Solar Cycle 24 Bottom 1.5 years Earlier Than Predicted?

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: https://watchers.news/2017/12/20/solar-activity-cycle-falls-to-the-bottom-1-5-years-earlier-than-expected/ I have noticed that the lower bands have been even better than just…

3G9A: Great Signal at 0444z on 40M

I just worked them easily and their signal seems better tonight than last night. The doublet is the winner and they are about 579. They are close to South Georgia, and one thing I noticed is at this latitude, about 8 hours of their night is right in the greyline. This should really help since the SSN is Zero, and will probably stay the…

Solar Cycle 24, 3Y0Z, and the Downward Trend

Wow – it seems like we are closer to the bottom of the cycle than I would have expected. Look at the wild swings we have had in the last few months. Luckily, even with zero sunspots, 40M has been a beacon to ZS and V51 on the evening short path (only West Coast path for 3Y0Z) and the morning long path. Can you…

160M DXCC: #89 – V26B

Top Band is a nostalgic band – it being just above the AM Radio Band. This one was a really tough one. He was very strong, but rumor has it his Beverage antenna was pointed NE, and he wasn’t working anything out West. He did hear me as KW6R, but I think he did get my call right in the end – although (and…

RI1ANO and 3Y0Z

RI1ANO has been tearing up 30M tonight – solid 599+ and working the entire US. 3Y0Z is 2000 miles farther and more SE, but since its a water path, I doubt that will be a big deal. We were both right in the grey line when I worked him, and it sure was a major pipeline. SSN = ZERO, K = 4, A =…

Top Band Halloween Altar

The KY6R Top Band Halloween Altar Pumptallica seemed to be a good “starter” course, but I figure I might need something a bit more “substantial” for the repast, so I am bringing out an old Assemblage – one of my first and a series of fantasy radios using old radio parts that were headed for the trash heap. I’m hearing W1AW very, very well,…

The “Bouvet Bump” Continues . . .

The latest NOAA Sunspot Cycle Progression plot showing data through September, 2017, continues with the good news – that the cycle has a nice little uptick even at this low point in the cycle. FT5ZM was active at the peak of this cycle – and it looks like 3Y0Z might get a respite from the downward march of Cycle 24. Conditions have been quite…

FT8: The “Democratization of DXing and DXpeditioning”

UPDATE: After the VK9MA DXpedition I have changed my tune. FT8 surely is the beginning of something very exciting, but when VK9MA kept switching between FT8 and CW I realized just how much better CW is. On paper, using a mode that could work when CW was too hard to “hear” seemed like magic, but because there still was enough back and forth with…

DXCC “Trifecta”

Happy Friday – and Cheer’s to the Weekend! I need 12 more to achieve DXCC on 160M, which is a very big deal here on the West Coast. I will also achieve 9BDXCC at the same time – so its a double good achievement and now that its within reach, I’m getting excited about DXCC as much as I can these days. I was…

Autumnal Equinox Watch . .

While I enjoy the Vernal Equinox and the Summer and Winter Solstices, the Autumnal Equinox is my favorite. This Friday will be the Equinox for 2017. This the highest rated (Beer Advocate) Imperial Pumpkin Ale – and I always have one bomber of pumpkin ale a year. I have never seen this in bay area stores, so will have to try another – maybe…