Discussion in 'On-Air Operations - Q&A' started by N4GKS, Oct 26, 2016.
Any idea on how long the horrid conditions are going to last? Years?
How long is the solar cycle? 11 years? Let's hope the next one is better than the recent one!
Time to put up that 80 meter antenna!
working plenty of decent DX on 20 myself - CW mostly.... RARE stuff? No.... but no lack of DX QSO material
Tune in Saturday next - I have a hunch that "HF bands will open like an umbrella" due to the major DX SSB contest.
I'm glad I didn't know that before I worked a bunch of DX.
Well okay then.
While the sunspot cycle is in decline there is DX to be had on 160, 80, 60 and 40M at night , especially in the Northern Hemisphere winter season !! Take down the tribander beams and hang some dipoles off the tower !!!
I say leave the yagis on the tower. When you want to operate the the longer wavelengths, look at feeding it as a vertical w/ top hat.
When I decided it was (past) time for a real tower + big HF yagi, I took the impending downturn in upper HF propagation into consideration. I wanted gain/directivity on 40m, and found my Force12 C-4XL (2 el on 40/20/15/10m). That required at least 60' of tower, and I found a US Tower TX472 (72' freestanding crankup/tiltover). My Cushcraft AR10 vertical is on top at 83' AGL. A λ/2 vertical sits on my house. With a 40m dipole cut for the low end of the band, I have TWO antennas for 40/20/15/10m. A 4-wire cage inverted vee that covers all of 80m hangs at 70'. I drive it as a vertical w/ top hat on 160m.
If you want to work more 20m, then put up a better antenna. Get a mono-band yagi with as many elements as possible! If you already have one, then get a second and stack them.
We are in a low sun spot cycle where it is no longer likely to work the world on any band, any time of day with 5w and a wet noodle for an antenna.
However, radio hasn't died. There are still plenty of challenges and excitement. It just takes a little more effort, patience. 73, bill
In the last two months I've worked the following on 20 SSB with wires strung in between trees
VP6, OY, S9, KP2, TF3, T31, 3DA0, and HI9.
I've been hunting for National Park units, but figure I might as well work the DX stations that make it to Connecticut.
They're strong on 40 and 80, too. I heard some US NA hams working 'em on 7.115 MHz SSB.