Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KB4MNG, Oct 31, 2019.
Sealed in a mayonnaise jar on Funk&Wagnels back porch.
In the past week I talked to two hams who remember how great the bands were in the late 1950s. I don't think I will live long enough to see conditions like that.
Well I am a newer ham so looking forward to many years to come. I am doing great so far since I don't have much to compare it too. I laughed about the 3-4 decades comment. Ham radio will be dead in a couple more years since we are all going to die from global warming. I will be doing QSO's from my personal submarine in FL. Couldn't resist.... eating popcorn!!
This. It's open right now.
There's a little 6m opening right now too, if you're in the right place.
There's something open somewhere just about every day. Ok, so you can't work Botswana on 50w and a light bulb.
Work on your receiving skills. You can't work 'em if you can't copy 'em. That costs nothing. Improve your antenna. Improve your noise floor. Improve your radio. Those things can cost as much or as little as you want. If your station and skills are better now, that will pay big dividends when propagation improves.
Instead of lamenting band conditions, go make some.
The interesting thing is that, among long time (read - old) DX’ers like myself, we all agree about virtually nothing except one thing - we all worked as much DX during solar minimums as any other time.
We are at the bottom of Sunspot Cycle 24, so yes, conditions are not very good, for the most part. Cycle 25 will start soon, and conditions WILL improve in the next couple of years, the same as has been true for each transition from one cycle to another. Whether Cycle 25 will be worse, merely as "good" (it was actually pretty good) as Cycle 24 or better is just THAT: PREDICTIONS. And we all know how well weather "predictions" years well into the future are accurate. ONLY time will tell. Cycle 25 may well surprise us all, for better or worse.
Just FWIW, when I was our club's QSL manager during the last Cycle 24 peak, our club was receiving 100+ QSL requests per MONTH, (and that doesn't include the delayed BURO cards.) Currently, the QSL committee is getting 7-10 per month or two. Easily done in an hour or so. But 100 or more per month is a bit overwhelming.
I'm sorry to hear you are going to depart shortly. Cycle 25 may well miss you.
(Sorry for the sarcasm.)
When? If you mean talking to Turkey on 10 meters SSB with 100 watts and a hamstick, I'd say (possibly) 5 years from now, although, there are predictions that the next cycle will be worse than the one we're leaving. The good news is, 160, 75, 40 are usable every day. The weak signal modes are usable every day up through 17 and sometimes 15, and the VHF / UHF bands are good for local contacts every day.
Current Stretch: 28 days
2019 total: 227 days (75%)
2018 total: 221 days (61%)
2017 total: 104 days (28%)
2016 total: 32 days (9%)
2015 total: 0 days (0%)
2014 total: 1 day (<1%)
2013 total: 0 days (0%)
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
2008 total: 268 days (73%)
2007 total: 152 days (42%)
2006 total: 70 days (19%)
Updated 31 Oct 2019
April 10, 2019: If you like solar minimum, good news: It could last for years. That was one of the predictions issued last week by an international panel of experts who gathered at NOAA’s annual Space Weather Workshop to forecast the next solar cycle. If the panel is correct, already-low sunspot counts will reach a nadir sometime between July 2019 and Sept 2020, followed by a slow recovery toward a new Solar Maximum in 2023-2026.
“We expect Solar Cycle 25 will be very similar to Cycle 24: another fairly weak maximum, preceded by a long, deep minimum,” says panel co-chair Lisa Upton, a solar physicist with Space Systems Research Corp.
The entrails of the goat I just slaughtered are in general agreement with NOAA's panel of experts. However, I noticed some flecks of green here and there. This could indicate a shorter minimum than expected.