Thanks for all the comments . . .
Obviously at OUR Sunrise here in Europe it's still dark in North America, so
I was mainly talking about that, as the peak works both ways. But clearly
most of you agree.
I've been working DX on 160m since 1970 . . . and there was ALWAYS a big
peak in NA signals around our Sunrise (and not just a reduction in
propagated band noise) - I'm talking about an increase on the S Meter, and
increased reports back. (when conditions were better, I'd often have long
SSB QSOs with a few in a Net, and so everyone would comment how much the
signals came up)
This lack of a peak is on top of the generally poor conditions that there
has been for the past decade. The big signals would regularly be well over
S9 all night . . . these days it's as if somebody has put a 20dB attenuator
in the way ! So the big signals are often only S7, and the rest are down in
the noise around S3 - 4.
I'm no expert on propagation at all . . . but what I DO know is that 160m DX
signals must travel very differently to 80m.
How do I know? Well most people tell me I'm a pretty good DX signal all
over the world . . . yet I have ALWAYS used a horizontal half wave dipole,
about 50ft high. (at several different QTHs). My signal compares pretty well
to those using decent verticals . . . so that proves 160m propagation is
usually much higher angle than people imagine. (unlike 80m, where 90% of DX
is at very low angles, and it's rubbish if you don't have a decent vertical)
So the other thing I USED to notice was that I always did much better (in
terms of comparison reports with other EUs using verticals) around our
Sunrise, whereas the Vertical antenna guys did better around your Sunset.
But this is also no longer the case. I find my reports are now often
similar, even early on.
So something about 160m propagation has changed !
Having said all this, I had a QSO last night with Jeff VY2ZM at S9 + 20dB
both ways! (just like the old days!)
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