Topband: Boring Report - December

W7RH midnight18 at
Fri Jan 7 13:14:35 PST 2011


Don't feel like the "Lone Ranger". In my previous post regarding "Where 
are the JA's" most of the comments have paralleled comments on this 
thread which at least gives us something to do or talk about.

My remote has been plagued by power issues this year however there have 
definitely been been fewer new ones with far less activity. Not to 
mention that 5-6 days of no sun and wind curtail a great deal of 
operating time. I have however broken into Europe and Africa once or 
twice each month when the band opens and is near a weekend. Signals have 
been far weaker and with much deeper QSB than in the last 2-3 years of 
solar minimum. I have found that from my Arizona location the band must 
be quiet and the solar wind needs to be in the 330km/sec range or less 
for me to punch the 100W signal through. This has been occurring only a 
few times a month since September unlike the solar minimum.

With the reflectors and abundance of solar data that is available today 
many people are operating less and perhaps being more selective about 
their time on the band. This has been true in almost all areas of the 
world as near as I can tell. It certainly is indicative of my operation 
with limitations on power consumption at the remote. I have also noted 
that even on good evenings activity has dropped off often before I get 
home from work.(two hours after sunset) Interesting to note that the few 
"new ones" from Africa and Middle East that were on had such unruly 
pileups that I had to ask myself why bother with my 100W.

As for Europe, there are a few in the log this month to add to the 
scattering since September. CQWW CW had many good signals that were not 
able to copy mine as well as in the Stew Perry. I estimate 40-50 
EU/Africa stations heard and called but not worked in both contests. 
Thursday night before Stew Perry I enjoyed a good opening with half 
dozen Dx in log only to have signals during the contest at about half 
the strength as the night before. The biggest surprise was greyline path 
over the pole near my sunrise early Sunday morning. If nothing else 
during slow periods we all tend to spend more time developing our 
antennas, techniques and operating skills. Indicative of this is the 
significant station improvements made in the last two decades of 
operation where as many stations have improved both transmit and receive 
capabilities making DX possible that in the past was not likely.

Bob W7RH


Bob Kile, W7RH
“There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading.
The few who learn by observation.
The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”

Will Rogers

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