simplistic display ever!

    Almost TOO simple to be useful...
  10. K1RR

    K1RR Ham Member QRZ Page

    >Try the weak signal mode called JT65.
    ... only if you have a few years to waste on a couple of QSO's. While I understand the need for such a mode to be heard way below the noise floor... Dang... It's for young people. I'm 40 years old... and with the time it takes to make a couple of contacts I will be in the old folks home by the time it's done!

    All joking aside, if you really want to "see" propagation, check out PSK Reporter website. ( You can type in your call after calling CQ (in any digital mode, really - CW, PSK, JT, RTTY) You can see the stations and what they are monitoring, what frequency, and where they are located. Find a station monitoring your mode, and what frequency, and call CQ a couple of times. It will show you where you are being heard. Very nice tool for "real time" reports of who's hearing you.
    KC2NEO, K2NCC and W1XWX like this.
  11. AH7I

    AH7I Ham Member QRZ Page

    A band is truly dead when no one is on it. Unless one is lucky enough to hear some LDE.
  12. WF9Q

    WF9Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    K1RR likes this.
  13. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Get on the air and call CQ, you never know who will come back to you!
    K5JEF likes this.
  14. KC5NOA

    KC5NOA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Been a ham for 21 years and I never listen to the so called experts! I find a nice quiet spot and call cq for 45 seconds to one minute wait and do it again. I have worked many Europeans on 20 using that method
    WA7PRC likes this.
  15. WA3GWK

    WA3GWK XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I like to tune the "dead" bands. Worked the Cook Islands last week on 15M with 100 watts and a ground mounted vertical. He was calling CQ and no one was coming back to him. Signals were not strong and I never would have made the QSO if there was a pileup.

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