This is a great point to make. The Reversebeacon network is an invaluable tool
for real time propagation. Sadly though the bands seem to be quiet far too
often when in fact they are open. I'll use the RB network whenever I'm on the
air to 'see' what bands are open...it's interesting to see just how often there
are openings all the way up to 10m (spotlight sometimes...but there). I have a
K3 and DX-88 vertical so it's a great test 'in all directions' at any given
time and across all the bands including WARC. I start at 10m and send a couple
of CQ's...then work my way down the bands.
Not much activity on the bands these days...on CW anyway. Even on the weekends
when you would 'think' there would be more activity.
---- Jim Stahl via FCG <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> It’s been clearly observed that in many state QSO parties in the northeast,
> there is little activity on the higher bands, making things uninteresting for
> those some distance away. This is a chicken and egg sort of situation: little
> in state activity on those bands leads to little out of state activity, and
> that in turn reinforces the disinterest from in state stations.
> This past spring, from Florida I tried to initiate some 15 meter activity in
> the Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan QSO Parties, including lots of CQing.
> I worked a half dozen or so guys in MN and WI, and one in MI. Some had good
> signals, some did not. I never was sure if my signal was making it up there
> or not.
> This Saturday is the Ohio QSO Party, and I encourage those from more distant
> areas give it a try, with help from the Reverse Beacon Network
> (www.reversebeacon.net) to verify propagation. There are three RBN skimmer
> sites in northeast Ohio, W8WTS, K8AZ, and KQ8M, plus K8ND in central Ohio
> near Columbus. Send a few CW CQs and watch to see if and how well those
> skimmers are hearing you. If they are, try some CQ’s yourself (21045 on CW
> and 21300 on SSB are the suggested activity frequencies), or catch some Ohio
> stations on another band (likely 20) and ask them to move.
> And the same concept applies to 20 meters later in the day after activity
> migrates to the lower bands.
> Note that skimmers hear a lot better than humans - a 10db skimmer S/N ratio
> is still a pretty weak signal. But above that you ought to be heard.
> The OhQP runs from 16000z Saturday to 0400z Sunday. Full OhQP details are at
> www.ohqp.org. I’ll be mobile, mostly on CW, and can very easily change bands
> 80-15 meters. (I can also change between CW and SSB, and OhQP multipliers are
> by mode).
> And we do have very nice plaques for the top scoring stations from outside
> W/VE and from the Mountain/Pacific time zones.
> 73 - Jim K8MR
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