Although my first ever top-band QSO was in 1959 and was a DX station (VE7) it's
only been in the last year or so that I've been semi-seriously working the
band. The impetus being a 9th band DXCC. At the moment, I have 82 entities
worked, 52 of them in the last 12 months. I'm clearly not an expert. That said,
my observations from the desert of southern Arizona are that I've never noted
any peaking at my SS but up until maybe a month ago I was noting a peak at my SR.
The caveats are: 1) I'm using my ground-mounted 55' high Inverted-L TX antenna
on RX, 2) there is a lot more noisy land mass to the north and east of me than
to the west. A peak at my SS, if any, when I'm looking for stations in darkness
(EU, AF), brings up noise as well as signals and offers no SNR improvement. The
other downside is the increased QRM and the extra hops to any DX. To the west
at my SR, the usual activity is from JA, HL, BY and sometimes UA9/UA0. All of
these are ~6,000+ mile paths. Noise from the east naturally subsides but there
is "usually" also a definite peak in received signals.
"Usually" is the operative word. A couple of surgeries and disconnected
antennas due to a passing storm had me QRT for the last ten or so days, but this
AM I was back on. At 1230Z, the band was loaded with JAs and one HL, most of
whom I've worked before. In deference to the W4s I heard calling them I only
worked the pleading ones. (I wish I got the same deference in the other
direction). Signals were above average, S5-S7. I decided to hit the shower and
come back at SR which was 1425Z today. I returned at about 1400Z and the band
was totally quiet, with the exception of one station in CO, calling CQ. I don't
know whether conditions suddenly changed or all dozen JAs decided to go to bed
at the same time.
On 1/12/2018 10:23 AM, Nick Hall-Patch wrote:
Wasn't some of the apparent peaking of signals at sunrise due to improved
signal to noise levels as noise levels drop at sunrise?
20 years ago for many of us, noise levels did actually drop at sunrise. For
many DXers now, (man-made) noise levels stay the same after sunrise, so, no
apparent increase in signal strength (actually increase in S/N ratio).
This is not to say that there was no "real" increase in signal levels at
sunrise 20 years ago, just that it was perhaps less frequent than was thought
at the time. If someone has recorded signal strength levels from that
period, I'd be happy to be proved wrong.
This morning, in western Canada, a medium-wave broadcaster, HLAZ-1566kHz from
South Korea was audible until after 1700UT, an hour past local sunrise, with
a reasonable sunrise peak. Yesterday, there wasn't much of a sunrise peak,
and local noise conditions haven't changed that much over 24 hours.
Was any west coaster on 160m on those two mornings?
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