Did Cycle 25 Just Start? (and LA1MFA on 40M!)

Possibly exciting news, that Cycle 25 may have just started. We won’t really know for a while – but it sure would be nice if we didn’t have to wait another year.

From SpaceWeather.com (Friday, November 8, 2019) – https://www.spaceweather.com/

SIGNS OF LIFE FROM SOLAR CYCLE 25: Big things have small beginnings. Years from now, observers may look back from the perch of a new Solar Maximum and realize that the action began on Nov. 5, 2019, with a very small solar flare.

I’ve been working DX even with QRP and because I am no longer tied to DXCC like a ball and chain – but am pursuing my Free Range QRP DX Challenge – I’m in fine shape. In fact, I will say that the UrbanBeam has been an awesome antenna for QRP – and even though I really don’t like motors in my antenna – there really is nothing else that comes close to the versatility of the UrbanBeam. I have been “plagued” by months of wanting to replace it with a 2 element “shorty forty” yagi for 40M – but the recent fierce winds wiped that thought out of my mind.

WOW – I am hearing LA1MFA making JA contacts during his (almost) noon!

LA1MFA, Kjell, was coming in Q5, but my 5 watts did not seem to cut it. He did come back with a QRZ? AGN, but just couldn’t pull me out.

His signal was Q5 and totally workable – but not with QRP. In any case, it just goes to show you how fantastic 40M is – even at the bottom of the cycle. I did work him with 100 watts using my IC-7300, and quite easily. I cannot use it as a counter, but as always – I am so amazed at 40M and how it “saves” DXing at the bottom of a solar cycle.

So – who needs sunspots anyway, right?


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