Topband: Boring Report - December
aa7jv at atlanticbb.net
Thu Jan 6 15:13:22 PST 2011
>> All of this sort of adds to me thinking conditions are
>>significantly worse than they were the past couple or >>years.
I believe that there is no simple answer to your well
timed question. Yes, I am one those who believe that
conditions have not been very good, especially in
December. On the other hand, I also believe that there
have been some additional factors at work.
My friend, Tomi, HA7RY, and I have been doing some
informal testing for the past few months. He has been
listening to my signal from FL around 0500Z to see at what
power level does my signal disappear in Hungary. (We
communicate via Skype or 40 meters.) About 50% of the time
he could not hear my 1500 W signal at all (using a Pennant
and an Orion RX). The rest of the time, as I reduce power
from 1500 W the signal dropped below the noise between
1500 and 100 watts. So I believe that there has been
usable propagation between FL and Central EU at least 50%
of the time.
On many nights, when conditions seemed to be good (i.e.
Tomi could hear my 1500 W at S6 to S7), I have called CQ
for 20 to 30 minutes with no response. It is hard to
believe that my signal would have been readable only in
Hungary. I am tempted to believe that the lack of DX has
been party due to diminished activity!
Another possible factor: From Florida it appears that
signals in Europe have been peaking around 0400 -- i.e.
well before Central EU sunrise -- and before many TB
operators (early risers they may be) get on the band.
DX clusters could also be a factor: i.e. fewer stations
are scanning the band. Rather, they rely on cluster
postings. Often, I call CQ for many minutes with no
response, but once I am spotted, activity perks up
quickly. Also, with fewer stations scanning the band,
there is an increased likelyhood of short openings being
missed. What will happen when everybody will be waiting
for somebody else's posting to get on the air?
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