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…

Bouvet Watch: Comparative Solar Condition Analysis

May, 2017’s average sunspot number was 18.8, which is about what it was like for VK0EK. In fact, the average for this year is somewhere close to this. This snapshot is from the spaceweather.com web site, and it differs from the NOAA website: The difference is not the “actual”, but the Predicted. In both cases, the real average has consistently under performed the predicted….

My Favorite Low Band Books

This is the most amazingly comprehensive book in ham radio – and its focus on the Low Bands shows just how much there is to the Low Bands, and why I have ended up in this space with this new blog. I contacted the ARRL to see if they will put out a 6th Edition – and they said there were no plans. I…

Complex Ionospheric Propagation And Chordal Hopping

Complex Ionospheric Propagation Modes I found this image on a wonderful site regarding the many facets of ionospheric propagation: http://www.sws.bom.gov.au/Educational/5/2/2 There is also a very interesting PDF available for download here: http://solar.spacew.com/cq/cqmar98.pdf This paper confirms something that I have experienced on 160M, which is “ducted mode” propagation. In the diagram above, this is the blue line, and basically, rather than having your signal bounce…