Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KC6DXN, Jan 27, 2016.
Matter-O-fact, I do have the KAT-1 installed, along with NB-1 and back-lit display.
80m is awsome after dark during the winter. Not so much darkness in the summer and QRN can be pretty bad with thunderstorms near.
30m is usually open to somewhere 24 x 7, all year long. Nobody there except other CW OPs!
40m is always open from your QTH to somewhere all year long. Busy day and night. Busier at night. Higher QRN in the summer. Some good DX on winter nights.
20m is good most days during the winter. Night activity improves as winter disappears. Frequently good DX on this band.
17m less reliable than 20m, more reliable than 15.
15m/12m/10m activity will go up as spring nears, then down again in the fall. Activity will generally fall each year for the next several years due to the sunspot cycle.
You asked for beginner CW advice on best bands to have. Here is my opinion. If you tend to operate daytime:
If you tend to operate nighttime:
If you mix it up:
Once sunspots are back on the upswing such that 17m and above are getting hot again, you will no longer be a beginner.
My personal impressions prior to posting this thread was 40m & 30m. 40m for the longevity of the signal and 30m because no phones.
I wanted to ditch my 80/15 board in the K1 because:
I did not care for 80m due to night-ops availability and I just felt that 80m is not a good fit for QRP.
I DO like 15m...but it not always available.
So...that board has got to go. Sounds like I will go for a 40/30 FL-board for the K1. I can do my 7200 on any band.
I do not have much of a choice on antenna for my 7200, other than the G5RV (it is an 80m G5RV -not a jr.). For my K-1, I have a buddy-pole kit clone (JPC-7). I wonder if I could use the same tap for 40 & 30 on the coil. Maybe come to a good compromise between the two and let the KAT-1 do the rest.
OK...I went with the 40/30 board. Got one on order. Thanks for all of your input.
For beginner, I'd not have recommended 30m, as there are few novices around the world there, few QRS ops... I'd go 40/15m. But you've made your choice, 40m won't disappoint! Hopefully you can make progress on 30m too. But also propagation wise it's close to 40, I'd have definitely chosen 15m, plenty of QRS DX, lots of space, and novice licenses around the world generally have 15m. 73 & GL!
My other board has 15m on it. I am going to see if I can amend the 80m section of that board to do 20; then I will have it all covered.
I have noticed a lot of beginners/like me/ hang around 7110-7115. I have been calling CQ on 3526 at 0100Z with good results. Please give me a call if you hear me!
What Band, What Freq?
Unless you have a talll tower and monoband Yagis, 15, 12 and 10M are not going to be a good option in the next several years due to being in the low end of the sunspot cycle.
My pick is 80M for evenings,
30M seems to be open a lot, but high speed DXers seem to be on a lot ,
20M is iffy, a lot of high speed DXers and pile ups at times but worth a look. Daylight hours and early evenings are best.
40M is good any time for moderate CW speeds.
17M is good sometimes but dead other times in the daylight hours.
A place to listen for catching a possible moderate speed rag chew Is on or near the SKCC club recomended frequencies. Check the website" www.skccgroup.com "
We gather around 3550, 7055, 7114, 7120, 10120, 14050, 18090.
30 and 40 meters for sure