Topband: 160m Condx - More ...A Closer Look....

k1zm at k1zm at
Wed Nov 14 09:52:38 EST 2018

Hi All

Thanks for all the observations as to how things look at your specific locations.  It has made fascinating reading during what has been a slow period - relatively speaking.
As we all know, 160m defies simplistic analysis - and even after some 40 years on the band, I NEVER know exactly what to expect when I sit down in front of the radio.
If we PEEL THE ONION just a bit though - right now we have dropped down from a wonderful period (say 02/03 Nov) of low absorption as regards over the pole propagation - (where literally hundreds of JA's could be worked from here starting at 0800z - until around 1100z daily) - with even 7J4AAL coming in here via over the pole prop at 2121z as late as 08 November.
But, since then, I have been seeing basically more "normal" propagation - with paths to Western and Central Europe and into the Pacific (VK/ZL) etc - remaining rather okay.  However, anything more exotic (except for 4K6FO which is a more southerly route from here) just has not been in there since 03 Nov.
I check the band usually at 08z each day - both on CW and sometimes on FT8 for JA friends - and I have not seen or heard a JA at that time since 03 Nov.
Eventually - things will quiet down again, the polar routes will again emerge and 160m may again get really exciting  until the next flare or storm occurs.
So what I am trying to say here - is that things have probably looked okay to most folks over the past week or so - but except for one evening at 0020-0030z when 4S7AB was in there, things have been rather punk looking over the polar routes.
There was a glimpse of hope last night though - JW/SM5EPO from Svalbard was in here around 2223z first on CW and then later on FT8 with a workable (but weak) signal - so perhaps things are about to improve again over the tougher paths - let's hope so!
CU on the band!

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