Topband: Bizarre conditions 10/28 on top band

Tom Rauch
Mon, 30 Oct 2000 20:11:56 -0500

> Maybe the condx weren't too bizzare down south, but they sure were in MD
> at W3LPL.  I've been operating in one of the Top Band positions at Frank's
> in DX contests since around '94 and can say that conditions were strange
> indeed.

I keep watching the A, K and SFI along with the Aurora numbers. 
Nothing ever seems to make sense. The days when I figure it isn't 
worth trying are often the best, many days when the A and K are 
low nothing good happens.

Conditions seemed typical to good. I had a half-way with 9M2AX 
(on CW), I just couldn't get his call through the QRM.   

> During the Saturday, when the Aurora started, I focused on working to the
> south. As usually happens, propagation on 160M & 80M to the south became
> noticeably better.

No aurora here.

> It's interesting to see the comments about high angle antennas working
> better than normal. 

Not this far south they didn't. Others down here reported their 
verticals were better. Perhaps it's different up closer to the aurora 
zone, but I've only found high angle radiators good into Europe a 
couple days a year, and only during severe geomagnetic storms 
when European signals are skewed far off the normal path up the 
east coast.

I'm amazed there is such a difference when the paths are almost 
the same. Maybe someone has a theory why that happens. I 
always wondered if it was more to do with saltwater reducing the 
loss in multiple hops than anything else, considering the path 
angle is about the same (Europe for me is right up the mountains 
and through the east coast). I didn't see a bit of skewing.

73, Tom W8JI

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