Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K2GSP, Sep 1, 2008.
It gets curiouser and curiouser.
The VLFers are enjoying it, though. If this holds through the Winter, 160, 80, and 40 could be lots of fun.
Pardon me but I have to go out to the backyard and add 2 more elements to my 5 band quad...and time to run the Romex for the AL-1200!!
I'll be back later!
I am thinking phased verticals.
Zero sunspots in Aug.
Then complain to the ARRL and see what they can do about it.
While sunspots might make my ham DX experience even more exciting--I find nothing to complain about. Case in point. The other night--after dark EST on 20M, in PSK31 mode with 40W PEP I managed to work with the following QSO's with 59 copy both ways--all in a little more than two hours:
All from little old Kentucky--the majority of these being 4000-5000 miles away. There were California stations working the Azores and Germany as well. Most nights I get on I can work Europe and South America--and have had some fantastic SSB QSO's on 40M with OPs in Europe and Australia. Or the crystal clear SSTV transmissions to the West Coast and Mexico. All with a G5RV at 45' and about 400W PEP.
So when I hear that the bands are dead, no sunspot activity is to be had--it is a good day for me. It means that I can get a lengthy QSO up with an OP somewhere else in the world without a huge pilup happening very quickly. So, you are right. There is no reason for American OPs to get on the bands with the state of the sunspot activity what it is...
Here is another interesting take on sunspots.
I just can't understand this lack of sunspots business, yet DX contacts are still being made. If the sun isn't ionising the upper atmosphere how are the radio waves being pushed around.? This leads me to think that sunspots are not as important as we think they are. I fully expected the bands to be completely devoid of any activity.
Between global warming, or global cooling, and no sunspots, things are getting more complicated by the day.
The sunspots that were supposed to have been the first of the next cycle were made in China and were found to have lead in them so they got recalled.
More are in production but it is not known when they will be shipped.
Even when there's no sunspots, there is still a baseline solar flux - just enough to support lower frequency propagation. Sunspots increase the solar flux and the more flux, the more ionization, and the higher the Maximum Usable Frequency.
Baseline solar flux in the absence of sunspots is something like 60 or 70 of whatever those units are. With a sunspot count of say 140, which would be relatively high and is about the maximum predicted for cycle 24, the solar flux would be around 200 which would be high enough to open 10 meters worldwide most of the day.
If there were no solar flux at all, there could be no ionospheric propagation. Everything would have to be ground wave or line of sight.
Of course, if there were no solar flux, there would be no sun, and therefore no hams.