I’ve believed for some time that the bottom of Cycle 24 would start in 2018 – probably not long after 3Y0Z, and that they would get the “last gasp” of propagation before we get back into the days where even 20M doesn’t open much. This article also says something similar:
I have noticed that the lower bands have been even better than just past Autumn – now that the solar disruptions have all but gone quiet – especially 160M. And 40M has done exactly what it did during the bottom of the last cycle – and offer great rare and far off DX like no other band. You need 2 elements on 40M – and I just happen to have an extra DX Engineering DV-40-P phased array system – new in the Box for sale at a great price!
I have read in a few places that the bottom of Cycle 24 will be prolonged, but the predictions for Cycle 24 were so far off – they ended up being a joke. I have made my plans just around that trend-line that you see above, and knowing that we are about were we were in 2008. It is very clear that the north – south paths were better than the east west paths and that the polar paths – like with Z60A now was not good.
The number of days straight with no sunspots this year is supposed to be double what it was last year, so its really starting to remind me of what is to come. The best thing this time around? I’m addicted to 160M, and that EA8 the other day plus the JT5DX were like being on 40M – or even 20M actually. It will be interesting how FT8 makes up some of the propagational difference – that is something to watch.
Viva Le Low Bands!