Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KR2W, Mar 1, 2021.
great report...but unfortunately we are still at the bottom of cycle 24 and the beginning of cycle 25. I've been in radio since 1963 and never seen a solar min this long and stretched out like this and like she said it's a " wait and see " situation. I would say that this summer we could perhaps see some improve met and conditions somewhat like there were back in December and early January. I think by this fall there should be some better conditions. So until conditions improve and spring and summer comes around, what a great time upgrade your station, repair,replace antennas, that radio project you've been putting off or this summer go fishing,play golf ( like me, part time golf pro ), improvements to your home, go on an in state vacation and then when fall comes around, THEN get on the rig!
Anyway, nothing could be worse than today's solar flux (bottom of the bottom)! So, it could just improve but when? Nobody really knows : next summer? next year? later?....
how does this report help anyone?
Can you say three words, "Grand Solar Minimum?"
So I guess I'm in an odd place. I got my general ticket in 2006, operated until 2008 when I left to go to college. Hopped back on HF in 2014, operated until 2016 when I went QRT due to living in an apartment. So my past exposure to HF has always been during high points in the solar cycle.
I finally got my station back up and running at the end of January this year and boy what a world of difference it is from what I remember. Scrolling from 14.150 to 14.350 and only hearing 1-2 stations that are above an S7. Zero activity on 17M/15M through large parts of the day (if at all). I honestly thought I had a bad antenna installation until I realized that we're in the bottom of the cycle's valley. I worked every corner of the world on 50W and a 20M dipole years ago, now 100W and a decent antenna puts you at the bottom of every pileup it seems. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to operate QRP these days.
Exactly what I've been doing. Just got a 6 band vertical on the air 2 weeks ago and have a 5 band hex beam assembled and ready to raise. Just waiting on a little help from my friends! If all goes well, I should have it in and on the air by the end of this week. I think the sun has been in the doldrums for so long that we've forgotten that the cycle is actually 11 years long. Yes, the new cycle has started, but it's not like switching on a "light switch"! It will take time and gradually ramp up over the next few years. As someone posted a week or two ago, "patience jeeves!" I just hope my old bones are still around to enjoy it. At least we are seeing some activity so that is a plus. Hey, it can only get better! Also, it doesn't hurt to get on the air regardless of conditions and call CQ! You never know who or where you may end up!
You kind of contradict yourself... "Scrolling from 14.150 to 14.350 and only hearing 1-2 stations" and "100W and a decent antenna puts you at the bottom of every pileup it seems." Which is it? QRP isn't difficult at all. Just have to have patience.