The CQ WW CW Contest has had about the worst conditions that I have seen in years. One thing I have done now for many months is call ZS6CCY who has been on my night time short path – as the best propagation predictor.
Last night was the worst 40M conditions I have seen – but Bill was 59 and I was 55 and had no problem calling him with just one call. This was actually very good news – because if this is the worst it will be, I will have a good chance of getting one Q. The team will have to ask specifically for West Coast, and I probably won’t work them the first day, but I am quite confident.
We are just over two solar rotations away from 3Y0Z. In 54 days it will be January 19, and 3Y0Z will be on the air just after that – so its probably a good idea to monitor solar conditions starting about now and going for the next month or so. The team recently reports that their propagation predictions are still good, which is good news.
The most interesting thing is that 3Y0Z will get the absolute last “gasp” of reasonably good solar conditions – at least as far as sunspots are concerned, but we have to keep our fingers crossed that the solar disturbances don’t hamper things.
This is the team that had the best conditions of this cycle during FT5ZM, and they must have some magic to snag the last of workable world wide conditions – that will be just before we again slide rapidly down to the bottom of the cycle.
My biggest optimism comes from my almost daily “check in” with Bill, ZS6CCY. If I can work him daily – even with the worst of recent conditions on 40M nightly on the SP, then I do hold out hope for working 3Y0Z. I have phased verticals on 40M, so I expect to work 3Y0Z after the 40M yagi guys do.
I’m especially interested in testing my 20M yagi. I’m not hearing V51 right now at 1745z, so the best time to test this path will be late afternoon. In fact, I’ll start monitoring this path most days when I get home from work, since the path will mimic what it will be like when 3Y0Z is on that air:
The 3Y0Z web site propagation predictions confirm that both 40 and 20M won’t be a good path for the West Coast during our mornings. This is most definitely going to be a late afternoon / early evening affair. Same goes for 30M.
The “sleepers” could be 17 and 15 – they seem to offer daytime conditions – so that will be interesting.