ZS1AFS Heard Well on 40M LP

I heard Tom, ZS1AFS on the morning 40M Long Path, which is the first time in what seems like a month or maybe even two. I don’t know if this is true every year, but my guess that this path isn’t that great around the Northern Hemisphere summer solstice – at least this year. But you would think that then it would also suffer…

LU5OM: A Year Later

VOACAP Online with its new grey line time mapping. This the time I worked Manuel this morning. A year ago I worked LU for the first time on Top Band. I ended up working 5 new one’s between June 21 and September 21, so it was a good summer. I had been working on 160M RX antenna systems, and am now 100% set antenna…

3Y0Z and the Last Gasp of Cycle 24

The trend sure looks good for 3Y0Z to end up with the last “uplift” of Cycle 24. In fact, conditions sunspot wise today are the best they have been in quite a while – the SSN is 58, but with some storms. Cycle 24 seems to be saying “I’m not dead yet” . . .

LU5OM VOACAP Online and Bouvet Greyline Path

For a couple of hours this morning I listened to LU5OM who called CQ during the different phases of the grey line. He was only ESP when we were both in night time darkness. But his signal steadily got better during each “progression”: He was Q5 during this next “phase”. As always, you can’t go by S meter on Top Band – its all…

VOACAP Online – Jari Has Added a Superb SP – LP Feature!

You now see SP and LP buttons on Jari’s new grey line mapping feature: I’m actually analyzing something I need – CE on 160M, but this map would be even more fun for Heard Island, Amsterdam or South Africa: I wanted to see when ZS and W6 would be right at the grey line for both of us – and it turns out in…

Top Band Shows Signs of New Life

The new greyline feature in VOACAP Online is superb – its shows the multiple twilights which are very important when DX-ing on Top Band. In fact, I used to have to look at DX Atlas and then go to a web site called “Sunrise – Sunset” to get some of this information, but it was a real pain and wasn’t as instantly useful as…

VOACAP Online Now Does P2P Greyline Mapping!

Jari, OH6BG, has been constantly improving VOACAP Online, and it is now my favorite Propagation Prediction Tool. I have noticed that over the past year or so many new features have been added – such as specific station information – which makes it more accurate. I also really love the new ability to get the checkerboard prediction charts by month or year. But he…

Civil, Nautical and Astronomical Twilight

While adjusting DX Atlas – which is a “must” tool to have if you are interested in Low Band DX-ing, I actually started wondering about the difference between these twilights. I am sometimes really amazed that even after what seems like sunrise there is that “enhancement” you get for just minutes on 160M, but that on 40M, the long path can stay open for…

DXCC => Carpe Diem

Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho. Photo by KY6R In retrospect, the most important thing to do as a DX-er is to Just Do It. Make Hay While The Sun Shines. Its funny how time is marked with another kind of clock – we have calendars, clocks and can count the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years, but some times you get that one…

Bouvet Watch: Keeping Watch on 20 and 40M

It just so happens that after what seemed like a very weak 20M today, as we progressed to the later afternoon, the South American stations came to life. This would be a few hours past their sunset, and the one station of most interest was in Rosario, Argentina, which is exactly the same path as Bouvet will be. The station I worked was S9…