Happy Friday – and Cheer’s to the Weekend!
I need 12 more to achieve DXCC on 160M, which is a very big deal here on the West Coast. I will also achieve 9BDXCC at the same time – so its a double good achievement and now that its within reach, I’m getting excited about DXCC as much as I can these days.
I was going to put up a dedicated antenna for FT8, but realize that it would be more fun to put three things together that will really make DXCC fun again for me:
There are other benefits, but this “Trifecta” of interesting aspects of DXing and DXCC means I have my own little personal way to become more active on the air until I work these last 12. Imagine that – 10 watts on 160M and with an antenna I designed!
Now, when something that I really need comes on the air on 160M, I will switch to my high power “Ham Radio V1.0” station, but in between, it sure will be fun to see what FT8 and 10 watts does on Top Band. And the DXE DV-40-P is ready on 40M and my home brewed and designed 20M 2 element yagi is also ready to go. The Mod Bob can be switched to 80 and 30M, so I am covered from 160 – 20M for FT8. I just need to put a coax switch in line to switch between the two.
I can say that our recent week long trip to Montana and going to the Planetarium and reading this book was the highlight of my vacation. My wife Kat is now reading this book and also loves it. It is so exciting to see how (mostly) amateur astronomers figured out how ionization and the suns affect on earth works.
But the one thing that the EU Space program is doing in a few years – launching a deep space telescope called “Athena” to study cosmic rays – is something I am really looking forward to.
On 160M, K9LA has discussed the possible effects of cosmic rays – rays that bombard the earth when there are no sunspots and very little solar activity. What is most exciting is that we simply don’t know how these rays may or may not effect bands like 160M. And this is exciting because I truly believe that FT8 can help us detect patterns on 160M that we did not see before.
It all depends on how many people use FT8 on Top Band and how we collect the data. I hope a project is started that does some propagation study on on this wonderful band.
Finally, I expect that FT8 could be a savior to those who want to work 3Y0Z.
Oh – and then there is THIS web site:
Who knows? Maybe there will be a “surprise”? We had a false tease with 3Y0G earlier this year, so I won’t count on it, but hey, October is always an interesting month – my favorite – when some “magic” happens.