Topband: Poor conditions in 2018 so far for working VK6 to NA long path

n4is at n4is at
Mon Nov 12 22:32:23 EST 2018

Hi Dave

We just can wait for it. Patience., good conditions is coming to stay for several years.


-----Original Message-----
From: Topband <topband-bounces at> On Behalf Of daraymond at
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2018 10:04 PM
To: Steve Ireland <vk6vz at>; Topband reflector <topband at>
Subject: Re: Topband: Poor conditions in 2018 so far for working VK6 to NA long path

Topbanders. . .

Although my geographic perspective is much different than Steve's, I concur that conditions so far this season have been very poor with the exception of an occasional bright spot. . . many nights/mornings being remarkably poor. 
Far inland here in the Midwest (Iowa) I go night after night listening to European stations (and mornings looking toward VK, JA, etc.) that have typically in years past been Q5 with S5/S6 signals. . . but the signals are now weak, just above the noise floor, and often uncopyable.  Probably the bright spot this season has been with VK.  While I have only been QRV on TB since 1987 (many of you have me beat by two decades or more), I have gone through several sunspot cycles.  The old adage that low sunspot numbers bring good conditions to 160m does not necessarily seem to hold true. 
Obviously, there are other significant factors at work (or combination of factors).  I was holding my breath, hoping that the bottom of the current cycle would bring great conditions but it simply has not happened. . .at least here.  A classic example is a stalwart topbander in Germany.  In years past (several years ago actually) he would have S5-S8 signals, night after night, week after week, season after season.  Many nights this season he is barely copyable and often not even copyable.  Upon inquiring he informed me earlier in the fall he had not made any changes in his nice station.  My last good skewed path opening (w/9M2 my morning hours) was September, 2010. 
I have seen virtually no signs of skewed path since.  While all this is a bit discouraging we, of course, plod on in anticipation of better conditions 
to come. . .which will happen.     73. . .Dave, W0FLS

-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Ireland
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2018 7:32 PM
To: Topband reflector
Subject: Topband: Poor conditions in 2018 so far for working VK6 to NA long path


With the exception of last Sunday I've been on 160m for east coast NA sunset from 7/11/18 until 12/11/18 to try to give out some ‘long path’ contacts with USA/VE.

Although there has been some spotlight propagation into Europe (today was Southern Europe/North Africa and S01WS for a new country) the LP into North America has seemed to be non-existent so far.

2017 and 2016 were definitely better, with my recollection of LP openings present on several mornings during this period.

My reference point is if I can hear or work Jeff VY2ZM, then I know there is a chance of working into NA further south.  Every morning I regularly check Jeff's transmitting frequency - and during the aforementioned period I haven't heard Jeff once!

Since Jeff started his station on PEI, we have worked on 160m many times - and on SSB at least once - and usually I can hear him virtually daily at this time of the year.  This year is definitely the worse I can recall since I first came on 160m from VK6 back in 1995.

I guess the take-away message is 2018 is a very bad year but east coastal NA stations don't give up hope that a LP QSO is possible (but perhaps not this season).

Vy 73

Steve, VK6VZ

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