The hint of an opening

Discussion in 'The DX Zone' started by NM7G, Aug 17, 2019.

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  1. NM7G

    NM7G Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here in NW Oregon, we had a trace of 20m opening to EU and Asia last night, 0230-0400Z, on 20m. Heard or worked R1Z, UA3, ER3, UN9, RA8. The strongest of them just grazed S8 on peaks, and most were S4 or lower, with 3 elements at 60 feet.
     
  2. KB2FCV

    KB2FCV Ham Member QRZ Page

    160 was open last night. I worked a new one for that band, 5t5pa. Hopefully the sign of a good season to come. 5 more to go to 160m dxcc on my laughable & crappy inadequate-for-top-band setup.

    It's good to watch and listen.. you never know what's going to open up!
     
  3. NM7G

    NM7G Ham Member QRZ Page

    What's your antenna(s)? Been thinking about getting on top-band. Last 160 QSO in my log was circa 1964!
     
  4. KB2FCV

    KB2FCV Ham Member QRZ Page

    My antenna is a 102' dipole fed with open wire line to a tuner. My amp doesn't cover 160 so I've got 100w on the band. My regular tuner doesn't either so I built one specifically for the band that makes the radio happy. Most other people I know of running 160 have fairly elaborate antennas - inverted L's with lot's of radials, big dipoles, fancy verticals, and then of course the big guns have much larger setups. My dipole is absolutely too small for the band (and it's squeezed into my postage stamp lot), I am definitely limited to CW and digital modes as it is horribly inneficient for the bands - QSO's often take several tries at an exchange, the people I work.. their antenna is absolutely doing 99% of the work.

    But... I've almost worked & confirmed DXCC for 160m and there is still plenty of active "low hanging fruit" as well as "theoretically possible" out there I should be able to work. I should be able to work before I make it to 100. Since I'm so close I've challenged myself to make 100 before I change anything to the setup. Then I'll look at making changes. Probably about 1/2 my totals are in CW and the other half FT8. I'm hoping this season to hit 100.. we'll see..
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
    AB8MA likes this.
  5. W4KJG

    W4KJG Subscriber QRZ Page

    I came into the shack about 2130 EDT (0130 UTC) this evening to work on a project. I leave much of my equipment running 24/7. I glanced at the S-Meter on my old Ten Tec 505 and thought something was wrong with it. It is my primary FT8 and WSPR rig. It was tuned to USB at 7074 kHz (the VFO is a homebrew DDS).

    Anyway, the S-meter was at about a consistent 20-30 dB over S9, except when it went down to about S0 every 15 seconds. Except for locals, the big guys on 40 meter AM, and the foreign broadcasters, that is about the signal strength I see when propagation is really hot.

    I turned on WSJT-X and PSKreporter I was seeing DX calls with prefixes I didn't even recognize. I quickly worked UD4F in Penza, Russia. When I looked at PSKreporter to see where UD4F was actually located, I was surprised to see a reception report that was almost due north of me. It was from maidenhead ER60TB, station VY0ERC.

    For WSPR I run about 0.5 watts and for FT-8 I run about 3.5 watts. It was really fun to see what was happening using a simple endfed inverted L (vertical to 35 feet and horizontal out to 37 feet, and with five above ground wires as a counterpoise, each at about a 1/4 wavelength for 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters. At the feedpoint is an old homebrew L-network matching unit feeding about 50 feet with RG-6.

    It should get really interesting as the sunspot cycle gets propagation really cooking. Tonight's WSJT-X waterfall had almost no breaks from about 100 Hz to 2.5 kHz. With the RF and AF gain set way down on my receiver, the majority of signals were still all yellow and red, like looking at severe weather on weather radar.

    Life is good.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019

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