R.I.P. Cycle 24

Conditions this summer remind me of the two years centered on 2008 where even 20M barely opened.

The good news? This seems to be hitting sooner than anticipated. We might even get lucky and get a fast turnaround to the start of Cycle 25. I’ve seen some early prognostication that Cycle 25 will be the same as Cycle 24, which is an improvement over previous predictions, where Cycle 25 is supposed to be half as strong as Cycle 24.

Time will tell, but lately, 20M sure feels as bad as back then, and even 40M is really bad.

At the bottom of the cycle, 40M opened up for me to work VU7RG in 2007 on CW and SSB but it was only open a Max of 10 – 20 minutes, and at sunset. I think after sunrise 40M on the long path stayed open longer. You have to monitor the bands more closely – and paradoxically – when they seem the most dead in a cycle . . .

This was a distinctive time for me. I was going through a rough spot with my divorce, but was about to be remarried. The Decemberists had a very interesting album out – The Crane Wife, and I think I was working at Wells Fargo.

I only remember the good times, and that VU7 was in the Top 10, and I felt very lucky to work them. I had phased vertical arrays and full power.

So, even at the bottom of the cycle, you can work DX on the other side of the planet, and on SP and LP.

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