Topband: Boring Report - December
thomas.hoeppe at asamnet.de
Thu Jan 6 23:51:09 PST 2011
I can fully confirm what you reported. Everybody is just waiting for the
others. I started 160m DX from my home QTH last winter with a very simple
setup. I am QRV nearly every QRL-day in my "breakfast slot" before getting
off, from about 03.30-03.55 UTC. (If I don't have to dig snow). Early
enough for some US being still awake. If you have just a short timeslot, you
have to attrack attention that you are QRV. I use to be QRV in ON4KST chat.
Last winter, when I informed that I am CQing to check conditions, there were
always people listening to me if there is propagation. This winter, you can
watch discussions on the chat about things having often nothing to do with
160m. Informing that you are CQing for test mostly shows no reaction. You
seem to disturb the discussions about TV programms when boring with a 160m
oriented spot. The only chance you have is getting listened by the 2-3
stations on the east-coast who still listen themselves on the band and
getting spotted in the cluster. Yes, you read right: 2-3 stations. That's my
opinion. Check the cluster! There are so much 160m stations in the US, but
only a handful are watching the bands, turning over the band and spotting
stations. If you are lucky to be found by those precious boys and getting
spotted, you mostly will work a couple of stations that follow. If not, you
have another day with a warm shack.
I wonder why there are only so few US stations calling CQ? From East Coast I
only remember George this winter....all others seem to wait that somebody is
sending a cluster spot.
BTW: If we work 160m after sundown from DL0AO, situation to JA is totally
different. You can be 100% sure that you get found and spotted if there are
I have some possible explanations:
- The lack of outstanding conditions this winter results in desinterest to
check if there are at least good conditions. Too much people have reached
nearly everything, and need those perfect conditions for possible new ones.
But ey...there are beginners out there, being happy about every DX! If all
those feed up stations on 160m who need perfect conditions to switch on the
radio, 160m will become unattractive for the masses...and you will become
lonely...also in perfect conditions.
- Most interested DXers use the European big-gun beacons to check
conditions. There are a few very big stations in Europe, being QRV
regularly. Those use the same QRG every day, and make an easy way to check
conditions. No need to call CQ oneself, if he shows up with lets say only
S5. But again: If you find him S9 one day, you will be lonely as all others
have given up!
So I wish some more find their way to the radio, even if everything in
Europe is worked. A lot of people are collecting for WAS. I myself need to
work Idaho, but I am happy about every DX I get from home-QTH. I have states
where I worked 15-20 different stations, but I still lack of QSLs...
My 2 cents....Tom, DJ5RE
PS: My QTH is "Kingdom of Bavaria"....the land where the beer comes from.
That's far more then "just DL".
----- Original Message -----
From: "GEORGE WALLNER" <aa7jv at atlanticbb.net>
To: "Topband Reflector" <topband at contesting.com>
Sent: Friday, January 07, 2011 12:13 AM
Subject: Re: Topband: Boring Report - December
>>> 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?
> George, AA7JV
> UR RST IS ... ... ..9 QSB QSB - hw? BK
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