Bands open/closed?

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

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  1. KD4AYU

    KD4AYU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    As far as being 40, I am in the vast majority pushing 70 hard. I find that I have plenty of time for JT65 HF. If you're just starting out on a DXCC at 40 then it might be a little slow for you, but with a couple of decades worth of SSB, CW, and conventional Digimode contacts it becomes just another although impressive tool to make contacts when nothing else does.
    K1RR and KO4LZ like this.
  2. KO4LZ

    KO4LZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you operate JT65, you definitely should check out : I can call CQ and within a few minutes I can see where my signal was received and with what strength. If I see that people in Europe, Asia, South America, etc. are reading me with decent signal levels, then I know that the band is open I'm simply being ignored :)
  3. KO4LZ

    KO4LZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I worked WAS 100% on JT65 in less than 6 months casually operating with an attic dipole at the current "suboptimal" point in the solar cycle. If it weren't for HI (thanks WH6HI!), I would probably have done it in half that time :)

    I'm currently trying to work DXCC and VUCC both 100% JT65 as well. Am most of the way there with DXCC, but I get the feeling it may take a while on 6 meters ....
  4. K3RW

    K3RW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm curious when it says a band condition is POOR, if that is a function of where you are rather than just the band itself. Is it 'poor' for the location of the measurement station? Is it poor for the average worldwide condition? Not sure how some of that atmospheric stuff is measured (and I am not really that interested), but I could guess that the magnetic stuff, the atmospheric stuff, etc., might vary depending on where you are in the world.

    Yeah, 12m is dead until I find that it isn't. If we just glance over and see 30-10 is dead, do we all not even try? It does seem so! Days when 10m was supposedly 'dead' it was a straight pipeline to Brazil from the Pacific Northwest, so I dunno.

    The DX Commander freeware that updates with the latest sunspot stuff and shows the LUF/MUF, etc., seems to be pretty accurate provided that you give good/accurate inputs (takeoff angle, local noise conditions) which are just a rough guess for most people. But outputs are only as good as inputs, and knowing vs guessing is a huge challenge.
  5. K3RW

    K3RW Ham Member QRZ Page is pretty neat too. Though the hamspots one more often gives the signal reports--some of the PSKreporter ones do too. Depends if they have their JT65 software 'box checked' if they are using WSJT-X or one of the clones, or some other software.
  6. K3RW

    K3RW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Are there reverse beacons for SSB? I've seen them for digital modes, I'm not sure if there are CW/RTTY/SSB ones.

    Just curious if the signal strength for CW on the same band/frequency might vary if it were PSK, etc.
  7. K3RW

    K3RW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Its a great tool and a great service. I like not having to hunt down so many bits of info that are available but spread over the internet--its all in one neat place. And for those (like me) that don't understand all the minutae of the propagation stuff--practical to saying '40m NIGHT: POOR' is good too. Its not 'guaranteed' to be poor, and people should still try it anyway (not expecting much). Perhaps a fluke in local conditions changes something, like a weird skip/thunderstorm/etc.

    Many thanks for it for the tools. Very much appreciated.
  8. K5BIZ

    K5BIZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Possible alternative to ARRL's Handbook explanation of HF Propagation? Video doesn't directly say it... but if it can affect Auroras and Earths Magnetic Field.... then...???

    K3RW likes this.
  9. K5BIZ

    K5BIZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    My personal theory is that these magnetic explosions form cavities that are large enough to form an RF cavity that can absorb and re-radiate HF signals. This would be the mechanism that allows HF signals to appear to Reflect/Refract back to Earth. The more of them there are the more the band is "Open".

    WB9MCW and K3RW like this.
  10. WZ7U

    WZ7U Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well fellas, I refer to the website several times a day and find it reasonably accurate more often than not. It is a great baseline to get an idea what's going on. Just getting on and calling cq is good too. It's another useful tool I appreciate very much.

    Thanks Biz, keep up the good work!
    K3RW likes this.
  11. K1RR

    K1RR Ham Member QRZ Page

    After all this discussion over the past couple of days, I decided last night just to try 10 meters for the heck of it. As I was tuning around, I noticed a CW beacon on 28.299 ... K6 ... K6FR something /B. I can't remember the call now... But was surprised that just as the sun was going down that I could hear a California station on 10 meters, when all indications say that 10 meters sucks. So... Even I was proven wrong! :)
  12. N8CR

    N8CR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I try and run WSPR across 40-10M when I remember to, before I start working the bands. This gives me a near real time propagation report of whats happening. If I dont run WSPR, I throw all caution to the wind and start transmitting. I have stopping relying on as I feel its not a reliable source, and neither is the prediction graphic in this site.
  13. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    There's an old saying: If nobody transmits and everyone listens, every band will sound dead.


    I think the real issue is.....expectations.

    It used to be that practically all new hams came up through the Novice ranks, using simple gear on 80 and 40 CW. Their expectations were pretty low - a simple rag chew with someone 100-500 miles away was a big deal! Other bands and modes, and better equipment, came later in one's amateur radio "career".

    That's all changed now. Many amateurs come into the ranks via UHF/VHF and then 10 meters - all voice. Their idea of HF is what's above 10 MHz, not below, and they expect world wide DX with simple antennas round the clock. When it doesn't happen, "HF is dead".
    WN1MB, K3RW, K1BBB and 1 other person like this.
  14. K1BBB

    K1BBB Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is exactly the progression I've gone through, after getting my license in 2013, and then advancing to General in 2014. The conditions have changed a lot since even just then, and it's become more difficult to make contacts. I'm certainly not giving up. Infact, I recently got an FT-817nd and am learning CW so I can work the radio waves anytime I feel like it, rather than being tied to SSB on a 100w rig in my shack. I certainly hope people don't give up. I do know that if I was a technician, and tried 10m now without any luck, I might never have thought to go one to General class without someone showing me what it's like. Sure I've taken the easy way into the hobby, but I love it now...not sure that would have happened if they hadn't removed the code requirement. That said, more devoted elmers would be helpful for sure. Even for me, someone who already has a touch of experience. I can try to be an elmer myself, but could really use more people passionate about helping other hams too.
    N6RGR likes this.
  15. K3RW

    K3RW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'd suggest also trying Fldigi (a freeware) so you can experiment with other digital modes, and RTTY as well. Some people prefer these methods for the ragchew element that JT65-9 doesn't allow for. I've had a lot of fun with PSK and RTTY. With conditions lately I am lucky to call into a 20 or 80m net within the same timezone and be understood. Last year seemed a lot better--hope it gets better soon!

    The QRP side of the FT-817 makes it a lot more challenging, unless you have a really good antenna and/or an amp attached. But it looks like a good rig and I wouldn't mind having one :)

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